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Festival to bring the Commonwealth to the people during CHOGM

07 Sep 2011
Commonwealth Festival logo

Culture and the Arts Minister John Day today launched the program of outdoor concerts, world-class exhibitions, art, films, street theatre, and more than 70 free activities that will transform the city as part of the Commonwealth Festival Perth.

Mr Day said the eight-day festival - to be held alongside the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in October - would put Western Australian talent on display as well as celebrate the people and cultures of the Commonwealth.

“The Perth Cultural Centre and surrounding venues will be transformed into a hive of free events and activities for West Australians and visitors to enjoy during CHOGM,” he said.

“Artists and performers from Australia and 16 Commonwealth countries such as India, South Africa, Barbados, Singapore, New Zealand and the United Kingdom will help the Perth Cultural Centre become the People’s Space.

"The People’s Space will be a central location where the Perth community and visitors can experience live music, markets, multicultural food, displays by Commonwealth organisations, outstanding exhibitions, street theatre, kids’ activities, a Speakers’ Corner, and films.”

The Minister said the festival was funded by the State Government through the Department of Culture and the Arts and Lotterywest.

“Beginning on Sunday October 23 with a free concert and fireworks in the Supreme Court Gardens, the festival will feature theatre group Strange Fruit, international drumming star Zakir Hussain with his Masters of Percussion performance, and more than 240 percussionists from Perth,” he said.

“Stories from the Commonwealth will screen on the new Perth Cultural Centre LED screen and in the State Library of WA Theatre during the free Films of the Commonwealth program.”

The festival concludes on Sunday October 30 with a free concert and fireworks with entertainment provided by Melbourne-based Hindi group Bombay Royale; Australia’s Dan Sultan and his band; Scotland’s renowned Celtic performers Capercaillie; and the South African double platinum, Afro-pop star Ringo Madlingozi.

Other highlights of the festival program include:

The festival runs from October 23-30 and the full program can be seen at

CHOGM 2011, to be held in Perth from October 28-30, will bring together more than 50 world leaders representing about one-quarter of the world's countries and one-third of the world's population.