The Walsh Bay Arts and Commerce Annual General Meeting took place on Monday 16 November. The WBAC extends its thanks to the returning 2015-16 executive for all their hard work in helping the Chamber achieve all KPIs set this year as well as welcome a new face as secretary in 2016, Sally Walker from Bangarra Dance Theatre.

Get into the spirit with The City of Sydney’s 30 great days of Christmas in Sydney kicking off with a simultaneous concert in Martin Place and Hyde Park and the lighting of the City’s spectacular 21-metre high Martin Place Christmas Tree on November 26.

Not just your average oversized Chrissy tree, the interactive Martin Place festive staple will project light onto surrounding heritage buildings, host carol singers as well a site where Sydneysiders and guests have a chance to cuddle Labrador puppies before they embark on guide dog training.

Sydney Philharmonia Choirs are set to stage three unique concert events to mark the start of the festive season by performing Handel’s Messiah.

The 400-strong chorister group will sing Handel’s greatest and most loved choral masterpiece at the Sydney Opera House on December 3, 5 and 6th with Brett Weymark conducting and, in a world first, in collaboration with Accessible Arts and the Opera House, the concerts will be signed live by a choir of 18 to bring another element to this powerful piece of music.

Don’t look any further than Walsh Bay’s many fine restaurants, hotels and bars for a sumptuous, hassle free Christmas feast or memorable New Year’s Eve celebration this year.

To make life even easier, we’ve rounded up some of the best festive packages of offer in the area this year:

  • The Langham Sydney
  • Pier One
  • Sydney Dance Lounge
  • View by Sydney
  • Theatre Bar at the End of the Wharf

This month’s member profile is the executive director at Bangarra Dance Theatre, Philippe Magid.

“ My main focus is to help bring Artistic Director Stephen Page’s creative vision to life, by ensuring we have appropriate funding and budget to do so, “ Philippe says.

“Across the business, Bangarra works closely with the development team, I meet with a lot of prospective corporate and philanthropic partners, and see where we can innovate or tap into existing resources.

In this issue we travel ‘down south’ to gain some inspiration from a project that the Moss Vale Chamber of Commerce and the Wingecarribee Shire Council are collaborating on – the Moss Vale Buskers’ Battle. 

Designed to showcase the very best that the Southern Highlands has to offer, the two local authorities have joined forces to stage the Moss Vale Buskers Battle on Sunday March 6, 2016.
 Organisers say it will be a ‘vibrant celebration’ with over 25 buskers battling it out against a festive backdrop of gourmet produce, food and wine stalls in the heart of Moss Vale. 

Have you booked your ticket to the 2015 Arts Table on Tuesday November 10? Along with enjoying fine, local fare in a 5 course degustation menu sourced from the best NSW producers paired with the Hunter Valley’s Tempus Two wines, guests this year will be treated to a performance by talented hosts, Gondwana Choirs, aboard the magnificent 18th century replica ship, HMB Endeavour.

Adding real wow factor to the night Gondwana’s senior choristers will use the Australian National Maritime Museums’ historic square-rigged ship as the stage for their final performance. Guests at the event will also have the opportunity to explore onboard after the performance ends.

Walsh Bay has many fine establishments with special harbourside (forget the track!) deals on offer this Melbourne Cup. We’ve rounded up five of the best deals to help you make your mind up where you might be celebrating on 3 November…

Pier One’s Gantry Restaurant & Bar Melbourne Cup packages will impress with a welcome champagne, selection of chef canapés, ‘live stations’ of oysters and prawns followed by a two course meal designed by head chef, Joel Bickford as well as a three-hour drinks package for $220 per head.

After more than a decade as a month-long festival of temporary public art across the city Art and About has evolved to a yearly program.

Kicking off the City of Sydney’s new annual format of non-permanent public art is Games + Actions (for a Quiet City). This unique event entails a series of public performances orchestrated by sonic art collective, Super Critical Mass, whereby masses of volunteers perform a symphony of identical and democratic instruments in various public locations throughout the city. Performances will take place from 17 October to 1 November at Hyde Park, the State Library of NSW and Martin Place.

Contemporary Chinese art is an increasingly important force in the global art scene. Along with people from all over the world, Australians are embracing the phenomenon but until Vermilion Art opens its doors in Walsh Bay, no other commercial gallery in Sydney is primarily focused on contemporary Chinese art.

Turning the tide from October 29, new WBAC member, Vermilion Art, will open its Hickson Road gallery to exhibit and trade artworks to Australian and Chinese collectors while representing a range of artistic talent.

The Transfield Art Collection is one of the major private collections of contemporary art in Australia, not necessarily in value - although it does contain pieces of significance - but more because it illustrates the journey of Transfield’s founder, Franco Belgiorno-Nettis, that is continued today by his sons Luca and Guido.

From the outset Franco Belgiorno-Nettis' vision for the arts in Australia was ahead of its time. After founding Transfield in 1956 he initiated the Transfield Art Prize in 1961, in its day the most expensive acquisitive contemporary art prize in Australia.

This month our ‘out of area’ profile is inspired by Sydney’s best-known and loved community events: Newtown Neighbourhood Centre’s Newtown Festival.

Standing the test of time the one-day event – this year on Sunday November 8, is running for the 37th time.

The Festival’s playful 2015 theme, ‘Newtopia’ is a celebration of what it means to ‘be’ Newtown and showcases the best local and national music, arts, entertainment, food and education.