Coming up: Eco-fiesta!

Eco Fiesta is a free annual community event that focuses on sustainability and the environment. It includes live entertainment (which this year will feature EMDEE, a high energy didgeridoo meets drum and bass outfit) and workshops filled with ideas to assist the community in becoming more environmentally conscious and sustainable. Many community groups have stalls and displays, and so do many local businesses with a stake in sustainable living – solar power, home insulation, electric vehicles and so on. My report from last year’s festival will give you a pretty good idea of what’s on offer, but do please note that (sadly) the event has shrunk from two days to one. Here are the details:

  • Where: Queen’s Gardens, Gregory Street, North Ward
  • When: Sunday 1 June, 9am – 4pm
  • Cost: Free
  • Presented by: Townsville City Council

More information:

Festival season in Townsville

Winter in Townsville is the season of festivals and outdoor events, since the weather is (pretty reliably) clear and sunny.

In the next few weeks there are at least three festivals which will attract a particular demographic, one which I must be part of since it is one I have identified from the inside. It can be characterised as arty-greenie-leftie-alternative and its members turn up in various combinations at Landcare working bees, as Reef HQ Aquarium volunteers, as members or audience members of Aquapella (listen to them on YouTube), at the photography club or pottery classes, at yoga and tai chi open days, at the book club, handing out how-to-vote cards for the Greens, chatting with wine-glass in hand at gallery openings, and so on. It’s a big enough demographic that they/we don’t really know each other but small enough that they/we often recognise one another by sight. I am confident that these three events will to be of interest to them/us.

EcoFiesta, 2 & 3 June 2012, 11am – 4pm

This free community event in Queens Gardens, North Ward, includes the Townsville Environmental Awards, a Welcoming Babies Ceremony, live entertainment and environmentally sustainable workshops filled with ideas to assist the community in becoming more environmentally conscious and sustainable. The event itself is carbon neutral. As I said a while ago, EcoFiesta was hippie-alternative in its first years but has drifted slightly towards commercialisation even as the mainstream has begun to embrace the whole greenie thing, and the festival is now almost mainstream.

Performers on the One Degree stage include Tim Griffin, Laughin Gear, Ranger Dan, Carinda Christie, Lonesome Trio and the headline artists for this exciting event are FourPlay and The Rosie Burgess Trio. Website

Townsville Literary Festival, 4 – 10 June

Workshops for teachers and writers, with local and out-of-town presenters, and other events for the broader public. Programme (pdf)

Palm Creek Folk Festival, 8 – 11 June

The Palm Creek Folk Festival is an annual event, held in June each year in the grounds of the Mountain View Lake Eco Park, 40km south of Townsville. The event takes place over four days and three nights, involving more than 100 performers and events with music concerts, dances, workshops, acoustic jams, youth festival, art and craft workshops, and special events. The Festival features the cream of local performers and selected national special guests. Website

All these events and many more were listed in the Townsville Arts e-bulletin, a free monthly listing sponsored by the city council and compiled by Sandra James and Teneale Grigg of the Community Information Centre Townsville, Inc. Visit their site to sign up for the newsletter if you want to be kept informed.

Eco-artistic Exhibitions and Events – Townsville

The Butterfly Man of Kuranda 

This stunning visual exhibition displays the wonderful array of Queensland’s beautiful butterflies, beetles and moths, collected by FP and AP Dodd around North Queensland from 1917 to the 1960s. Museum of Tropical Queensland, Feb 27 to April 29, 9.30am – 5pm

I have known about this for a few weeks but didn’t find time to visit it until Monday. It was well worth the (admittedly small) effort. FP Dodd was one of the first collectors in North Qld (Townsville to Cairns), collecting from about 1880 onwards. Around 1920 he put together a touring exhibition and that is what we see here – hundreds of moths, butterflies and beetles displayed in the style of the time. No-one today would spell out an inspirational verse in tiny moths as he did, but his moon moths are unusual and very beautiful and his Hercules moths, the world’s largest, are spectacular.

The Coral Triangle

An exhibition by Jürgen Freund who is a wildlife photojournalist based in Cairns and who works with his wife Stella. In May 2009, the duo set out on an 18-month photographic expedition for World Wildlife Fund (WWF) across the Coral Triangle, visiting bustling centres of marine product trade as well as some of the most remote and breathtaking habitats on earth. School of Creative Arts JCU (SoCA) e-Merge Media Space, April 10 to May 4, 8.30am – 4pm Mon – Fri

I haven’t seen this yet, not being a highly accomplished time traveller, but have good intentions and will comment on it in due course.

Cairns 2012 Winter School – Nature Photography in the Tropics 

Experience the spectacular environment of tropical Queensland during this intensive masterclass run by James Cook University, Cairns. Led by award-winning nature photographer Jürgen Freund [see above], this is an opportunity for photographers to immerse themselves in the Atherton Tablelands, visiting majestic crater lakes and ancient rainforests during the field trip; to encounter the flora and fauna unique to the tropics: to expand their photography folios with dramatic images; to develop technical skills, learn about the legal, ethical and environmental issues associated with nature photography, and gain a certificate of credit which can be used towards a degree. Places are limited.
June 29 – July 6. Applications close May 4th.
For information: 4781 3166

That’s their promotional text and it looks good, but when I asked for a cost they couldn’t give me one. More information to come, one would hope!

(Update, 1.4.12: A glossy pdf (huh?) arrived in my inbox and gave me that figure: over $3000 for the week. For that price I could immerse myself in the  exotic life of Thailand and Laos for a fortnight, inclusive of airfares … not much contest, is there, for someone who can drive up to Atherton any long weekend. I suspect most of the customers will be southerners.)

Eco Fiesta and Smart Lifestyle Expo 

June 2 & 3. For information: 1300 878 001 Townsville City Council

Eco Fiesta, a celebration of sustainability, was hippie-alternative in its first years but it has drifted slightly towards commercialisation even as the mainstream has begun to embrace the whole greenie thing, and the festival is now almost mainstream. Music and kids’ activities complement displays and trade stands for community environmental groups, natural therapies, solar power and more. A great family day – mark it on your calendar.