Brisbane Festival End of Year Toast
Minister Enoch; Brisbane Festival Chair, Alison Smith and members of the Board; Chief Executive Officer, Charlie Cush; Artistic Director, Louise Bezzina; all staff and supporters of the Brisbane Festival.
Good evening to you all.
I too acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera peoples, and extend respectful greetings to Elders, past, present and emerging.
Graeme and I are very grateful to Alison for the invitation to join you tonight.
One of the great joys of being Governor is having the opportunity to acknowledge and support people who are passionate about improving the wellbeing of Queenslanders.
The people in this room tonight epitomise this approach.
The Brisbane Festival we tonight toast has come a long way since the street parades and eisteddfod’s which defined the Warana Festivals of the 1960s – although Graeme tells me they were very enjoyable events!
Like our capital City itself, the Brisbane Festival has evolved and transformed over the past five decades and now unabashedly harbours bold and global ambitions.
But while the Festival continues to attract world-class acts and performances, it has never lost sight of its important role in nurturing and fostering home-grown talent and connecting Brisbanites to new and emerging local artists.
The Festival has also excelled in that other important area, of deepening our understanding and appreciation of Indigenous knowledge and culture – and for these important commitments, I thank Festival organisers very much.
I know the last two years has been especially difficult for the arts sector, particularly for artists, event organisers and arts administrators.
But Queenslanders have been deeply grateful for the innovative ways and means by which you have met and overcome these challenges.
I know the Brisbane Festival and all its supporters demonstrated tremendous creativity, ingenuity and resilience, not to mention financial stamina, to ensure the last two events were so successful.
I thank and applaud everyone involved with the Brisbane Festival.
It is my sincere hope that I will soon be able to announce vice-regal Patronage of this brilliant Brisbane institution, which has made such an important contribution to the cultural life of our capital and our State. Thank you, and enjoy the evening.