8 Positive things that happened in Townsville this week
It seems we’ve had a lot of doom and gloom in the North this week. The glass-half-empty types have once again been vocal commentators with deep, well-informed sentiments like ‘Time to move’ and ‘That’s Townsville for ya’ flooding a bevy of negative stories on social media.
But that’s not Townsville for ya, and while the big media outlets are championing stories like Townsville being one of the most unenviable places in the country and a string of absurd “sieges” (we we, we know: if it bleeds – or has even a glimmer of potential to bleed – it leads), we thought it would be nice to reflect on some of the amazing positive achievements happening in our region this week :
1. NAFA was shown to boost Townsville’s economy by $4.1m
The bean-counters have confirmed what many of us have long suspected – the Arts do inject money into the region. An economic analysis of July’s North Australian Festival of the Arts has found that direct and indirect expenditure associated with the event put more than $4 million back into Townsville over the month; and that more than 25% of visitors who attended NAFA came to Townsville for that primary reason. Of course, the benefits of the Arts to our community are more than monetary (and I know preaching to the converted), but it sure bodes well for the future of our vibrant Art-scape.
2. Umbrella Studio contemporary arts is officially moving into its permanent new home
Umbrella Studio was forced out of its previous location after sustaining irreparable water damage in February. However, the Gallery will officially open it’s new home at 408 Flinders Street (next to Mary Who? Bookshop) this Friday, with three brand new exhibitions by Jo Lankester, Lisa Ashcroft and a collective of artists from Palm Island. It’s exciting to see the Gallery in the heart of the CBD and I’m sure even more people will discover it’s wonderful facilities in the brand new space.
3. Matilda Duncan released her new single Paper Blades
Local singer-songwriter Matilda Duncan released her brand new single on all major music platforms. The single was a Finalist in Queensland Music Festival On Song competition earlier this year and is already getting some good traction on community and public radio nationwide.
4. Colie was featured as a Queensland Music Award entrant
Speaking of award-nominated tracks, Colie’s single Sunday News was shown some love by the Queensland Music Awards as a featured entry earlier this week. It’s early days yet, with entries for the 2020 Awards still open, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed for a back-to-back showing by Townsville artists after local hip-hop artist Buttah took at the Best Music Video Award for his track Ghost in the Machine at the 2019 Awards.
5. Astronaut Launch Party snagged the top 3 spots on Triple J Unearthed’s Roots Chart
Townsville musicians can be regularly found at the top of the various Unearthed charts, though possibly none as frequently as these guys. Great to see them back on familiar ground.
6. Scimitar Moon celebrates 15 years
Cara Griffin has taught thousands to belly dance in a decade and a half, and turned out a few who’ve gone on to dance professionally all over the world. Deservedly so, the dance community will celebrate the past, present and future in a special event this Saturday.
7. Theatre iNQ welcomed home three professional actors in Othello
Townsville-grown actors are being seen on stages and screens across the world right now; so it’s great to see three of our professional actors home and starring in Theatre iNQ’s Othello alongside a terrific cast of company actors. There’s a few chances left to catch Alfie Gledhill, Brittany Santariga and James Thomasson in this powerful production before it ends on Sunday.
8. Young performers have been getting their first taste for the stage at the Townsville Eisteddfod
Hundreds of budding performers would have fallen in love with speech, drama, dance and music as they took part in the Eisteddfod over the past fortnight. These children will have picked up valuable skills like self-confidence; emotional intelligence; self-expression; the fruits of hard work; and, for some, the ability to be gracious in defeat. I look forward to seeing many return to the stage again.
Townsville has plenty to be positive about (and this is just our little niche) – let’s spread some good vibes around!