Australian Festival of Chamber Music 25th Anniversary VIP Reception
Thank you, Sandra, for you introduction. I too acknowledge Scott Stewart MP representing the Premier, our Mayor Jenny Hill, all other distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
It is a great pleasure for me and Kaye to join you on our fourth visit to Townsville and our second to the Australian Festival of Chamber Music since I was sworn in as Governor last year.
This year’s Festival is, of course, the twenty-fifth, a significant anniversary which we celebrated at a reception we hosted at Government House March this year.
And there is so much to celebrate and be grateful for.
We thank every individual who has contributed to the Festival by serving on its board and executive or among the Festival’s marvellous staff and volunteers. Many are here this evening, including the indefatigable Piers Lane.
On your behalf, I express my gratitude to all levels of government and to private sector supporters whose help makes the Festival possible.
We also thank the thousands who have flocked to Townsville over the years to experience the incomparable delights of the Festival.
We remember outstanding performances by scores of musicians whose skill and artistry have helped fill Townsville for a quarter of a century with music that soothes, delights, thrills and challenges.
We acknowledge Festival initiatives including the Winterschool program, which have encouraged new generations to engage with the Festival and the joys of chamber music.
This year’s program is another exciting exploration of the broad church that is chamber music, boosted by special events and very special guests to help celebrate this important anniversary.
The program makes a point of engaging the local community in that celebration.
The AFCM is, unequivocally, one of the events of the Australian music calendar, attracting music-lovers to the warm weather, warm welcomes, and wonderful – I’m afraid I’ve run out of “w”s – wonderful music-making in Townsville.
Kaye, and I as proud Patron, wish the 2015 Festival every success.
We wish also to acknowledge publicly Sue Hackett for her resplendent carriage of this Festival over the past five years. We wish you well into the future.
And we look forward to a long and triumphant future for this jewel in the arts calendar of this State and this country. Thank you.