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Thursday, January 20, 2022
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Bellarine Arts Trail Delayed

The Bellarine Art trail (BAT) is a fabulous opportunity for local art lovers and visitors to the region to go on a beautiful coastline adventure. Beginning in 2016, the event had three consecutive years of success, before taking a one year hiatus in 2019 due to Covid.
The 2021 BAT has been postponed, not cancelled, until organisers have more certainty on securing a date.

Once dates are announced, the 2021 BAT will allow participants to follow directions to up to 40 venues across four towns: Barwon Heads, Ocean Grove, Point Lonsdale and Queenscliff. Artists from the whole of the Bellarine are invited to participate in group venues in one of the four towns.

Group venues will again provide an important opportunity for artists to work together. Barwon Heads Art Council (BHAC) organisers will provide some group spaces, but participating artists are welcome and encouraged to find their own venue space (in one of the four towns) and form their own groups.

HISTORY OF THE ART TRAIL
The Barwon Heads Arts Council Inc. was established as a not-for-profit incorporated organisation in 2013 with the following vision:
· To develop a community arts hub for artists and the community to come together:
· To promote creative education through workshops, events and festivals;
· To promote the arts throughout the Bellarine Peninsula.

BHAC immediately began to lobby local government and Council for an Arts and
Community Hub in Barwon Heads, to support the whole of the Bellarine.

The first BAT was in 2016. The event took place over the Melbourne Cup long weekend in Barwon Heads and Ocean Grove. 39 artists participated in 19 venues across the two towns. Artists were drawn from the whole of the Bellarine Peninsula, with group venues in the two participating towns hosting artists from other areas.

Fast forward to 2021-22 and the BAT planning commenced in May, with 62 artists registered across 33 venues in the four towns.

BAT Coordinator and Vice President, Kaz Shirley, said the excitement was high amongst organisers and artists alike, as it will have been three years since the last event.

“However, in August, with the COVID situation worsening, we made the very difficult decision to postpone BAT yet again”, she said.

“We intend to proceed in 2022 with the artists who have registered for this year. The map has been completed, and we’ve also had the opportunity to provide an online interactive map”.

The work to create this has also been completed. In 2022 the BHAC intends to use all of the work already completed to deliver the event as it would have been this year.

“We will wait to see how the COVID situation is before we set a date next year”, Mrs Shirley said.

The event is free for visitors. All information, and maps will be available on their website as planning progresses throughout the year.

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