Awards abound for volunteers and artists for Port Fairy Folk Festival

On Sunday 4 December The Governor of Victoria, The Hon Linda Dessau AM, presented the Port Fairy Folk Festival Committee with the Premier’s Volunteer Champion Award for Teamwork for Regional and Rural Victoria. The award was greeted with a rapturous applause at Government House. Representing the committee at the event were John Young, Vice President, Bernie Waixel, Treasurer, Gayle O’Keeffe, Secretary, Margaret Whitehead OAM, Bob Handby, Gordon McLeod and Shane Lenehan. Absent were Bruce Leishman, President, Ann Holmes and Jack Smits. The award was in recognition of the role the Committee and all of our volunteers play in producing such a wonderful event that means so much to the community, and leads the way in celebrating and profiling music and culture. The accolades were enormous, and we would truly like to thank every single person who has volunteered at Port Fairy Folk Festival during the past 40 years, this award is for you all.

We are also delighted that a long term friend, artist and host at the festival, Nick Charles was awarded The Age Music Victoria award for Best Blues Album 2016. Nick will once again perform at the festival and host The Guitarists, as well as the Port Fairy Blues Session which will feature Dom Turner, Phil Wiggins, Continental Robert Susz and the New Savages.

Congratulations to Bennett, Bowtell & Urquhart, who have been nominated for five Golden Guitars at the 45th Annual CMAA Golden Guitar Awards, to be held in Tamworth in January 2017. Their debut album Bennett, Bowtell & Urquhart received nominations in the Duo or Group of the Year, Alternative Album of the Year, APRA Song of the Year, Heritage Song of the Year for the Kevin Bennett penned Goulburn Valley Woman and Bluegrass Recording of the Year for their song I Hear Them All. BBU member Lyn Bowtell picked up two further nominations in the Vocal Collaboration of the Year category for her duet Bartender Blues with Adam Harvey and a song she co-wrote called F U Cancer with good friends Beccy Cole and Catherine Britt. 2017 is shaping up to be a fantastic year for Bennett, Bowtell & Urquhart ahead of their much-anticipated performances at The Port Fairy Folk Festival.

In the not too distant future we will be announcing the line up for our traditional themed concerts such as The Guitarists, Women in Song, Meet The Guests, and also announce our new themed concerts and Artist of the Year for 2017.

Committee members at Government House, Melbourne. From left: Gayle O’Keeffe, Bernie Waixel, Margaret Whitehead OAM, Gordon McLeod, Bob Handby, Shane Lenehan, John Young.