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Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival announces new Festival Director for 2021

Arts Margret River is pleased to announce the appointment of Sian Baker as the new Festival Director for Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival 2021.

Sian will be taking over the reins from outgoing Creative Director, Tanya Perdue, and Festival Events Manager Michelle Wright who has stepped into the role of General Manager for Arts Margaret River.

Sian fell in love with the Margaret River region on her first visit many years ago and is now proud to call the region home. She has worked extensively in the festival space creating, programming and producing highly successful festivals and has run marketing and communications companies in both the UK and Australia. She is passionate about creating events that give audiences positive lasting experiences and that deliver real impact and support for local communities.

“I’m extremely honoured and excited to be offered this opportunity to work on such a fantastic high profile event, building on the amazing work that Tanya and Michelle have done to create a festival that can truly stand shoulder to shoulder with great literary events around the world”.

“In our post COVID-19 world, the opportunities to innovate and evolve the festival and to take our audience on that journey with us, presents an incredible and rewarding challenge for me and I can’t wait to get started.”

Following the cancellation of the 2020 festival due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the festival team have been hard at work creating the program for 2021 which will see a new creative theme and a packed schedule of Australian writers, journalists, poets and thinkers plus special guests musicians, artists and performers. The addition of satellite locations and new ways to attend the festival is also being explored with the aim of opening the festival up to a greater audience outside of Australia.

The Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival will be held from 14 – 16 May 2021 at the Margaret River HEART.

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Arts Margaret River are pleased to announce it has successfully secured funding for the Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival (MRRWF) for the next three years (2021-2023) through the Regional Events Scheme (RES), which is supported by the State Government through Tourism Western Australia and Royalties for Regions.

The news was a welcome relief in what has been a difficult year for Arts Margaret River, after this year’s festival along with all of Arts Margaret River’s events, spanning music, theatre, dance and more, were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Festival Organisers Tanya Perdue and Michelle Wright said they were thrilled the funding had been confirmed through the Regional Events Scheme in what they anticipated would be a tough period ahead for securing grants and sponsorships. “Having confirmation of RES Funding provides us with the basis to continue planning future festivals”, Ms Wright said. “We’re also delighted that the festival’s successes in strengthening the regional economy through visitor spend, adding vibrancy to the community and helping raise the profile of the region has been recognised.”

The festival has previously welcomed some of the country’s most ambitious and successful writers to the stage including Michael Leunig, Anna Funder, Kerry O’Brien, Clementine Ford, Rosie Batty, Jane Caro, Bruce Pascoe, Stephanie Alexander, as well as international writers Germaine Greer, Geraldine Brooks and Michael Palin. While its 2020 event was not to be, the duo confirmed there would plenty to look forward to in 2021 with a Mini Festival slated for January 23, and the full festival scheduled to take place from 14-16 May 2021 with a new and exciting program and range of literary voices.

For further information, please contact Arts Margaret River on 9758 7316 (back in the office from 2 June) or visit the festival website www.mrrwfestival.com.

The State Government is proud to support the Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival as part of its Regional Events Scheme.

The project is also supported by the Australian Governments regional arts program, the Regional Arts Fund, which gives all Australians better access to opportunities to practice and experience the arts. The Regional Arts Fund is administered in Western Australia by Regional Arts WA.

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Image Credit: Michelle Troop

Sian

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Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival (MRRWF) is pleased to announce the Governor of Western Australia, the Honourable Kim Beazley AC as the new patron of the annual literary festival which is set to take place again from 15-17 May next year.

The Honourable Kim Beazley AC succeeds long-time festival patron Barry House AM who was the President of the Legislative Council before retiring in 2017.

The Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival, which in 2020 will celebrate its twelfth year, is Arts Margaret River’s flagship annual literary event which aims to foster a love of literature, spark debate and ignite conversations amongst its audience of locals and guests from WA, interstate and overseas.

MRRWF Creative Director Tanya Perdue says it is an exciting time for the festival as the profile of the event continues to grow. “Barry House has made an outstanding contribution to the festival and has been with us the whole way, as we’ve changed the focus and direction of the event to appeal to a wider audience of arts and culture enthusiasts,” she said.

“The festival is delighted to officially welcome the Honourable Kim Beazley AC as Patron of the event going forward. We look forward to his contribution in this advocacy role, as he helps the festival to attract larger audiences from Perth and beyond, to experience Margaret River as a destination for literature and the arts.”

As an arts and culture advocate, the Governor said he was honoured to be selected as Patron for the festival, an important event that contributes significantly to the arts scene in regional WA.

“Advocating for the State as a rich and vibrant arts, cultural, educational and tourism destination is one of my priorities as Governor.  I am delighted to support the Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival which makes an important contribution in enabling access to literature and the arts in South West WA,” he said.

“The festival has grown from a grass-roots initiative to one which plays an important role in the promotion of new ideas, debate and discussion and the sharing of Western Australian stories within that.  The cultural, economic and social benefits that flow on from the Festival continue to increase”.

This week, the festival has also unveiled its theme for next year’s event which will be Future Tense, showcasing stories which look at both possible and highly imagined futures through a literary lens to explore and share visions for the future from some of Australia’s most renowned writers, speakers and thinkers. The Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival will be held from 15-17 May 2020 at the Margaret River HEART. To find out more visit www.mrrwfestival.com

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Sian

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Comedian, screenwriter & bestselling author Ben Elton, returns with a blistering satire of the world as it crumbles around us. No one is safe as he sends up everything from fake news culture to extreme gender politics, from political sloganism to the power of the hashtag, and everything in between.

DATE: Monday 27 May 2019 at 6.30pm

VENUE: Margaret River HEART, 51 Wallcliffe Road, Margaret River

TICKETS: $15 | Drinks and books available for purchase.
Bar and doors open from 6pm.

Book your tickets online, call (08) 97587316 or visit Arts Margaret River Box Office  at the Community Centre, Tunbridge St, Margaret River.

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