Condobolin’s third SkyFest: Miima Warrabinya will be held at the Wiradjuri Study Centre on the 3-
5 September. Supported by Arts Restart, CASP and IVAIS.
“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,” Mr Ally Coe, Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation’s CEO, announced this week.
“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.
Funding: This project is supported by various funding sources including the Australian Government’s IVAIS (via Arts OutWest), the NSW Government’s Country Arts Support Program, and the NSW Government’s Arts Restart (via Arts OutWest).
For more information about Condo SkyFest: miiya warrabinya
please contact Kristie at the Wiradjuri Study Centre on 6895 4664
IMAGE: Ally Coe pointing at the stars as painted by Darren Cooper in his mural in the Wiradjuri Study
Centre’s art room. Photo by Merrill Findlay.