Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development, Peter Ryan today enjoyed a preview of the exciting weekend arts and cultural program that will be showcased at the inaugural Regional Victoria Living Expo in Melbourne from 27 to 29 April.
During a visit to the Queen Victoria Markets, Mr Ryan and shoppers were treated to performances from Gippsland-based African Dance Theatre company Asanti and the antics of colourful stilt-walking duo Ned and Nellie Narcissus from Castlemaine.
“The richness and diversity of regional arts and culture is one of the most wonderful attributes of life in country Victoria and over the next week we will be taking every opportunity to showcase the best of life outside the big city,” Mr Ryan said.
“Victoria’s regional and rural towns and communities are known for celebrating local festivals, events, cultural performances and markets. These unique opportunities are at the heart and soul of regional communities throughout Victoria.”
Mr Ryan said the inaugural expo would feature an exciting line-up of performances by arts, cultural, music and dance groups from across regional Victoria.
“The expo’s arts and cultural program is designed to be a treat for adults and children alike,” Mr Ryan said.
“Popular band Evermore will perform some of its hit-songs amongst a program that also features puppeteers, circus performers, instrumentalists and dreamtime stories.”
Mr Ryan said an inter-active seminar series would also be a feature of the expo program.
“One of the best ways to get a sense of what regional and rural life is like is to hear about it from the people who live there,” Mr Ryan said.
“The expo’s seminar program will give you the chance to meet and hear from experts and talk to them about their experiences of moving to and working in regional Victoria.
“People will also get a ‘first hand’ look at life in the country with daily screenings of short films and documentaries in the ACMI Theatrette on real stories from regional and rural Victoria.”
Mr Ryan said the Regional Victoria Living Expo would be a crucial part of the Coalition’s campaign to promote life in regional and rural areas.
“The overall aim of the expo is to entice Melburnians to move to the country by showcasing the best our regions have to offer,” Mr Ryan said.
“The Regional Victoria Living Expo will present information on everything including careers and education, housing, business and lifestyle opportunities.
“The best of regional and rural Victoria will be on show under the one roof, with each of Victoria’s 48 regional councils on hand to share advice, resources and answer your questions.”
Mr Ryan said $3 million would be spent over four years to deliver this important event in Melbourne.
“Many Melburnians have considered a move to regional Victoria for family or business reasons and this may be the very boost they need to make the change.
“All Victorians who visit the expo will see that Victoria’s regional and rural areas provide numerous advantages in terms of liveability, jobs, education and business viability.”
The Regional Victoria Living Expo is a free event that will be held at the Melbourne Exhibition and Conference Centre from 27 – 29 April. To find out more visit: www.rdv.vic.gov.au/expo.
Media contact: Clare Siddins 0429 507 541