Dear Port Fairy Folk Festival Friend,
This year our opening ceremony theme is Mirteetch – Stories from the sea, where we will bring together stories of the sea from indigenous and settler cultures. Once again we will will be working with indigenous and local musicians and performers to collaborate with community groups and schools to compose new music and songs which will feature at the opening ceremony. Mirteetch brings to the fore the shared cultural respect and reliance on the sea of indigenous and settler communities who live along the extraordinary coast line of South West Victoria.
This project highlights the rich history and culture of the Peek Whurrong people, the traditional owners of the land where the Port Fairy Folk Festival is presented and the shared and universal experience of the many cultural communities who have gathered in the region as settlers.
The opening ceremony will be the culmination of a series of community and schools based workshops which are about to commence and will be a true celebration of our community.
Lanterns created in school workshops will bring to life the Inhabitants of Mirteetch. The lanterns will be made from found objects from the sea and recycled materials that will be repurposed to create jellyfish, stingrays, weedy sea dragons and many more creatures from the kelp forests of the Southern Ocean. The lanterns will be included in at the Festival at the Opening Ceremony and in the Lantern Parade from the Flag Circle to Fiddlers’ Green on Sunday evening. Audience members are invited to participate in the Lantern Parade and attend lantern making workshops throughout the festival.
For tens of thousands of years, the Pyipgil Gunditj clan has gathered in ceremony on this country. For the past 42 years the Port Fairy Folk Festival has been celebrated each year in the lands of the Pyipgil Gunditj clans, in Peek Whurrong country.
The Port Fairy Folk Festival pays their respects to elders past, present and emerging and acknowledge that the land we gather on each year for the Festival is the traditional lands of the Peek Whurrong people.