Lake Bolac slips into festival mode

A DIVERSE, busy and culturally-rich program has been a trademark of the Lake Bolac Eel Festival for the past 10 years and this weekend is no different. 

The festival’s 10th outing on Saturday will again feature a quality line-up of musicians, dancers and entertainers, along with art exhibitions, environmental forums, mini film festival and produce markets. 

Festival spokeswoman Una Allender said the theme of this weekend’s festival was “return to country”. 

“The forum will focus on several aspects of that theme,” she said. 

“Peter Bakker will talk about local indigenous people who returned after both World Wars. There is a photographic display and he has produced a booklet with the help of an Anzac commemoration grant. 

“We also have local Landcare expert Rob Youle,  who will speak about the problems associated with land clearing. 

“But we would love to see Lake Bolac people returning to country as well. Being the 10th festival, we would love to see as many people that have been involved coming along as well.” 

Ms Allender said a highlight would be a Punjab dance troupe. 

“They will perform a traditional harvest celebration dance. It will be very colourful, energetic and noisy,” she said.

“A local family have an Indian background and they are very keen and excited to share their culture with us.” 

She said another highlight would be a performance entitled Flayed Identities, an Australian work that combines music, narration and images which honour the returned indigenous servicemen and women in commemoration of the First World War centenary.  

“It has been created by composer Thomas Reiner. He came to the festival last year and wanted to be involved,” Ms Allender said. 

“There will be indigenous storytellers and a community choir, as well as indigenous bass-baritone Tiriki Onus. 

“We are also very excited to have Alec Doomadgee as our MC on the stage. He will be remembered by many for his starring role in the award- winning drama series Redfern Now.” 

The music program features local artists Shane Howard, Brett Clarke, Tom Richardson, Neil Murray and Carus Thompson, as well as Alice Springs guitarist Sammy Butcher and Darwin-based singer-songwriter Leah Flanagan.  

Tickets are available through www.trybooking.com/75040 or at the gate. For more information go to www.eelfestival.org.au. 

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