Jen Bray

It’s been a cold, grey, wet winter, with a constant flow of disasters and debacles on the news, so some of us may be feeling a little low at the moment.

We all need to look after our emotional and mental well-being to replenish our positive energy and sense of hope and purpose. Connecting with others can be very uplifting – seeing family, meeting friends or gathering with community at events. And tapping into the magic of the arts in all their forms enriches us and soothes the soul.

The Arts are so important to our sense of wellbeing, purpose and joy. They bring us together, help us share our pain and our wonder. Expression through music, dance, performance, sculpture, visual arts, storytelling, film and all forms of creativity is what makes us human.

We are lucky to have so many opportunities to connect with art in our shire. Many events, exhibitions, and workshops are created by local artists and are just around the corner. Making and creating, or getting out to see something, connects us with others and immerses us in that magic and wonder that lifts our spirits.

This Friday 26 August is the launch of Words in Winter writers’ festival. Based at the cosy hub at Radius Arts, Hepburn Springs, the festival offers a rich program of workshops, book launches, talks, play readings, musical performances and more from local writers and notable visiting authors.

A series of musical concerts from Christ Church, Daylesford kicks off on Saturday 27 August with the Klemantyne string ensemble. The beautiful stone and stained-glass building lends itself to concerts and recitals and now the Parish are presenting a diverse offering of music from the Renaissance, to Modern periods including Rossini’s comic opera “Cinderella” and the ever popular Daylesford Community Brass Band.

The Shire’s best kept secret is the Magic Lantern Series of classic silent movies with live improvised score. Watching a celluloid print of a Black and White silent film while musicians in front of you create an improvised soundscape, takes the cinematic experience to another level. This Sunday, 28 August, features Charlie Chaplain’s “Modern Times” at the Radio Springs Hotel.

Borealis on the Lake will wrap up in a couple of weeks so don’t miss your chance to see the Northern Lights in your own hometown. For your Local’s Discount for Thursday nights see Hepburn Shire Facebook page.

The Daylesford Arts Collective will be exhibiting the work of local artists starting this weekend at 94 Vincent Street. The show starts Saturday (August 27) and runs through to Sunday September 4. Entry is free and works on display are for sale.

There are so many more events, exhibitions and opportunities to be discovered throughout our Shire.

The arts need spaces where we meet and share our work. The arts need communication and promotion so people know what’s out there. And the arts need money to make all this happen. Council can play a dynamic and supportive role in strengthening the provision of existing services, programs and facilities so that the creative community can thrive. Hepburn Shire has been working with local artists to create an Arts and Culture Strategy to do just that. I am excited to see how Council will be working alongside our local artistic community so that we are all enriched and inspired by art in our lives.

Meanwhile, I hope you take the chance to rug up and get out to experience some art and connect with our wonderful community this weekend.

Cr Jen Bray is a Councillor for Birch Ward and Deputy Mayor of Hepburn Shire. (Phone: 0428 150 652, Email:

Councillor Columns are a regular feature in The Wombat Post. We offer these spaces as an information channel from Council to the community. Councillor Columns are not subject to editorial review by our editorial committee but are published as we receive them from our elected Councillors.