Not wanting a cookie-cutter approach to your next travel experience? Newcomers to Walsh Bay, independent corporate and lifestyle travel agency, Wentworth Travel, might provide you with an answer.

Established in Woollahra 30 years ago the agency opened their new office on Hickson Road – just down from Fratelli Fresh, in June. Priding themselves as experts in high-end and unique travel experiences the company’s local operation is headed up by senior travel designers - Jane Tatham and Barry Gervan.

Just like water views, you’ll never be short of excellent dining options in Walsh Bay. This month the Theatre Bar at the End of the Wharf is offering new lunch specials and The Gantry Bar and Restaurant’s pre-theatre menu won’t disappoint while on a different note ATYP’s latest production runs from September 9.

The Theatre Bar at the End of the Wharf’s new set lunch menu is available from 12pm and includes a choice of four main courses including a gourmet “WOW” burger and free range chicken breast with kale and red quinoa, plus glass of wine (or something softer) for under $20.  

The WBAC member profile for August is Sydney Theatre Company’s executive director, Patrick McIntyre. As co-leader of the STC, alongside artistic director Andrew Upton, Patrick juggles the artistic and commercial needs of the company.

“My job is about keeping everything headed in the right direction, so I take pride equally in an artistic triumph - such as Uncle Vanya from 2010, as I do in observing the expert work done by our management, production and administrative areas,” Patrick says.

“Probably the thing I take most joy from is when our staff, and the artists and creatives who work with us, tell me how much they love working for the company.”
In a sector that is all about harnessing and celebrating artistic creativity Patrick draws on sources close to home to stimulate and motivate.

As the dust settles in Walsh Bay on another year of two of the area’s most extraordinary festivals – Sydney Writers’ and Vivid, the respective event organisers have much to celebrate when it comes to record-breaking attendance levels.

Sydney Writers’ Festival executive director, Jo Dyer, said both audience numbers and box-office takings increased this year with total attendances estimated at 97,700 – up from 89,000 last year. 

The City of Sydney is behind the upcoming retail initiative ‘Fashion Saturday’ and they are calling on all fashion, beauty and design retailers to take part in the unique event on 12 September 2015. 

The event is about bringing together like-minded retailers for a series of creative in-store events, special offers, designer talks, street entertainment, food trucks, competitions and other promotions to get consumers offline and into stores.

All Walsh Bay cafes, restaurants and licensed establishments should be aware that from 6 July, changes to the NSW Smoking Legislation prohibit smoking in outdoor dining areas.

The key changes include:

  • Commercial outdoor dining areas in licensed venues, restaurants and cafés must be smoke-free
  • Areas within 4 metres of a pedestrian entrance to, or exit from, a licensed venue, restaurant or café must be smoke-free.

Mandatory prescribed ‘No Smoking’ signage must be displayed within a commercial outdoor dining area.

For more information on the legislation see NSW Health’s update: www.health.nsw.gov.au

This month we gain out of area inspiration from the Orange Chamber of Commerce as they open the voting in their Banjo Business Awards - the winners of whom are announced as part of the many activities in one of the area’s largest annual events also named in honour its most famous resident: the Banjo Patterson Festival of Poetry.

This month we profile Mandi Ford, director at Essential Solutions Project Management and Essential Solutions Lifestyle Concierge Services – a project management and lifestyle concierge business servicing the Walsh Bay area since 2000.

Mandi says having the self-belief to set the business up and then see it thrive is one of the most rewarding achievements she has ever made.

“Having the confidence to believe in myself and start a business has been one of my greatest achievements and to see it blossom into a well-respected entity has been rewarding beyond words,” she says.

The Chamber has been particularly busy over the past month hosting a number of member events, running a Concierge Famil as well as entering and being shortlisted in the Sydney-City Regional Business Awards.

In June the WBAC partnered with Vivid Sydney to host close to 80 people at a unique, joint networking event. Starting at Simmer on the Bay the group of WBAC members and friends enjoyed mulled wine and a delicious grazing table of nibbles followed up by Curator of the Light Walk - Anthony Bastic, taking guests on a tour of the fabulous Walsh Bay instillations. The evening was a huge success and the Chamber plan to partner with Vivid to offer the event again in 2016.

Having just completed another successful Sydney Children’s Choir (SCC) Winter Concert series in Sydney over the weekend of July 4-5, WBAC member Gondwana Choir’s children and youth contingents are backing up with performances across Asia and Tasmania.

Until July 19 the SCC are on tour in China and Hong Kong, under the leadership of Artistic Director and Founder, Lyn Williams - OAM. The group kicked off their Asian odyssey with a performance at the impressive Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre the morning after arriving - ensuring the young vocalists quickly got into their tour schedule.

This month Walsh Bay Arts and Commerce will host more than 20 of Sydney’s most influential advisors in its annual Concierges Famil.

The unique chamber initiative on Tuesday 23 June, is about informing and updating concierges from Sydney’s top five star hotels on the latest Walsh Bay; events, venues, restaurants as well as the broad range of arts company activities of interest to guests at Sydney’s best hotels.

As part of the City Centre Public Art Plan’s ‘City Art’ program Cloud Arch, Pavilion and The Distance of your Heart are the first three artworks selected for construction by a COS independent, expert advisory panel.

Underpinned by the City’s Public Art Strategy and Policy, ‘City Art’ is about supporting local and international artists to contribute to the creative and cultural heartbeat of Sydney.

The construction of the winning artworks is due to begin from 2017 and the winners include preeminent English artist, Tracey Emin, Toyko-based artist Junya Ishigami and Egyptian-born, Sydney-based Hany Armaniaous.