CITY of Ballarat Mayor Cr. Samantha McIntosh unveiled the famed annual badge to officially launch the 126th Royal South Street Eisteddfod on Tuesday night.
The launch took place at South Streets spiritual home, Her Majesty’s Theatre, and brought together the competitions donors, sponsors, volunteers and stakeholders to celebrate another year of the iconic event. Season 2017 has attracted over 7200 entries which will bring over 11,000 competitors to South Streets 7 stages across 100 days of competition.
Commbank Calisthenics and Energetiks Dance have over 2300 entries each with Speech and Drama and Contemporary Vocal confirming 649 and 513 soloists each.
Royal South Street CEO Brett Macdonald is particularly upbeat about The Arts for All.
“South Streets newest section The RACV Goldfields Resort – The Arts for All (for people with a disability) has 51 entrants across dance, vocal, instrumental and acting categories, which is an amazing response for year one. We are really looking forward to 2 great days of competition in November,” said Mr. Macdonald.
Royal South Street Society is Australia’s foremost Eisteddfod, promoting, fostering and encouraging participation and interest in the performing arts. The birth of Royal South Street was in 1879 as the Young Men’s General Debating Society, since those early years it has grown to become one of the largest and the longest running performing arts eisteddfod in Australia. The inaugural Grand Annual Eisteddfod of Australasia was held in 1891 in Ballarat, attracting some 260 entrants who performed across 10 days of competition.
The 2017 competitions have come a long way from those humble beginnings with the timetable including musical, vocal and dance categories. The competitions will begin in earnest on Monday July 31 with the ACU Debating Challenge Cup.
The launch also featured entertainment from a Ballarat Grammar trio and special guest, The Arts for All Adjudicator Thomas Banks.
Thomas himself has mild cerebral palsy but lives a busy life performing, consulting and running his own disability awareness business.