Perth International Arts Festival
13 February-7 March 2015
Lotterywest Festival Films:
from 24 November 2014


28 June 2013


Perth International Arts Festival warmly congratulates David Blenkinsop CBE AM, recipient of the 2013 JC Williamson Award, the foremost honour that the Australian live entertainment industry can bestow.

The Festival gives heartfelt thanks to David for his significant contribution to Australia’s longest running annual multi-arts festival, recognised on the national stage today by Live Performance Australia.

David was the Perth Festival’s third artistic director, taking the reins from John Birman in 1976. In his 23 years of artistic leadership, David transformed the Festival of Perth into an internationally respected annual multi-arts festival, offering some of the world’s best theatre, dance, music, film, visual arts, street art, literature and free community events.

Perth International Arts Festival Chair Margaret Seares AO said: “We cannot underestimate the importance of David Blenkinsop’s contribution to the cultural life of Australia. His energy and vision helped the Perth Festival become one of the world’s great festivals.”

The vast range of his Festival offerings attracted a wide variety of patrons. His programming – sometimes audacious, always artistically relevant – took patrons on an adventure, introducing them to new artistic experiences. The many artists and events he brought to Perth for the first time included the Israel Philharmonic orchestra led by Zubin Mehta, Maly Theatre of St Petersburg, France’s Royal de Luxe and Peter Brook's epic Mahabharata.

David Blenkinsop and pop music icon Kylie Minogue are co-recipients of the 2013 JC Williamson Award.


4 March 2013


As the highly acclaimed 2013 Perth International Arts Festival drew to a close on Saturday, Perth celebrated success in all areas of its biggest ever program.

Perth was the place to be this summer as 750 artists from Australia and the world joined hundreds of Western Australia’s most talented artists in a program that included three world premieres, 31 Australian premieres, 25 Australian exclusives, three commissions, 5 co-commissions and more than 820 events and 250 film screenings.

Over the 23 days of the Festival and with six weeks of the Lotterywest Festival Films still to run, we have exceeded our box office target of $4,800,000 and anticipate a paid audience of about 190,000, with half a million people engaging with the Festival this year.

Artistic Director Jonathan Holloway said he was delighted by the sheer numbers of people who engaged with this Festival.

“More important to us, however, has been the quality of the response to the 2013 program and the journeys people have taken through the Festival,” he said.

“People have responded with standing ovations and incredibly positive feedback to some of the most significant stories of our times.

“They range from world capitalism in The Threepenny Opera and Mission Drift, to the nature of modern Australia and reconciliation in Archie Roach’s Into the Bloodstream and The Secret River, from mapping our place in the world in A History of Everything and Of All the People in All The World: Time Zone GMT +8, to celebrating who we are today in BPM Bombs Per Minute and La Marea.”

For the full story please see the attached release and don’t hesitate to contact:

Rania Ghandour  
+61 8 6488 8618 / 0403 025 535 

Miranda Brown   
+61 3 9419 0931 / 0411 568 781



25 October 2012


Perth International Arts Festival is delighted to announce a new and significant partnership with Chevron Australia Pty Ltd (Chevron).

Perth Festival General Manager Julian Donaldson welcomed the new partnership and Chevron’s generous commitment to the Festival as the new International Excellence Partner.

“Chevron has set a new standard in arts leadership. This partnership will further our Festival’s ambition to deliver a program of international excellence that responds to Perth’s place as an emerging global city,” Mr Donaldson said.

Since 1953, Perth International Arts Festival has been celebrating the power of people, partnerships and performance, delivering a rich variety of the best arts experiences. A program of international excellence was the founding intent of the Festival and this continues to be at the core of its existence today.

As one of the world’s leading integrated energy companies, Chevron has been making history in Australia for 60 years. With a commitment of more than 3,000 people, Chevron supports programs like the Perth Festival which are integral to life in our community.

Chevron Australia Managing Director Roy Krzywosinski said he was delighted to partner with the Festival to help bring audiences an enriching and unique arts experience.  "Like the Festival, Chevron is committed to the long-term growth and prosperity of Western Australia. Together, we can help bring human energy and international creative excellence to the people of Perth,” Mr Krzywosinski said.

Thanks to this exciting new support from Chevron as International Excellence Partner, audiences will see Festival programs with even more life-changing moments than ever before. With Chevron’s support, Perth Festival will bring more of the best the world has to offer with international artists at their peak to our community.

Among the international highlights of the 2013 Perth Festival will be some of the world’s best contemporary culture over 23 nights in the Chevron Festival Gardens.

It is partnerships like this which allow Perth Festival to deliver to WA audiences the most diverse and adventurous Festival to date. Together with Chevron, the Festival is raising the standard and raising the roof. The full program of International Excellence in theatre, circus, dance and music will be announced on 7 November, 2012.

Perth Festival Artistic Director Jonathan Holloway said: “Perth International Arts Festival is now and has always been about international excellence. To have a corporate partner that recognizes this and invests specifically in world-class art is truly inspiring."

“We have longstanding relations with corporate and civic partners who enable us to nurture the roots of the Festival. Now, we have a partner who allows us to reach for the stars.”

For further information, interviews or images please contact:

Rania Ghandour  
+61 8 6488 8618 / 0403 025 535 

Miranda Brown   
+61 3 9419 0931 / 0411 568 781



25 September 2012


Perth International Arts Festival is delighted to announce at last night’s Helpmann Awards in Sydney we won a Helpmann for Best Special Event for Lotterywest Festival Celebration: Place des Anges.

Lotterywest Festival Celebration: Place des Anges, performed by French troupe Les Studios de Cirque, and affectionately know as “the feathers” was recognised by the Helpmann judges as an event which brought impressive numbers to the city of Perth on the opening weekend of the 2012 Perth Festival, the first of four under Artistic Director Jonathan Holloway.

In addition to Perth Festival’s Helpmann, a further two winners were featured in the 2012 Perth Festival program.

Orla Boylan won Best Female Performer in a Supporting Role in an Opera for Elektra, a co-production of West Australian Opera, ThinIce, Perth International Arts Festival and Opera Australia.

Musica Viva Australia’s Tafelmusik The Galileo Project: Music of Spheres picked up the award for Best Chamber and Instrumental Ensemble Concert.

Perth Festival Artistic Director Jonathan Holloway warmly congratulates all the winners and nominees in all categories.

“In reality, the response of the Perth audience on the night and the reaction we have had to Place des Anges since was reward enough, but it’s thrilling to have won a Helpmann Award for Perth,” Jonathan said.

 “As we finish plans for 2013 ahead of our launch on 7 November, last night was a great lift at the right moment for everyone involved.”

For further information, interviews or images please contact:

Rania Ghandour  
+61 8 6488 8618 / 0403 025 535 

Miranda Brown   
+61 3 9419 0931 / 0411 568 781


Perth Festival is delighted to announce the winner of the inaugural BHP Billiton Audience Award is The First Grader.

Affectionately known as the “Golden Deckchair,” the audience award saw more than 8000 people join in the Festival conversation by voting for their favourite film from the 26 Lotterywest Festival Films which screened in the 20-week season. Votes were taken in person at the venue or online afterwards.

Perth Festival Film Program Manager Madeline Bates said: “This award is an important opportunity for filmmakers and audiences to connect through a shared love of cinema, and I'm delighted that the first year of the award has been such a success.”
“After winning multiple audience awards from around the world, we're delighted that The First Grader has caught the imagination of Perth audiences as well.”

The First Grader director Justin Chadwick said winning the award meant a lot to him.
“We made the film with a very small crew in a remote village with children that had never seen a TV or a film with a crew mainly made up of Kenyans,” he said.
“To have the film acknowledged by audiences at your film festival gives me great hope for films from all over the world at a time when the multiplexes are so saturated with such a narrow range of films.
“Film festivals are so important for film makers to tell their stories. Thank you so much for acknowledging us. I hope I am able to return with my next film!”

The First Grader is an inspiring and heart-warming film which had won seven audience awards at festivals around the world before it took out the 2012 Golden Deckchair. It is the true story of 84-year-old liberation fighter Maruge who, when the Kenyan Government offers free universal education, arrives at a primary school eager to learn.

Chadwick will receive the award by post as he is currently in South Africa filming his next feature Long Walk to Freedom, the official Mandela movie which he said came about because of The First Grader.


A nationally respected leader in the Australian arts sector – Emeritus Professor Margaret Seares – has been appointed Chair of The University of Western Australia’s Perth International Arts Festival.

The announcement by UWA Chancellor Dr Michael Chaney and Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Johnson follows the retirement of Mr Michael Smith after eight years as Festival Chair.

Dr Chaney said the University’s governing body, Senate, acknowledged Emeritus Professor Seares’ long and distinguished career in the arts.

“Emeritus Professor Seares is extremely well placed to lead the Board to ensure that this fantastic community festival – founded by UWA more than half a century ago – remains one of the most significant annual events on Australian and international arts calendars,” Dr Chaney said.

“In her previous role at UWA as Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Emeritus Professor Seares was unstinting in her advocacy and support for the Festival, serving on its Board since 2009,” he said.

Emeritus Professor Seares has held positions as Chair of the Australia Council for four years and Chief Executive of the Western Australian Department for the Arts (now the Department of Culture and the Arts).  She has been a member of a wide range of boards and councils in the government, not-for-profit and arts sectors.  In 2003, Professor Seares was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in recognition of her work for the arts and education.

Michael Smith joined the Festival Board in June 2002 and was appointed Chair in August 2004.  In that time, the Festival’s reach has increased from audiences of 120,000 to more than 200,000 annually.

Paying tribute to Mr Smith, Professor Johnson said these impressive results revealed a deepening connection between the Western Australian community and the Perth International Arts Festival.

“Michael Smith has been a passionate advocate for the transformative power of the arts and the positive contribution they make to Western Australia’s sense of identity and the liveability of our community,” Professor Johnson said.