Cotton Tree Park will be transformed into a welcoming and vibrant global village for the Voices of Harmony event on March 23 where multicultural groups will connect with the community through song, story, dance, food, traditional games and activities from 10am to 3pm.

Community Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said people are encouraged to wear orange to the Voices of Harmony event which is jam-packed with a diverse range of multicultural performers originating from Fiji, Africa, Indonesia, Africa, Iran, India, Romania and the South Pacific to name a few.

“To commence the celebration, Kabi Kabi community leader Brianna Hanson will perform the Welcome to Country and talk about connecting to country and caring for traditions,” Cr McKay said.

“This will be followed by the Inspiration Choir who will perform a beautiful Acknowledgement of Country and invite the community to warm up their vocal chords for the day.

“Well known Sunshine Coast based singer-song writer Andrea Kirwin, with Fijian heritage, will entertain the crowd with her feel good island style blend of folk, funk, roots and reggae on the main stage at 10.45am.

“Some people may have seen Samoko perform at the Woodford Folk Festival where he connected the community through a fusion of ancient traditional African and modern Afro grooves and now he will be joining us on the main stage at noon.

“There will be a special performance from the USC School of Music students at 12.40pm who will perform their original anthem written for Harmony Day entitled We Sing One Song.”

Cr McKay said attending the Voices of Harmony day will be like travelling around the world experiencing different cultures at one colourful event.

“Throughout the day people will have the opportunity to sing along to a wide range of world music from Hot Ginger Chorus, New World Rhythm and Cool Harmonies and enjoy a range of cultural dance performances,” Cr McKay said.

“Besides the main stage acts, there will be all-day activities including traditional games, weaving, storytelling, children’s activities, art and crafts, a Global Hub Fashion Parade and display of unique traditional outfits and so much more.

“All this entertainment will certainly create a healthy appetite and we have that covered as well with an array of multicultural cuisines taking people on a cultural feast.

“There is no doubt our diversity helps makes the Sunshine Coast a great place to live and we invite people to visit the Harmony Day ‘Everyone Belongs on the Sunshine Coast’ photo booth to celebrate our region’s cultural diversity.”

Sunshine Coast Voices of Harmony community event

10am – 3pm on Saturday, March 23

Join in the Voices of Harmony celebrations – a day of cultural respect for everyone who calls Sunshine Coast and Australia home. Wear orange to show your support for cultural diversity and an inclusive Australia.

Join in the conversation on council’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by sharing images and the hashtag #harmonyday.

Caloundra Music Festival brings the music and the benefits

Future funding for the Caloundra Music Festival which attracts 30,000 attendees over four days will be considered by Sunshine Coast Council at Thursday’s (February 28) Ordinary Meeting.

An independent tourism report on the 2018 Caloundra Music Festival confirmed a 17% growth in attendees since 2016.

The festival generates more than $4 million in economic benefits for the region and an additional $1 million for Queensland.

Division 2 Councillor Tim Dwyer said the Caloundra Music Festival had been providing significant benefits to the community, music sector and economy on the Sunshine Coast since it started in 2007.

“Since the Festival began, a number of other music festivals have started on the coast demonstrating the health of the industry,” Cr Dwyer said.

“The festival’s growth and our community’s pride in it, combined with high levels of attendee satisfaction ratings, has proven the value of having a music event like this on the Sunshine Coast.

“Recent nominations in the Queensland Music Awards for Festival of the Year – two years in a row – is also testament that this is not only an event for our region but also for South East Queensland. 

“As an all ages, family-friendly event, Caloundra Music Festival ticks the social, economic, community and cultural boxes, reflecting our vision to be healthy, smart and creative and provides a platform for high calibre local, national and international talent.

“Quality live music played alongside spectacular geography, showcases the Sunshine Coast as a destination while delivering direct economic impact and tourism benefits.”

At today’s Ordinary Meeting, council will consider referring an operational budget of $250,000 to the annual budget process for three financial years (2020/21-2022/23).

Caloundra Music Festival 2019 will be held from October 4-7.


Last chance to spend an unforgettable evening with Leo Sayer at Venue 114

Hot off the heels of his sold-out 2016, 2017 and 2018 UK tours, join Grammy-award winning, international chart-topping, British music legend Leo Sayer as he celebrates his 70th birthday year at council’s Venue 114 on Saturday February 16,2019 at 8pm.

Leo is known for his classic songs Thunder In My Heart, More Than I Can Say, Moonlighting, The Show Must Go On, One Man Band, I Can’t Stop Loving You, Orchard Road and the transatlantic number one smash hits When I Need You and You Make Me Feel Like Dancing.

Leo is excited to be back on tour in his adopted homeland and can’t wait to celebrate his milestone birthday with audiences through high energy concerts that are jam-packed with hits from start to finish.

In the more than four decades since he embarked on his illustrious music career, Leo Sayer has written songs for some of the most influential names in the business, including the likes of Tina Turner, Cliff Richard, Roger Daltrey, Dolly Parton, Three Dog Night, Gene Pitney and Jennifer Warnes.

Leo is revered worldwide for his songwriting and his live performances and is one of the most well-respected musicians on the touring circuit today.

Audiences can expect all his classic songs and more as the man they describe as “one of the greatest pop voices of our time” takes music fans on a musical journey that features more than 20 international Top 10 singles and five global Top 10 albums.

There isn’t much Leo Sayer hasn’t done throughout his career.

He’s made appearances with The Muppets, The Wiggles and features on the Charlies Angels’ soundtrack, endearing him to music fans young and old.

Leo has performed at every kind of venue imaginable from intimate showcases to the Olympic Stadium in Moscow, Central Park in New York, the Las Vegas Hilton, the Royal Albert Hall in London and in his now home of Australia, the State Theatre in Sydney and Hamer Hall in Melbourne.

Leo became an Australian citizen in 2009 and hasn’t looked back since.

He is working just as solidly in his music career now as when he started and his music is reaching new audiences.

In 2007, his classic hit Thunder In My Heartgot a dance remake, which went number one throughout England and Europe.

The age range of audiences at a Leo Sayer show is massive.

His music appeals to young and old and his shows are energy packed from the beginning.

His charismatic persona endears audiences immediately and he always has the audience on their feet.

An evening with Leo is certainly unforgettable and most importantly fun and shows to celebrate his birthday year are guaranteed to be one massive party.

Leo is also currently celebrating the UK release of his The Gold Collection, which saw him appear in the UK Top 40 for the 15th time.

The album will be available exclusively to Australian audiences on the Just A Boy At 70tour.

Tickets are $83.65 per person for this all-ages, licenced, seated event and minors must be accompanied by an adult.

To book, visit call 5413 1400 (phone charges do apply).

Event parking is free and public transport is available nearby. Venue 114, formerly known as Lake Kawana Community Centre, is located at 114 Sportsmans Parade, Bokarina.

Much-loved Irish troubadour Luka Bloom will take to council’s Venue 114 stage with passion and playfulness for one performance only on Friday, March 1 at 8pm.

The very embodiment of the folk singer, Luka Bloom has that deep sense of social justice with an uncanny ability to distil contemporary life into the pithiest and most alluring combinations of lyrics and melody lines.

His latest album, Refuge, put a finger on the fractured nature of so much of what’s happening in our world today, from homelessness to war to climate change.

His voice is still as open and honest as it was over 30 years ago, and his guitar finds chord combinations that are all his own.

For 40 years, Luka Bloom has been making records and travelling the world singing his songs and since 1992, Luka has toured Australia 12 times.

His first Australian show was at a packed Enmore Theatre in 1992. 

“Although this was my first ever concert in Australia, already it felt like a homecoming,” Luka said.

“I knew I instantly loved this country and hoped I would return many times. 

“Apart from Ireland, Australia is a country I actually miss when I am away too long.

“Like Ireland, Australia is clearly not a perfect place, nowhere is. But it is a home away from home for me. I miss my friends there, I love the shows and the festivals.  But that is a given. 

“I love my job and I am utterly blessed that my songs bring me back to Australia again and again to sing with people I love to see.”

Tickets are $59.90 per person. To book, visit or call 5413 1400 (phone charges do apply).

Event parking is free and public transport is available nearby.

Venue 114, formerly known as Lake Kawana Community Centre, is located at 114 Sportsmans Parade, Bokarina.


“What a hard working national treasure this artist is, equipped as he is with the wit, storytelling, musicianship, singing and songwriting genes this magical country of ours seems to have by the boatload.” The Irish Examiner

Celebrate the 2019 Lunar New Year with Australia’s leading chamber ensemble, Southern Cross Soloists, and an impressive lineup of guest soloists as they bid adieu (zàijiàn) to the Chinese Year of the Dog and usher in the Year of the Pig – a year which promises to be full of good fortune and luck.

Brilliant colour and sheer exuberance will feature in this jubilant concert of East meets West, with a vibrant mix of modern and age-old traditional folk songs. Southern Cross Soloists shares the stage with special guests: cello virtuoso Li-Wei Qin; piano soloist Kristian Chong; and international erhu superstar George Gao, one of the most exciting, innovative and respected erhu masters of our time.

From Chinese folk song and virtuosic artistry to Saint Saëns’ grand zoological fantasy and Stravinsky’s elusive Firebird Suite, a highlight of the concert will be the world premiere of a new work by Australia’s own Lyle Chan, inspired by the ancient folk story of the animals of the Chinese Zodiac.


Li-Wei Qin – cello
George Gao – erhu
Kristian Chong – piano


Saint Saëns Carnival of the Animals – selections
Bao Yuan Kai Happy Lantern Festival; Mountain Tune; Yangge Dance
Mao Yuan Happy Spring
Chen Yao-Xin Galloping Horses
Gao Mongolian Fantasy/Erhu of the Night
Paganini Moses Fantasy MS 23
Lyle Chan Carnival of the Chinese Animals World Premiere
Stravinsky The Firebird Suite – selections

Highlife  winter  tour  with Bassidi  Koné      

Sunshine  Coast based  ‘Afro  Psych’ band  Highlife are joined  by  the legendary Bassidi Koné  (West  Africa) for a handful  of east coast  dates this winter!

Highlife  are a Queensland  Music  Award winning world music act based on the Sunshine  Coast, who have captivated the crowds at Woodford  Folk  Festival, Caloundra Music Festival and Island Vibe Festival. Their  sets are well known for being relentlessly high energy, with a unique  sound that is a concoction of African rhythms, psychedelic funk and improvisational  fusion, described  as ‘Afro Psych’.

The  band is  built around  Hayden Hack, a  talented singer/songwriter  who  was raised in South Africa and  the UK by professional musician parents. Hayden recently returned from a solo tour of South Africa, and now resides in Maleny.  Completing  the Highlife   rhythm section  is Nathaniel Combs,  a percussion teacher who   has just returned from studying  in  West Africa, well known jazz  drummer Max Sportelli, Brad Wenham on  six string bass, and Paddy Kiernan  on  guitar.

Bassidi  Koné  comes  from Mali  in  West Africa. Bassidi tours  internationally and collaborates  with  diverse ensemble groups, delving  into Afro-jazz,  Latin, reggae, classical and contemporary genres. Don’t  miss your chance to catch this unique   international collaboration  and don’t forget your dancing shoes!

Venues and dates:

28 July: Nimbin Bush Theatre, 29 July: Brunswick Heads Hotel, 30 July: Byron Bay Beach Hotel, 3 August: Caloundra Powerboat Club, 4 August: Majestic Theatre, Pomona.

Linsey soon realised the human voice, so important in creating that emotional connection with listeners, was missing from the project. While he originally imagined a small group of voices might be appropriate accompaniment, one voice came to stand out: Lizzie O’Keefe. Linsey met Lizzie through a bandmate of The Unusual Suspects, Linsey’s fantastic 23-piece Balkan dance music ensemble, at the Woodford Folk Festival.  The Suspects, a band of already outrageous proportions, invited Lizzie to hop on a microphone during one of their sets. The song she sang with them featured a non-Western scale and bent time signature. It did not faze her. There was no denying her inherent feel for music, which she says she was born with and which was nurtured by a musical family. Lizzie so easily improvised vocals over eastern European-reminiscent scales and kept up with the twists and turns of the odd rhythm, that Linsey recognised her talent immediately. When the opportunity arose, he asked her to be involved in a unique musical endeavour, and Lizzie said, ‘Absolutely!’ 


Today, the project now known as Dangerous Song is proving to be more than simply musical, and more than an awareness campaign.

Linsey and Lizzie’s first work, Dangerous Song: Black was performed both in concert mode and as a multimedia performance using still and moving images by Bonnie Jenkins and Jenny Pollak,  encapsulating the natural word. Beyond all else, the music and visualisations touch the heart and core of the soul. Lizzie’s beautiful timbre, and pure, raw, emotion-drenched sound, paired with the contemplative melodies and voices heard through Linsey’s ‘breath-controlled animal calls’ (which are looped live in performance), demand the listener pause for reflection, and deliver a catharsis that is as hopeful as it is devastatingly sad.


Lizzie says she views Linsey as a mentor. To this, Linsey replies, ‘It has been a joy’. At the same time, they agree the working relationship is one of two musical equals who have found kindred, harmonious spirit with which to compose easily and joyfully. ‘Sometimes’, Lizzie says, ‘when we’re playing we’ll be improvising, and we’ll end up singing exactly the same thing at the same time; that’s how in tune we are.’


For their latest work Dangerous Song: Blue, the pair used cinematography provided by David Hannan of the Ocean Ark Alliance to inspire a score focusing awareness on the plights of what Linsey calls ‘the heart of the planet’- oceans. Alongside Lizzie’s voice, the work features the sounds of humpback and beluga whales, walruses, and the bearded seal. There are also the sounds emitted from a fish nest and a number of terrestrial species, as ‘everyone is affected’ by ocean extinction issues. The show debuted at the 2016 Woodford Folk Festival and since then has toured throughout Australia and New Zealand.


Linsey and Lizzie’s exploits include collaborations with environmental organisations such as the Australian Marine Conservation Society and the Australian Coral Reef Society. Dangerous Song recently received funds from Creative Partnerships Australia through the Australian Cultural Fund to record Dangerous Song: Blue, which is being released in December this year. The duo chose not to release this work encased in the plastics of a CD, instead designing a handsome, reusable tote bag with an accompanying download code to the music. This method of release quietly signals the pair’s working manifesto: should people choose to listen and be moved by the stories of those in need, positive action and change can, and will, certainly come in on the current. 


Look out for Dangerous Song: Blue at this year’s Woodford Folk Festival from 28 to 30 January, and at the Metro Arts Theatre in Brisbane from 18 to 20 February.  

Head to for their latest album, Dangerous Song: Blue.

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Providing a grass roots stage with professional production and four original acts and bands. To kick off the day we begin with a busker in the park, accompanied by food vans, a few stalls and childrens face painter. There’s plenty of room for everyone with a playground and skate park in the direct surrounds of the event site. 

The stage kicks off at 1pm as do the raffles. Win some great prizes and contribute to your community! 

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The day is all about sultry jazz sounds in a warm and cosy forest setting and award-winning modern Asian cuisine, making for an indulgent afternoon that truly wows the senses.

Jazz in the Forest runs from 12.00pm to 3pm.

Lunch bookings are essential.

Picnic hampers are also available for bookings and include a cheese board, frittata, salad, condiments, cake and fruit.

To book lunch or a picnic hamper, phone 1300 583 312

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Creativity, Community, Culture