Royal South Street opens entries for the 124th year since first competitions. AUSTRALIA’S foremost and longest running Eisteddfod, Royal South Street in Ballarat, has officially opened entries for the 2015 competition.
Based on previous years around 10,000 competitors are expected to grace the stage of Her Majesty’s Theatre as well as other smaller venues.
New in 2015 is a Hip Hop section in the Energetiks Dance Competition, the John Shaw Neilson poem prize in W&D Finance Speech & Drama and
University Debating challenge. This year will also see the 10th anniversary of Chopin at the Gallery with pianists competing for thousands of NEW smoking bans will commence in three weeks’ time. The bans have been brought forward by the Andrews Labor Government to protect more Victorians from secondhand smoke.
Minister for Families and Children, Jenny Mikakos, and local MP Sharon Knight visited the Girrabanya Centre for Children and Families in North Ballarat on Tuesday and distribdollars in prize money.
Royal South Street Society Chairman Ron Harrington said there’s a great deal of excitement surrounding the competition this year. “South Street is about fostering the performing arts and bringing people to Ballarat. It’s terrific that for an organisation that has been around since 1879 it can continue to flourish” Mr Harrington said.
The entry process has been streamlined this year through the new online entry system “Stardom”. Access to Stardom is via the all new Royal South Street website.
The responsive site went live last week and has received great feedback. It was built locally in Ballarat by Small Dog Design. South Street is a strong believer in keeping business local and supporting those who support the society.
Her Majesty’s Theatre, where most of the competition takes place, was once owned by the Royal South Street Society.
“The theatre needed a lot of repairs and it just wasn’t sustainable for Royal South Street to do it,” Mr Harrington said.
“The state government was prepared to offer money to do it but it couldn’t be given to us while we held the title so we handed the title over to the City (people) of Ballarat.”
While the Liberal
Government was in power in Victoria, $3 million was promised to update Her Majesty’s.
This has now fallen by the wayside but the board of the theatre has plans to raise the money so that the restoration project can be carried out.
Royal South Street is basically run by volunteers, beginning with the board members.
“We have nine on the committee, all voluntary, but we do have four paid staff because it is a big organisation to run and volunteers just don’t have the time,” Mr Harrington said. “We do have around 200 volunteers who d give us their time for when we are operating in the venues and running the competition themselves.”
With theatre costs during competitions in the vicinity of $1,100 per day, the Society relies on the public to come see the competitions, and also on sponsorships. Debating will kick off the program and that is held in the Town Hall in council chambers.