Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill's top picks for Festival 2018
As an event city for the XXI Commonwealth Games, Townsville is going to host some of the most exciting Basketball action of the Games. But outside the Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre, the spirit of the Games will extend into Strand Park, Queens Gardens and Jezzine Barracks for Festival 2018, the arts and cultural program.
We caught up with Mayor of Townsville Jenny Hill to get her thoughts on what the Festival means for the city, its culture and its communities.
What are you most excited to see at Festival 2018 in Townsville?
We have such a fantastic program for Festival 2018 so it’s difficult to narrow it down to just a few, but I am really looking forward to seeing Ian Moss and Peter Helliar. I’m a big fan of both of them. Of course, one of the most iconic aspects of Festival 2018 is going to be Uncontained – a jaw-dropping art installation made up of 30 stacked shipping containers adorned with murals by street artists from all over the world. There’s really going to be nothing else like it.
What kind of impact will Festival 2018 have on Townsville?
Being an event city for the Commonwealth Games is a great opportunity for Townsville to position ourselves as a world-class events destination. Our city will be well and truly on show during the Games, giving us the chance to show all our international visitors what we have to offer. Having athletes, officials, performers and spectators visiting our city during the Games means a significant economic boost to local businesses, especially in the hospitality and retail sectors.
Is it an important event for the city’s arts and culture community?
Festival 2018 is going to be an event on a scale that our city has never seen before. We have so many amazing artists and performers coming from overseas and around Australia, which is very exciting. But what’s even more exciting is that it gives our local arts and culture community the chance to perform on an international stage. We are home to a vibrant and innovative arts scene and this is an excellent opportunity for them to show-off the incredible depth of talent that this region produces.
Why should Townsville residents get involved in the free Festival events?
Townsville is going to come alive with arts and culture during Festival 2018 with up to 12 hours of events every day in three of our most iconic locations – Strand Park, Queens Gardens, and Jezzine Barracks. Our program has such a great mix of acts so there really is something for everyone to enjoy. This festival is all about our community coming together to celebrate and putting on a big party to welcome all our visitors and we want everyone to be involved in that celebration.
What do you think is the most important part of the Commonwealth Games?
The Commonwealth Games are about more than just sport. It’s about people from all over the world coming together in the spirit of friendship and fair play. It’s a huge honour for Townsville to be chosen as an event city and to be part of an international sporting event of this magnitude, and I know that our community is eager to join in the celebrations and share the dream.
What sport are you looking forward to seeing?
Townsville is a basketball loving city, so we’re absolutely thrilled to be hosting the preliminary rounds of the men’s and women’s Basketball. I’m sure there are going to be some nail-biting matches throughout the two weeks, but I’m especially looking forward to cheering on our Australian Opals which features our very own Cayla George from the WNBL premiership-winning Townsville Fire.
Come for the sport and stay for the show. Get involved in the Festival 2018 activities in Townsville. Check out the program now.
Tickets are still on sale for the Basketball Preliminaries at Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre. Snap up your tickets now.