Mid North Coast Creative Ageing Festival | photos, videos

Cr Susan Jenvey (centre) at the launch of the Mid North Coast Creative Ageing Festival at Nambucca Heads
Cr Susan Jenvey (centre) at the launch of the Mid North Coast Creative Ageing Festival at Nambucca Heads

THE SANDS of time can weary knees and hips, dim eyesight, dull hearing – but creativity often burns as bright as it did in youth, according to Nambucca mayor Rhonda Hoban who officially launched a new arts festival for the Mid North Coast this morning.

The Creative Ageing Festival is a celebration of the abilities of seniors and features a jam-packed program of events from Forster to Woolgoolga – and it kicked off in Nambucca Heads with an exhibition of artworks painted by residents of Riverside Gardens aged care facility.

Cr Susan Jenvey at the presentation:

Cr Hoban marvelled that while age can bring physical challenges – “people don’t seem to lose their creativity. I know some aged in their 90s who still have an ear for music, and can spot a mistake in a piece where many would not”.

Celia Ramsay, president of the Nambucca Valley Arts Council, said half a dozen Riverside Gardens artists had contributed some 30 pieces to the exhibition, which will stand at the Ridge St gallery for the month of March.

Virginia Whitehead works weekly with the older artists, but sees her role almost as much as a student as it is as an arts teacher.

Arts teacher Virginia Whitehead:

“I am there to help them, but they actually inspire me,” Virginia said.

Most of the paintings are for sale, and one had already been snapped up before the official launch at The Stringer Gallery, “but not all are for sale as some didn’t want to part with them”, she said.

Celia said creating art was a road for seniors to stay engaged – and be connected with the wider community.

Nambucca Valley Arts Council president Celia Ramsay:

Nambucca Shire councillor Susan Jenvey said there was an aspiration to make the Creative Ageing Festival an annual event, while a dedicated website was live to provide year-round news of events on the Mid North Coast.

Cr Jenvey said the Mid North Coast was “leading the way" – as the ageing population here would be the story for the rest of Australia in 10 years’ time.

Other festival events include:

Glass from the Past and A Showcase History of the Camera. 

March 1 @ 10am-April 2 @ 4pm. Nulla Nulla Gallery Slim Dusty Centre, 490 Macleay Valley Way, South Kempsey, The exhibition includes Angus McNeil’s photographs documenting people and places from the Macleay. The images were recorded by McNeil on large format glass plates and the resulting prints are of superb quality. 

Theatres of War. Wartime Entertainment & the Australian Experience

March 1 @ 10am-April 28 @ 5pm. The Glasshouse, 32/40 Clarence St, Port Macquarie. This exhibition highlights the crucial role played by music and theatre in the lives of Australians from the First World War to Afghanistan. Drawn primarily from Arts Centre Melbourne’s Performing Arts Collection, the exhibition includes photographs, scrapbooks, letters, posters and audio-visual material that are used to tell stories ranging from concert party performers on the Western Front, female impersonators and opera singers in the jungles of New Guinea, to pop stars taking music from home to Vietnam.

Self Portraits & Digital Plein Air – Heritage specific landscapes

March 2 @ 10am-March 12 @ 5pm. The Glasshouse, 32/40 Clarence St, Port Macquarie. This exhibition will showcase digital art done by Seniors on their iPads through a series of workshops held in February when they will visit historic sites and create artworks to interpret the heritage specific landscapes. 

The Tangled Forest

March 2 @ 10am-March 26 @ 4pm. Gloucester Gallery, Denison St, Gloucester. This exhibition features the paintings of local artist John Andrews who brings over 40 years’ experience to his landscape paintings. The works are much inspired by the landscape of the valleys of Waukivory, near to Gloucester.

Opera by the Lake

March 4 @ 1.30pm-6pm. John Wright Park, Manning St, Tuncurry. Opera by the Lake is on again in 2017 presenting performances by Voci Stupende and string musicians Australia, beside the beautiful Wallis Lake on the open air stage in John Wright Park Tuncurry. 

Rocking’ by the Beach

March 4 @ 7.30pm. Club Forster, 19 Strand St, Forster. Not since 2003 has Club Forster hosted a purely 50′s & 60′s dance event! Dance all night from 7.30pm until approximately 11pm to the sounds of Sydney’s hottest ’50s & ’60s dance band – MATCHBOX. 

Memories and Museum Meander Guided Tour

March 5 @ 1pm-3pm. Great Lakes Museum, 1 Capel St, Tuncurry. Come along and explore the past. Museum entry $5 but with free guided tour and light refreshments for seniors.  

Explore our Natural Heritage. Free entry

March 6 @ 9am-March 10 @ 4.30pm. Sea Acres Rainforest Visitor Centre & Rainforest Cafe, 159 Pacific Dr, Port Macquarie. Sea Acres National Park protects one of the largest remaining coastal rainforests on the Australian east coast, meaning that the rainforest runs all the way to the beach. The rainforest is best explored along the boardwalk which is an easy stroll and accessible friendly. Seniors will receive free entry to the Rainforest Boardwalk on presentation of their Seniors Card at the Sea Acres desk. 

Port Macquarie Seniors Expo

March 6 @ 9am-2pm. Port Macquarie Panthers, Settlement City. The aim of the Seniors Expo is to provide a hub for seniors to access information about health, wealth, travel, education and social and cultural activities plus provide newly arrived and newly retired residents an opportunity to join a seniors group and be linked in to the community. 

Happy Hatters Teacup Party

March 7 @ 10am-March 10 @ 12pm. Port Macquarie Museum, 22 Clarence St, Port Macquarie.Take advantage of free museum entry and join our drop-in creative workshops to design a hat or decorate a teacup for a temporary community art installation. All materials and guidance provided. The installation will be launched at a special morning tea on Friday March 10.