Condo SkyFest: miima warrabinya

Past Condo SkyFests: 2018, 2019 (2020 cancelled and 2021 postponed to September 2022 because of the COVID pandemic.

Press Release, 19 February 2021

Condobolin’s third SkyFest: Miima Warrabinya will be held at the Wiradjuri Study Centre on the 3-5 September, Mr Ally Coe, Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation’s CEO, announced this week.

“This year’s SkyFest will be a truly stellar occasion with a very inclusive program that will delight people of all ages and of all backgrounds,” he said.

 “Like so many other events last year, the 2020 SkyFest had to be cancelled because of the COVID-19 restrictions, but the lockdown gave us extra time to plan for 2021 and apply for grants. Some of our submissions were remarkably successful, especially our applications to Regional Arts NSW.”

“This means that we’re able to offer events that have never been seen in Condo before. Our SkyFest program now includes specially choreographed ‘sky-dances’, original music compositions, a parade of illuminated sky-lanterns, interactive virtual reality projections, stargazing with professional astronomers, indigenous food, stalls, exhibitions, workshops, guided tours, an unforgettable grand finale, and some surprise guests,” Mr Coe said.

“In other words, something for everyone — because we want the entire Condo community to be part of this celebration.”  

In the months leading up to SkyFest, the Wiradjuri Study Centre will host a series of skill-sharing workshops. On 23 March, for example, lantern artist Phil Relf, from Ikara Celebratory Events in Newtown, will work with Bev Coe and the artisans of the Condo Sista Shed to develop a series of huge sky-lanterns for a spectacular sunset lantern parade. The following day, he will hold a master class at Condobolin Primary School with Condo’s Arts and STE(A)M teachers so they can show their students how to make lanterns and decorate them with sky-themed images, such as stars, planets, spaceships, and constellations for the parade.

“We’d like every student in Condo to make and decorate a lantern,” Mr Coe insisted. “We’ll be awarding really good prizes for the best decorated lanterns and offering the winning lantern-makers a lap of honour after the parade!”

SkyFest will also feature some very special ‘sky-dance’ performances. Wiradjuri choreographer and dance teacher, Jo Clancy, will visit Condo six times between April and September to establish a new female dance troupe and co-create dances with them to tell stories about Wiradjuri people’s relationships with the night sky. The monthly workshops will begin with a fun Tic-Toc party on Monday April 12 at the Wiradjuri Study Centre. Anyone interested in contemporary Aboriginal dancing will be welcome.

The existing male dance group, Galari Bila Waga Dhaanys led by Steve Taylor, will also feature prominently in SkyFest 2021.

The lantern parade and dances will be accompanied by specially composed music, which is expected to include songs in Wiradjuri language by Condo language students, and a percussion ensemble of djembe and other drums. More details of the SkyFest music program will be announced soon.

For more information about Condo SkyFest: miiya warrabinya please contact Kristi at the Wiradjuri Study Centre on 02 6895 4664.

We gratefully acknowledge funding from the Australian Government’s Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Support program, the New South Wales Government, and Arts OutWest.

Advertisement in the Condo Argus, 22 February 2021.

Page created 22 February 2021. Last updated 20 August 2021.