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Southbank is hub for Chinese New Year

08 Dec 2016

Southbank is hub for Chinese New Year Image

Southbank continues to emerge as a significant hub for Chinese New Year celebrations which next year will be celebrated with more than a fortnight of festivities between January 27 and February 12.

The Year of the Rooster gets underway with a New Year’s Eve countdown at Queensbridge Square on January 27.  The square will also host a variety of family-friendly activities including music, performances, a Chinese cultural village, dragon boat demonstrations and a closing ceremony.

Illuminations of Yarra River bridges and along both sides of its banks will be bigger, better and brighter than last year’s inaugural combined festival.

The city’s major players came together last year to deliver a unified festival under the banner of CNY United Pty Ltd, an incorporated body established to manage the festival.

Chairperson Jane Nathan said: “We hope to build on the success of last year’s festival. This year we have developed existing and created new programming and will again deliver all events under one cohesive brand.”

Other Southbank highlights include: An illuminated retail hub at DFO South Wharf; a performance by the Beijing Dance Academy and China’s Three Tenors at MCEC Plenary on February 3; and a Chinese New Year Concert by the Chinese

Music Orchestra of CNODDT, Treasures of a Nation, at the Recital Centre on February 9.

Ms Nathan explained that similar activities would be held all over the city, with Chinatown, Chinese Museum, the Queen Victoria Market and Docklands also hosting events during the festival.

She said the event was moving into the mainstream and her organisation had ambition to create the biggest celebration of new year outside of China in the future.

Ms Nathan said the State Government was on board this year through sponsorship from Study Melbourne – a great match, considering 100,000 overseas students now call Melbourne their second home.

“We had a session with these students during the year and listened to what they wanted to do for Chinese New Year,” Ms Nathan said.

Federation of Chinese Associations president, Junxi Su, said the 110 cultural organisations and 100,000 people she represented were right behind the concept of the broader celebration.

She said the Beijing Dance Academy and China’s Three Tenors, in particular, were of international significance and would ensure the millions of people would be exposed to Melbourne via Chinese television.

The festival’s lighting installations include peacocks at Docklands, a huge rooster at Queensbridge Square, blooming flowers at South Wharf and Chinese mystical animals at Queen Victoria Market.

The New Year countdown at Queensbridge Square and the celebration of Chinese food at Queen Victoria Market are two major events with leading Chinese cuisine authority and celebrity chef, Elizabeth Chong at the helm.

“The 2017 Chinese New Year Melbourne Festival will see our wonderful city come alive once again for two spectacular weeks,” said Beverley Pinder, CNY Festival Liaison.

Ms Pinder said the festival would offer spectacular lighting installations, cultural performances, food experiences and public activities designed to encourage people from diverse backgrounds to come together and celebrate.

The full list of programming can be found at www.cnymelbourne.com.au

Printed programs are available from: Federation Square Visitors Centre, SkyBus, Yarra Trams as well as via festival partners, hotels and universities.

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