Local News

Festival of Small Halls

Festival of Small Halls inspires strength in bushfire-affected communities

Clarence Valley Council’s Resilient Clarence project proudly sponsored the Festival of Small Halls at the Wooloweyah Hall on the 26 May and the Dundurrabin Community Centre on the 27 May as part of the Woodfordia Inc Resilience Tour 2022.
Using storytelling and music to connect people, the Resilience Tour is travelling to small halls in bushfire-impacted communities.
Due to pandemic-related restrictions, many communities did not have a chance to get together in the two years after the fires.
The resilience-themed festival offered up a night of entertainment with local contributions and contemporary folk music by emotive troubadour Melanie Horsnell and the celebrated songwriters Sara and Ash.

Clarence Valley Council Mayor, Dr Ian Tiley, said coming together with friends and neighbours is at the heart of what connects communities.
“The Festival of Small Halls celebrates this and helps cement the relationships that build resilient communities,” Dr Ian Tiley said.

By sponsoring the festival with a storytelling grant from Resilience NSW, the Resilient Clarence project fulfilled a wish of two wonderful community champions, Dom Ferry from the Wooloweyah Hall and Shakti Mudra of Blicks Inc in Dundurrabin.
Shakti Mudra said the Festival of Small Halls was a welcome opportunity for our community.
“This was the first time since well before the 2019 fires that our community has been able to come together to eat good food and enjoy wonderful music in a social setting,” Shakti said.
Proceeds of the ticket sales went to the respective community organisations and the Wooloweyah RFS, further supporting the recovery of these small communities.
Eleanor Rigden, Producer of the Festival of Small Halls, said the festival celebrates the best in communities, the courage, the hospitality, the sense of kinship and looking out for your mates.
“We’re so privileged to be welcomed in by each community and shown the best of their town. What’s created by putting world class artists into these traditional, familiar venues is something quite unique, incredibly moving and almost spiritual to witness,” Ms Rigden said.