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Stretching out Summerfest Series makes a good thing better

Culture

Southside Brisbane’s annual celebration of community and multiculturalism, Summerfest, kicked off on the weekend, with another two weeks of free entertainment scheduled to take place at Sunnybank Performing Arts Centre.

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SunPAC general manager Stefan Greder said this year’s Summerfest had changed, with a range of events to be held over several days instead of the one-day format of previous years.

“We’re calling it The Summerfest Series and we’ve brought that forward by about a month,” Greder told InQueensland.

“It’s an opportunity for a bunch of community organisations, representing the Chinese, Indian, Polynesian and Taiwanese communities, and of course the wider southside community, to celebrate culture and traditions and share it.”

Greder said SunPAC played a vital role in providing a quality performing arts and cultural centre service to the community on Brisbane’s southside.

“We’re an independent, for-profit business but we also receive funding support from Brisbane City Council and that comes with a requirement to be a community arts centre that’s here for the community to use,” he said.

“We have a fairly high-end 300-seat theatre with good production, good lighting, good sound and our job is to present a program for the public and to work closely with local community groups to put a range of events on, from concerts to National Day celebrations and citizenship ceremonies and end-of-year celebrations.”

The Summerfest Series kicked off last weekend with events including Taiwanese Spotlight and performances by the Queensland Chinese Artist Group and the Queensland Symphony Orchestra Ensemble.

The series will continue this weekend with a showcase of Tahitian, Cook Islander and Hawaiian music, song and dance by the Heilani Polynesian School of Arts and a Christmas concert by students from Harmonie Music Centre on Sunday afternoon.

Performers from the Heilani Polynesian School of Arts.

Next Saturday there will be a range of events, including a Red Nose Clowning Workshop by Clint Bolster and a comedic and theatrical showcase of acrobatics and slapstick comedy from The Sault Poets and Homunculus Theatre.

There will also be a concert by Brisbane Ukulele Musicians, and the series will wrap up with a recital featuring classical dance from southern India, performed by LalithaKalalaya School of Bharatanatyam.

Members of the Brisbane Ukulele Musicians (BUMS) collective, who will be performing a concert at SunPAC on December 5.

“One of the things that is quite interesting about a suburban venue like this is that there is a will and a keen interest for people to get together with friends and the community,” Greder said.

“There may be a stronger sense of security that comes with hanging in your own hood then there is with going into town and mixing it with everybody from right across the city.

Greder encouraged anyone from the Greater Brisbane area interested in learning more about some of the multicultural communities that call the city home to book tickets online and “make a day out of it – come to show and have some lunch in the area”.

“We’re only about half an hour out of the centre of the city centre – learn about your city and learn about your suburbs. There are a few things that are really special and unique about Sunnybank and it’s to be celebrated and experienced, it’s close by and it’s a free program. “

For more information, visit the Sunnybank Performing Arts Centre website.

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