Winners of the 2018 Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards are announced

Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards

One of the richest and most coveted awards in the performing arts in Australia, the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards winners have been announced and the results are tremendous.

The winners of the prestigious Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards were announced by Ian Scobie AM, Director, Art Projects Australia at the Adelaide Festival on 4 March, and are:

Bleach Festival (Qld) – Group Award

Genevieve Lacy (Melb) – Individual Award

Annette Downs (Tas), Facilitator’s Prize.

What the prizes are about

Group Award ($90,000) – Bleach Festival, Gold Coast

Bleach Festival has transformed the arts on the Gold CoastIt has made a major contribution to the performing arts in Australia by filling a critical void in the nation’s sixth largest City. Through Bleach, the Gold Coast now has a growing sector of artists who are inspired to make distinctive, daring and unique art that crosses form and responds to unique Australian landscapes. Bleach in its short history is one of Australia’s leading and most exciting site-specific contemporary arts programs and has attracted close to 1 million people since inception.

‘Winning this Award is one of the most exciting rewards of recognition we have ever received for the Bleach Festival. The Board and team are thrilled to be acknowledged nationally for the work that we have done here on the Gold Coast. This is such a prestigious Award to win and this will enable us to be even more ambitious and adventurous in the new work we make with local artists.  This is a real game changer for the Gold Coast and Queensland. Thank you so very much,’ says Louise Bezzina, Artistic Director.

Individual Winner ($60,000) – Genevieve Lacey, Melbourne

Genevieve Lacey is an acclaimed musician working in many contexts, with all kinds of people.  She creates large-scale collaborative works across radio, film, dance, theatre and public art, and has premiered scores of works, written for her. She’s a recorder virtuoso, artistic director, spokesperson and leader, with a significant recording catalogue and a career as an international artist.

‘The Myer family,’ says Genevieve Lacy, ‘have held artists and the arts dear for generations, creating career changing opportunities that have shaped our cultural life. Joining the list of extraordinarily distinguished artists who have been previous recipients of the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award is humbling and inspiring. I’m over the moon!’

Facilitator’s Prize ($25,000) – Annette Downs, Tasmania

Annette Downs is Senior Producer for Tasmania Performs.  She has ensured that artists in regional areas have a voice on local, national and international stages. For the past 27 years she has committed herself to raising the profile of Tasmanian companies and independent artists with exceptional results right across the sector. Most people won’t know her name because she works in the background ensuring the light always shines on the artists.

‘Growing up in a small country town, centred around an abattoir, I treasured the rare performances that toured to our region, each revealing a creative world beyond the town limits where a person like me might thrive.  I’ve since devoted the bulk of my career to working with the artists of this island to broker opportunities for them to create and tour their work.  This acknowledgment confirms the value of the work that I and others do celebrating the diversity of voices that live outside our major centres who deserve to be heard.

See more about the winners at the foundation’s website.