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Sunday, November 20, 2005

Antarctic Midwinter Festival warms to winning -

Antarctic Midwinter Festival warms to winning - Lara Giddings, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

Tasmania?s Antarctic Midwinter Festival has again earned the right to be judged alongside the country?s most successful festivals and events in the Australian Tourism Awards in February next year.

Minister for the Arts Lara Giddings said that the 2005 Antarctic Midwinter Festival received the ?Significant Festival and Events Award? at the Tasmanian Tourism Council Awards and would now contest the national awards alongside other Tasmanian winners.

Ms Giddings congratulated Festival Director David Laskey and the team at Antarctic Tasmania for their work in again organising such a successful significant event.

"More than 30,000 people attended the many Midwinter festival events which included the Huskies Picnic, demonstrations from Japanese ice sculptor, Kenji Ogawa and the Longest Night Film Festival which this year contained rare film footage shot by famed photographer Frank Hurley during Douglas Mawson?s 1911?14 Australasian Antarctic Expedition."

Ms Giddings said that the festival gave Tasmanians and visitors a glimpse of the many of the exciting activities that occur in the Antarctic, sub-Antarctic and Southern Ocean.

"The Antarctic community?s presence in Hobart is worth celebrating and for this reason the State Government has increased its seed funding, through the Department of Economic Development?s Antarctic Tasmania, to host the festival.

"Funding is also made available through organisations such as the Hobart City Council, the Tasmanian Polar Network and businesses active in the Tasmanian Antarctic sector.

"The festival also draws upon a very high level of support-in-kind from institutions like the Australian Antarctic Division."

Ms Giddings said that the festival would be held next year over the midwinter solstice from 16 - 25 June 2006.

"A feature of next year?s event is Ice Cold Words, a writers? festival operating under the Midwinter Festival banner.

"Yesterday it was announced that Ice Cold Words is to receive Australian Government funding under the Festivals Australia program.

"The Antarctic Midwinter Festival is obviously gaining a national reputation as the pre-eminent event on the state?s winter calendar.

"I look forward to an even more successful event in 2006."

For more information on the Antarctic Midwinter Festival, visit www.antarctic-tasmania.info.

Further information: Tasmanian Government Communications Unit
Phone: (03) 6233 6573


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