Entertainment

24 May Event Guide

24 May Event Guide

May 24 Proserpine State School Community Fete, Proserpine State School, from 5pm The Pub, Airlie Beach Hotel: Andy Mammers (7pm – 10pm) Reef Gateway: Rebelquin (6pm – 9pm) Jubilee Tavern: Jan Arns (6pm – 9pm) Grand View Hotel: Jonesy n The Coffee Man (8pm – 12am) KC’s: Josiah (from 8pm) 25 Mini Roller Disco, PCYC from 10am CQ Rescue Charity Golf Day, Proserpine Golf Club, from 9am St Mary’s Bowen Family Fun Day, Bowen, from 2pm The Pub, Airlie Beach Hotel: Get Rhythm Johnny Cash & June Carter

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The 2024 Mackay Expo Calls You To Adventure

The 2024 Mackay Expo Calls You To Adventure

Looking for the very latest in 4WD, hybrids, caravans, camper trailers, home, lifestyle and much more? There are thousands of products to discover at this year’s Mackay Expo! You can see all your favourite brands in the one place and discover some new offerings too, with exhibitors and entertainers on deck to answer all of your burning questions. The Mackay Expo is your opportunity to get the very best deals and some exciting show specials, featuring a massive daily entertainment line-up, inc

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24 May Event Guide

24 May Event Guide

Friday 24th May Star Wars Unlimited Store Showdown 9am Join us for the very first Star Wars Unlimited Store Showdown! Big prizes are up for grabs, so you don't want to miss this one! Swiss style tournament with best of one, compete to see who can take out the top prize. Cost: $25 per person including a drink Time: Friday 24th May 6:30pm-10pm. May the Force be with you! 75 Victoria St, Mackay 2024 Mackay Expo 4pm Your lifestyle, your adventure at the 2024 Mackay Expo. Join us on 24th to 26th

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It’s Noice, It’s Different, IT’S KATH AND KIM DRAG BINGO!

It’s Noice, It’s Different, IT’S KATH AND KIM DRAG BINGO!

Sydney Drag Queen’s sell-out Kath and Kim Drag Bingo returns to MECC on Saturday, 29 June, hosted by two foxy morons: Prada Clutch and Conchita Grande. Prada is one of Australia's most sought-after live-singing drag queens. She plays Kathleen "Kath" Darleen Day-Knight. “Playing Kath came natural to me as I grew up watching the TV show on rainy days at school and I was already using Kath-isms when hosting in drag as they have become a part of Australian culture,” says Prada. Conchita is one

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Bowen’s Own Marcus Corowa

May 23, 2024

One of the country’s up and coming Opera stars, Marcus Corowa, is a Bowen boy who  spent most of his childhood in the region and is now hitting the big stage and performing in Queensland’s biggest opera productions.

But how did he get there?

Marcus grew up around music, going to the local church with his family and playing a lot of instruments.

With this passion for music at a young age, Marcus decided he wanted a career in singing and song writing.

To make this dream come true he moved to Sydney with those intentions, but other opportunities came his way.

Marcus started branching out and performing in musicals and operas, which required him to act, dance and perform.

With a new skillset and now fully immersed within the arts industry, Marcus has been performing in some of Queensland’s biggest opera productions with Opera Queensland.

Three years ago, he performed in Opera Queensland’s most successful production, ‘Are You Lonesome Tonight’, which toured regional Queensland and celebrated Opera and Country music.

Earlier this year he was involved in a fun production named ‘Do We Need Another Hero’ which came to Proserpine as part of its regional tour.

The show was filled with a variety of genres and in essence left audiences wondering what it means to be a human being in this world.

In August of this year, Marcus will be performing in another Opera Queensland production called ‘Straight from the Strait’.

This production will be the first Torres Strait Islander musical in Australia, and it pays homage to the Torres Strait Islander men and women that ventured far from their homes in pursuit of employment on the mainland.


Marcus Corowa, Photo Supplied

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Double Aussie Rock Feature At The Pub

May 23, 2024

Calling all Aussie rock fans to The Pub at The Airlie Beach Hotel!

Midnight Oil and Cold Chisel tribute acts are hitting the stage and bringing with them, the iconic songs everyone loves.

You’ll hear hits like Khe Sanh, When the War is Over, Cheap Wine, Flame Trees, You Got Nothing I Want and Choir Girl from Cold Chisel.

And from Midnight Oil you’ll be belting out the hits of Power and the Passion, US Forces, Dreamworld, King of the Mountain, Forgotten Years, Beds are Burning, Blue Sky Mine and many more.

Cold Chisel tribute act main singer Andy Lutze has been performing this Cold Chisel act for 24 years.

Throughout the years he has perfected the act and pushes his voice to the limit just like the real Jimmy Barnes.

Initially, he planned to do the show for just a few years but when it became a huge hit, he decided to continue.

Drawing inspiration from the real band, Andy combined the show with a Midnight Oil tribute and together created this masterful double feature.

The real Midnight Oil used to be an opening act for Cold Chisel in the 80’s, so these two tributes thought nothing would be better than combining their tribute acts.

The two perform one after another and play hit after hit.

Both acts deliver what you expect!

Amazing songs and tracks that are great to sing along to.

Midnight Oil front man, Alexander Hell said ‘If you only get to see two shows this year, make sure it’s this one, twice!”

And if that doesn’t sell the show to you, I don’t know what will.


WHAT: Midnight Oil Tribute Act & ‘Gold Chisel’ (Cold Chisel) Tribute Act
WHERE: The Pub, Airlie Beach Hotel
WHEN: Saturday 1 June & Sunday 2 June (2pm – 5.30pm)
TICKETS: You don’t need any! But booking a table is recommended

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Josiah At KC’s This Friday And Sunday

May 23, 2024

Māori man Josiah has always loved music.

Music is a big part in the Māori culture and growing up around that, Josiah developed an interest at an early age.

Despite having his first gig at 16, Josiah never imagined music would be his full-time career, but fast forward to today, and it is.

It’s been seven years since Josiah became a full-time musician and he has never looked back.

He has been hitting stages around Airlie Beach and displaying his talent.

Josiah said he primarily plays reggae, Motown and soul but also joked that when he plays pop and singalong anthems, he does it to entertain the girls.

For the past three months Josiah has had Casey Donnellan as his manager and he says he’s extremely thankful for her care and support.

Although Josiah’s career is in music, he likes to keep busy during the day, and he does the occasional day job, heading out the water or looking after accommodation.


WHAT: Josiah live on stage
WHEN: From 8pm on Saturday 24th May & Sunday 26th June
WHERE: KC’s Bar & Grill


Josiah performing on stage
Josiah

Photos supplied

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Whitsundays Regional Council Champions Local Arts Scene

May 23, 2024

Whitsunday Regional Council is showing support for the local arts scene by sponsoring the main prize at the upcoming Great Barrier Reef Festival Art Exhibition.

They have contributed $3000 to the prize pool, affirming their commitment to fostering local artistic talent.

Mayor Collins expressed Council’s dedication to promoting a thriving arts culture in the Whitsunday region.

“It’s important we support opportunities for artists to showcase their creations and connect with local audiences,” he said.

"It not only benefits our local artists but contributes to the cultural experiences available for our community."

The organisers from Creative Connections Whitsunday Inc have welcomed Council's sponsorship, which contributed to raising the total prize money to over $8000.

Glenda Brown, Exhibition Coordinator, emphasised that art prizes play a crucial role in providing artists with exposure and opportunities for artwork sales, and a unique cultural event for locals and visitors.

To add to the event's prestige, the winning artwork will be added to the Council's curated collection.

Panellists Sandy Guy and Bonney Bombach, along with a Council member, will help with the preselection process.

Deadline for entry is 30 June 30 2024 and all artists are invited to enter. 

The exhibition is due to be held at the Whitsunday Sailing Club from August 1-5, 2024. The event will display a variety of 2D and 3D artworks and photographs, and attendees can participate in the 'People's Choice' Award by voting for their favourite artwork.

WHAT: Great Barrier Reef Festival Art Exhibition
WHERE: Whitsunday Sailing Club
WHEN: 1-5 August


Last year’s theme was Whales and this year artists are invited to explore ‘Above and Below’ works. Photo supplied

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Australian Rock Legend Performing In Airlie Beach

May 23, 2024

James Reyne from Australian Crawl is coming to town!

With him he brings his amazing band and they’ll be performing all of the classic Australian Crawl hits, that’ll have you belting out the lyrics.

From Reckless to The Boys Light up, Hammerhead and Fall of Rome – there are too many iconic tunes to list here – you’ll have to go and see the performance instead!

James and his band have been performing this tour since January of this year and so far, every show has been sold out and has rocked out.

He’s extremely eager to get to the Whitsundays and says the small rural towns do not lack in support.

James said he feeds off the crowd to enhance his performance and take it to the next level.

“It’s a two-way thing, the psychology of show business is someone on stage, pushing energy out, and energy’s coming back,” he added.

Performing for such a long time, James said he is only improving with time, and during his career he has learned valuable information about show business, song writing and personal relations.

“Being in a band it means you get to experience things that people would normally experience but you get to experience them in a really intense few years,” he said.

“You get all these life experiences, and you have to learn these life lessons quite quickly and intently about human nature and how people are, how people relate to you, how you relate to them and the world.”

It’s not just life lessons James has learned throughout his career; he understands the muse and what to do if he encounters a blank with his song writing.

“I recognise that it’s not a hard time, it’s natural part of life,” James said.

“It’s the natural ebb and flow of creative consciousness and when you do that, you serve the music, you're calling it earlier, you sit down, and you work at your craft, you start working and you start thinking.

“You start tinkering with an idea you might have had three weeks ago or an idea you might have had yesterday or two lines you might have written down six months ago and things start to happen.

“I learned to not worry about that [getting a blank in songwriting], let it slide and the so-called muse will revisit you.”

James is bringing all his expertise and experience to Magnums Hotel in Airlie Beach this June, for one night with this incredible music legend.

Alongside all the Australian Crawl hits, you can expect to hear all the song you know and love for 90 minutes of rock and roll classics.

WHAT: James Reyne from Australian Crawl
WHERE: Magnums Hotel
WHEN: June 21

James Reyne is coming to Airlie Beach next month
A record cover of James Reyne’s Hammerhead released in 1987

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Huge Opportunity For Young Talent

May 23, 2024

The North Queensland Battle Of The Young Bands and Young Whitsundays Got Talent are two very special events which invite our region’s youth to showcase their musical abilities, giving them an opportunity to play live in front of big crowds.

If you’re in a local band or a solo musician this is your chance!

First-up is North Queensland Battle Of The Young Bands competition and the winner receives $1000 in prize money and a gig at Northerlies Beach Bar and Grill.

Open for young people of all ages, there are three age categories, 5-12, 13-17 and 18-21, anyone can enter!

Every registered band will perform two songs in a heat and winners of each heat will perform another song in the Grand Final.

Additionally, the event will be live streamed on Facebook, and appear on Whitsundays Got Talent’s YouTube page.

To enter, your band must have three or more band members.

This event is brought to you by Whitsundays Got Talent which is a not-for-profit local organisation that is passionate about helping young people unleash their musical abilities.

The organisation is currently looking for sponsorship so, if you are a local business or individual, and would like to support this community group, then please reach out.

WHAT: North Queensland Battle Of The Young Bands
WHERE: Northerlies Beach Bar and Grill
WHEN: Sunday 16 June, 12.30pm

WHAT: Young Whitsundays Got Talent
WHERE: Northerlies Beach Bar and Grill
WHEN: Sunday 13 October 1pm

REGISTER: info@whitsundaysgottalent.com

Gleezus won Young Battle Of The Bands last year. Photo credit: Whitsunday Life Newspaper

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Event Guide 17 May

May 16, 2024

Friday17thof May

ThePub, Airlie Beach Hotel: Back to the 70’s & 80’s Band (7pm –10pm)

ReefGateway: Sam McCann (6pm – 9pm)

JubileeTavern: Erin (6pm – 9pm)

GrandView Hotel: Paul Berger (8pm – 12am)

KC’s:Shaun Diver (from 8pm)

Saturday18thof May

MiniRoller Disco, PCYC from 10am

RossWilson & the Peaceniks at the Proserpine Entertainment Centrefrom 7.30pm

ThePub, Airlie Beach Hotel: Back to the 70’s & 80’s Band (2pm –5.30pm)

ThePub, Airlie Beach Hotel: London Calling (7pm – 10pm)

ReefGateway: Kieran McCarthy (6pm – 9pm)

GrandView Hotel: RnB Night (8pm – 12am)

KC’s:Sar-rha (from 8pm)

Sunday19thof May

ThePub, Airlie Beach Hotel: London Calling (2pm – 5.30pm)

ThePub, Airlie Beach Hotel: Lloyd Saunders (6.30pm – 9.30pm)

GrandView Hotel: Scotty Wilson (4pm – 8pm)

KC’s:Shaun Diver (from 8pm)

Monday20thof May

KC’s:Scott Wilson (from 8pm)


Tuesday21stof May

Sailability,Whitsunday Sailing Club, from 9am

KC’s:Scott Wilson (from 8pm)

Wednesday22ndof May

KC’s:Tim Conlon (from 8pm)

Thursday23rdof May

KC’s:Tim Conlon (from 8pm)


Saturday25thof May

MiniRoller Disco, PCYC from 10am

CQRescue Charity Golf Day, Proserpine Golf Club, from 9am

StMary’s Bowen Family Fun Day, Location TBA, from 2pm


Sunday26thof May

JazzEvent, Colonial Palms, from 3pm


Friday31stof May  

ReconciliationWeek – Bowen Twilight Markets, Hansen Park, Horseshoe Bay Road from4pm


NationalReconciliation Week Twilight Markets & Airlie Beach Movie Night –The Last Daughter, Airlie Beach Foreshore, from 5pm

Friday17thof May

ThePub, Airlie Beach Hotel: Back to the 70’s & 80’s Band (7pm –10pm)

ReefGateway: Sam McCann (6pm – 9pm)

JubileeTavern: Erin (6pm – 9pm)

GrandView Hotel: Paul Berger (8pm – 12am)

KC’s:Shaun Diver (from 8pm)

Saturday18thof May

MiniRoller Disco, PCYC from 10am

RossWilson & the Peaceniks at the Proserpine Entertainment Centrefrom 7.30pm

ThePub, Airlie Beach Hotel: Back to the 70’s & 80’s Band (2pm –5.30pm)

ThePub, Airlie Beach Hotel: London Calling (7pm – 10pm)

ReefGateway: Kieran McCarthy (6pm – 9pm)

GrandView Hotel: RnB Night (8pm – 12am)

KC’s:Sar-rha (from 8pm)

Sunday19thof May

ThePub, Airlie Beach Hotel: London Calling (2pm – 5.30pm)

ThePub, Airlie Beach Hotel: Lloyd Saunders (6.30pm – 9.30pm)

GrandView Hotel: Scotty Wilson (4pm – 8pm)

KC’s:Shaun Diver (from 8pm)

Monday20thof May

KC’s:Scott Wilson (from 8pm)


Tuesday21stof May

Sailability,Whitsunday Sailing Club, from 9am

KC’s:Scott Wilson (from 8pm)

Wednesday22ndof May

KC’s:Tim Conlon (from 8pm)

Thursday23rdof May

KC’s:Tim Conlon (from 8pm)


Saturday25thof May

MiniRoller Disco, PCYC from 10am

CQRescue Charity Golf Day, Proserpine Golf Club, from 9am

StMary’s Bowen Family Fun Day, Location TBA, from 2pm


Sunday26thof May

JazzEvent, Colonial Palms, from 3pm


Friday31stof May  

ReconciliationWeek – Bowen Twilight Markets, Hansen Park, Horseshoe Bay Road from4pm


NationalReconciliation Week Twilight Markets & Airlie Beach Movie Night –The Last Daughter, Airlie Beach Foreshore, from 5pm

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The Peasant Prince Set To Grace The MECC

May 16, 2024

Mackay audiences will be treated to an inspiring production The Peasant Prince this June as part of the DBCT Kids’ Theatre Season.

Based on the incredible story of Mao’s Last Dancer, the autobiography of Li Cunxin and a major motion picture, the play is aimed at audiences aged seven to twelve years of age.

Following the successful performances of Possum Magic and Edward the Emu, the award-winning theatre company Monkey Baa is thrilled to bring the production The Peasant Prince to Mackay, presenting three performances in the MECC Plenary Halls.

Following the international success of Li Cunxin’s iconic autobiography, Mao’s Last Dancer, the children’s version (The Peasant Prince) won the Australian Publishers Association’s Book of the Year for Younger Children and Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards Children’s Book Award.

Now adapted for stage by Monkey Baa Theatre, this is the remarkable true story of a 10-year-old peasant boy’s journey from impoverished rural China to the international dance scene.

The play begins as a young Li Cunxin who is taken from his small rural village in Northern China to study at an elite dance academy in Beijing.

Although the training is gruelling, he is inspired by dreams of a better life for both him and his family.

When a famous ballet master from the USA visits the academy, his life is changed forever.

"It’s always my hope that my life experiences inspire young people to follow their dreams and to take advantage of the boundless opportunities in their lives,” said Li.

“I think my story proves that with hard work, dedication and determination, anything is possible. You can be successful in anything, if you are willing to go that extra mile."

Li’s courage, resilience and unwavering hope for a better life for himself and his family makes The Peasant Prince a story to ignite our own aspirations to be the best person we can be.

The first performance will take place on Monday 10 June at 6pm, followed by two performances on Tuesday 11 June at 9:30am and 12:30pm.

The 12.30pm show is a relaxed performance, targeted to anyone who would benefit from a calmer environment. During this session, there is a relaxed attitude to noise, doors remain open and lights are dimmed to create a comfortable atmosphere for all attendees.

With tickets at $18.50, the MECC highly encourages parents to book their tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.

The Peasant Prince is part of the 2024 DBCT Kids’ Theatre Season, proudly sponsored by Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal.


What: DBCT Kids’ Theatre Season: The Peasant Prince
A Monkey Baa Theatre Company Production
Based on the book by Li Cunxin, Illustrated by Anne Spudvilas
Adapted for the stage by Eva Di Cesare, Sandie Eldridge and Tim McGarry
When: Monday 10 June, 6pm & Tuesday 11 June, 9.30am & 12.30pm
Where: MECC – Plenary Halls
Tickets:  www.themecc.com.au

Mackay audiences are in for a treat with the inspiring production of The Peasant Prince this June, featured in the DBCT Kids' Theatre Season
 

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Event Guide 17 May

May 16, 2024

Friday 17th May


Conversations With Art

1pm
Held on the 3rd Friday of each month, 'Conversations with Art' is a free and enjoyable discussion led by Artspace staff as we look at art works and images from gallery and museum collections.
POP-UP VENUE*: 'Artspace in Residence' room, Dudley Denny City Library, Victoria St, Mackay

Sunset Pilates
5.30pm
Wanting to learn the fundamentals? This is a beginner experience and has been designed to show you the ropes and give you a taste of Pilates and how it should feel. PLEASE BRING: A Pilates / Yoga mat, a towel, water and mozzie repellent is suggested.
Slade Point - the grass park area at top of Albatross Street.

Roaring Lion / Bob Marley Tribute
8pm
Get ready to jam to the iconic sounds of Bob Marley!  Join us for a sensational 10-piece band tribute night that'll transport you straight to the heart of reggae vibes. 
Grab your tickets now!
SeaBreeze Hotel, Slade Point

Saturday 18th May

Dried Flower Artwork
10am
Come along for a beautiful morning creating, in a relaxed setting and enjoy the steps to create a dried flower artwork made by yourself. We use create our stunning designs using real dried flowers, in a 4x6 size frame. Minimum age 12+ years. Seats are limited and bookings are essential.
Shop 1/3 Ungerer St, North Mackay

BEE MINDFUL MURAL Launch
2pm
The official launch of the BEE MINDFUL MURAL.
Great photo opportunity with our artists and opening-act performers from BEE CREATIVEZZZ. Laneway themed for the opening event and feel-good moment from our placemaking doers to our community.
7 Wood St, Mackay

Mackay Twilight Market
4pm
Join us in the big shed at the Mackay Showgrounds, from 4pm until 8:30pm.
Come along and browse the many market stalls, enjoy the live music, performed by local musicians, and taste the delicious food from the Mackay Food Trucks on Eat Street. 
$2 Adult Entry Fee - Kids 17 & under get in for free.  
Mackay Showgrounds

Sunday 19th May

Colour Frenzy Fun Walk or Run
9am
Colour Frenzy is Coming Back! A Exciting and Colourful day for Everyone! 2.5km or 5km. Sunday 19th of May 2024, we will be holding the Fun Run / Walk. Fun run starting at 9:30am we have a fun Colour, Obstacles and Foam walk or run at John Breen Park. Tickets from www.colourfrenzy.com.au
John Breen Park, Centennary Place, Malcomson St, North Mackay


2024 RACQ CQ Rescue Emergency Services Day
10am
Join us at the 2024 Emergency Services Day, proudly presented by BMA! A fun-filled community day featuring police motorbikes, fire trucks, rescue helicopters and much more! Bring the family for education exhibits, hands-on demos, kids entertainment and more! Entry is by gold coin donation towards our rescue helicopter!
Harrup Park

Colossal Boardgames at the Library
10am
Join Mackay Board gaming Guild at the library for a beginner’s board game session. 
Be introduced to the exciting world of board games where there is SO much more than Monopoly! This event is for ages12 years and older.
The Dome, 134 Victoria St, Mackay

Monday 20th May

Men’s Hair Masterclass
9am
Join us for the Men’s Hair Masterclass at Renegade Barber on Monday, 20 May 2024.
Led by award-nominated barber Damien van der Merwe, this exclusive full-day workshop will equip you with advanced techniques in men's hairstyling through in-depth presentations, live demonstrations, and hands-on practice. Limited to only 8 participants, this masterclass offers a unique opportunity to refine your skills and elevate your craft
Renegade Barber

‘Unearthing’ of the 75th Anniversary Time Capsule
1.45pm
All parents and past students are most welcome to attend this unearthing. We will display the contents of this time capsule at our community open day on Sunday 11th August! for any inquiries please email smm_centenary@rok.catholic.edu.au
St Mary's Catholic Primary School, 42 Juliet Street

Tuesday 21st May

Northern Beaches Community Play Group
9.15am
Join us for play and connection at Eimeo Esplanade on Tues 21st May. We are excited to be joined by Miss Kim from Active Squirtz so get ready to move, shake, jump and show off those broccoli muscles. What to bring: Hat, water bottle, sunscreen your own morning tea and approximately a $5 donation per family
Eimeo Esplanade

Pop-Up Play Spaces: Indoor Play
1pm
Drop in and explore our interactive play spaces for young children from birth to five years.These activities and experiences help support children’s physical, mental, social and emotional development.
Gordan White Library

Wednesday 22nd May


Mackay Farmers’ Market

6:30 – 10:30am
Shop local at the Mackay Farmers' Market and enjoy a morning on the Pioneer River.
Grab your reusable coffee cups, drink tumblers, water kefir bottles, produce and carry bags and stop in at the Mackay Farmers' Market every Wednesday.
Bluewater Quay

Explore A Gym
9am
Bring your child along for a morning of FUN! Explore-A-Gym is a 2 hour play session that is designed to give your child the opportunity to learn and explore in a non-structured environment. Suitable for ages 18 months to 5 years. Cost is $12/child
5 Snow Wright Ct, Andergrove

Thursday 23rd May

Decarbonisation Accelerated Summit    
8.30am
Greater Whitsunday Alliance and the Resources Centre of Excellence are hosting the region’s first ever decarbonisation summit in May, to help local businesses understand their role in carbon reduction. The Decarbonisation Accelerated Summit is focused on unlocking thinking around decarbonisation and to provide a platform for actionable change across our region’s businesses, industries, and economy. Tickets available through events.humanitix.com.
The MECC

Riverside Markets
From 3pm
Come along and browse J2Fs collections of unique and colourful creations… Funky jewellery and fun kids clothing 
Bluewater Quay Mackay

Mackay Farmers’ Market

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Wolf Creek Actor Hosts Showing In Bowen

May 16, 2024

The last thing Ben De Luca from Bowen Summergarden Cinema expected was a phone call from an Australian film icon, but that’s exactly what happened.

Wolf Creek star, John Jarratt, phoned Ben, and asked him if he could host a Meet and Greet, preview his new film, and host a Q&A at Ben’s famous little cinema in Bowen.

John Jarratt loves independent cinemas, he says they sell Australian productions with more gusto than the big cinema chains.

Being a country boy himself, John knows how exciting it can be for people to meet “the Wolf Creek guy”.

Manager of Bowen Tourism and Business, Leanne Abernethy said having actor and director John Jarratt visit the town was very exciting.
 
“A lot of locals and visitors went to the meet and greet at Bowen Summergarden Cinema to meet John and he also called in at the Big Mango to say hello to the team,” Leanne said.

John wrote, produced, directed, and starred in his new film ‘What About Sal’ and he is hosting meet and greets, Q&A’s and showings in cinemas all over Australia.

‘What About Sal’ follows the story of a man with down syndrome who is losing his mother and then has to find his father.

This film has a wonderful message and John Jarratt said people with down syndrome can be much more intelligent than us.

“The main message of the film is that down syndrome people are important and they’re wonderful contributors to our societies,” he said.

“They’re emotionally more intelligent than we’ll ever be and they are capable of unconditional love, they’re quite extraordinary people.”

The film has a great cast, in the main role is Gerard Odwyer, who won Best Actor in the past.

John has heard nothing but praise about the film and says people stick around after the showings.

“No one has come up to me and said they don't like it, everyone loves it and we can't get rid of people after the show and that's always a good sign!” he added.

John tells audiences to bring tissues to their viewing but he also said there’s funny moments too.

John wants you to see this film, for your own viewing pleasure and to support Australian cinema.

“We’ve got the best actors in the world, some of the best directors but at the moment they’re not getting a fair go because there’s so many big Hollywood blockbusters flooding the market,” John said.

Ben De Luca, John Jarratt and Former Whitsunday Mayor, Julie Hall. Photo supplied

John Jarratt starred as the serial killer in the movie Wolf Creek. Photo supplied

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Best of Queensland Experience  

May 16, 2024

Queensland's tourism industry is celebrating!

91 operators within The Whitsundays have been recognised as Best of Queensland Experiences (BOQEs) for their dedication to bringing the Queensland story to life and consistently delivering an exceptional customer experience, ensuring visitors to the region have unforgettable experiences. 

The program, launched in 2018, is the first of its kind in Australia and aims to elevate Queensland as the top holiday destination by identifying and recognising tourism products that consistently exceed expectations.

Over 2,000 experiences across the state have earned this title. 

Developed with industry partners, the program uses independent criteria to assess operators.

These include positive customer reviews, secure online bookings, active social media presence and industry accreditation.

To be recognised, businesses must achieve a high score across these categories.

Earning a BOQE status allows operators to display an official stamp, making it easier for travellers to identify these top-rated experiences. 

"A BOQE certification empowers our Whitsundays' operators," says Rick Hamilton, CEO of Tourism Whitsundays. "It equips them to deliver exceptional experiences, making every visitor feel like a VIP." 

Contributed with thanks to CEO of Tourism Whitsundays, Rick Hamilton

Rick Hamilton, CEO Tourism Whitsundays, Photo supplied

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Be Part Of Something Great At The Great Barrier Reef Festival

May 16, 2024

The 2024 theme for the Cruise Whitsundays Great Barrier Reef Festival has been announced and people across the region are already getting excited about the Above and Below theme that is set to highlight our beautiful region once again.

This month, Cruise Whitsundays also confirmed their naming rights sponsorship for the event once again, their involvement bringing some exciting environmentally focused boat tours which will become one of the feature events during the festival.

Renowned for being one of the most family-friendly community events of the year, the award-winning Great Barrier Reef Festival has been a cornerstone of the annual events calendar for almost 25 years.

Highlights include the Coral Sea Marina Lantern Parade which sees the boardwalk come alive with beautifully decorated lanterns and the Airlie Beach Rotary Club Street Parade where businesses and community groups decorate their own floats.

There is also the Recyclable Regatta, Magic Mile, Family Fun Day and a crowd favourite – the Sebel Whitsundays Fireworks on the Foreshore where thousands of people gather on the beach to watch the night sky fill with colour.

As the evenings unfold, the main-stage heats up with both local talent and a top-secret headlining act who is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

The beach-side pop-up bar is always buzzing, and families can enjoy the Side Show Alley and Carnival Rides throughout the evenings.

This year, the environmental theme runs throughout, both within events that incorporate recycled materials, but also through different educational opportunities that inspire and inform.

As part of the initiative, attendees have the opportunity to enjoy a Reef Experience with Master Reef Guides, an immersive day on the Great Barrier Reef learning and listening from the undisputed masters of the Reef.

In addition, the Above and Below Art Exhibition will be hosted by the Whitsunday Sailing Club this year and also the Immerse Arts Installation will be a focal point to the festival heart, with the stunning lighting animations and artworks at Fairy Tree Park.

This year there will be some new additions to the festival line-up, these include a special Cocktails on the Point event at the Whitsunday Sailing Club and the Whitsunday Life Newspaper Window Dressing Competition where main street business stand to win $1000 worth of advertising for the best dressed shop front.

There is so much going on at the Great Barrier Reef Festival again this year – what are you getting involved with?

WHAT: Great Barrier Reef Festival
WHERE: Airlie Beach
WHEN: 1-4 August

Want To Volunteer?
The Great Barrier Reef Festival is now looking for community minded volunteers who would like to get involved with anything from manning a stall, selling raffle tickets, event planning, selling merchandise and much more. Contribute as little or as much as you like, prior or during the event – the choice is yours and any help makes a HUGE difference! To find out more attend the Meet and Greet volunteer gathering at Boaty’s at 5pm on Tuesday 21st May or simply call 0418 155 542.

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Wearable Arts Is Back!

May 16, 2024

Avid fashionistas from across the region are busy creating fabulous designs ahead of the 2024 Wilmar Sugar and Renewables Wearable Arts Parade which is due to take place in August as one of the central events hosted by the Great Barrier Reef Festival.

To ignite further creative flair, there will be a special workshop at Whitsunday Sailing Club next month.

This will be an opportunity for participants to learn from some of the best artists of this kind in the region.

Hosted by Creative Connections Whitsunday, the hands-on workshops will be led by the visionary talents of Christina Papadimitriou and Bernadette Russell from Wearable Art Creatives.  

These inspiring artists will offer first-hand knowledge of the craft and attendees will learn how to create a masterpiece during the session.

A popular event, which is a regular stable at the Great Barrier Reef Festival, Wearable Arts has captured the passion of the community, so much so that St Catherine’s Catholic College have added it into their curriculum for Year 9 and 10 students.

Teacher, Skye Carroll, commented that the students have been having a lot of fun with their creations.

"I have both classes hyped up for competing in the Wearable Art for the Great Barrier Reef Festival,” she expressed.

“Many of them are already showing competitive streaks – I can't wait to see their final products as they emerge!" 

Chairman of the Great Barrier Reef Festival, Margie Murphy, said the event is promising to be a mesmerising display of imaginative designs that blur the lines between fashion and art.  

“We are thrilled to bring the Wearable Art Parade and Competition back to Airlie Beach for another year of creativity and inspiration!” she said.

The event will kick-off with the Wearable Arts Parade on Saturday 3rd August and will culminate in the competition where guest judges will evaluate the entries and select winners across various categories.

These categories include Best Individual Design, Best Team Design, Great Barrier Reef Festival Theme design and Best Accessories.  

With fierce competition and extraordinary talent on display, anticipation runs high as participants vie for recognition and accolades.

If you wish to participate in the workshop you can register at creativeconnectionswhitsunday.com, tickets are $40 per person.

Alternatively, you can make your own creation independently. Simply create a fashion item from recycled materials in order to be eligible and register your fabulous masterpiece at greatbarrierreeffestival.com.au.


WHAT: Wearable Art Workshops
WHERE: Whitsunday Sailing Club
WHEN: Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th June  
TICKETS: creativeconnectionswhitsunday.com

Some fabulous creations

Imogen, Hannah, Lilly-Anna, Ayrton from St Catherine’s Catholic College. Photo supplied

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White On Whitehaven – You’re Invited!

May 16, 2024

The bucket-list item on many a locals’ list, the annual St. Bebida White on Whitehaven by Fish D’vine Catering is the only long lunch of its kind open to the public on Whitehaven Beach.

This extravagant, decadent and opulent affair invites guests to indulge in a full day on Whitehaven Beach, where you are whisked away to a paradise, that is just a short distance from your home.

Starting your day aboard an air-conditioned ferry, the party begins as soon as you join the sea of stunning white outfits that form the dress-code for the day.

The vibrant chatter on the scenic ferry ride over to Whitsunday Island soon abates when the white silica sands of Whitehaven Beach appear on the horizon.

Guests walk from the boat directly onto the beach and are immediately greeted by a glass of chilled French Champagne and the bluesy beats of the nationally acclaimed six-piece band, The Natural Culture.

The long white tables stretch out along the delicate sands and everyone is invited to sit and enjoy the views while feasting on freshly shucked oysters and sashimi.

The event is proudly created by Fish D’vine Co-Owner, Kev Collins, who is the mastermind behind the delicious menu and a passionate advocate for promoting fresh local produce.  

Highlighting the freshest local seafood, fine cuts of grass-fed meats, topped with divine sauces and salads, guests are able to watch as the food is cooked on the BBQ and interact with Kev and his team of chefs.

Kev said he is thrilled to host the ultimate Queensland luncheon experience again and urged people to secure their tickets as they are already selling fast. 
 
“We're expecting the 2024 White on Whitehaven Long Lunch to be another huge success, drawing in over 700 guests from across the country to enjoy three days of beautiful Whitsundays spring weather,” he expressed.

“St. Bebida’s White on Whitehaven is already generating excitement, with many guests rebooking for this year. Don't miss out – Saturday is already 75% booked.”

Proudly sponsoring the event is St. Bebida, showcasing their exciting new range of products, including Sparkling Rosé, Flamenco Sangria, and ‘Chello’ Limoncello Spritz, adding a refreshing twist to the event.  

Matt McLean, Director at St. Bebida said he is thrilled to partner with the event this year.

"We are absolutely delighted to be part of the White on Whitehaven event this year, and ecstatic to have acquired the naming rights along with it too. This event perfectly aligns with our brand, and we can't wait to be serving everyone fresh from the taps for the three days," he shared. 
 
“It’s been a big first year of business for us at St. Bebida with constant growth and reach spanning across the country, and this is just the icing on the cake for us.” 

Tourism Whitsundays Chief Executive Officer, Rick Hamilton believes this year’s White on Whitehaven Long Lunch by Fish D’vine will be another great success for Fish D’vine and The Whitsundays. 
 
“The White on Whitehaven Long Lunch by Fish D’vine is a highly anticipated event, drawing visitors year after year from Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne to experience its charm,” he said.

WHAT: White On Whitehaven
WHERE: Whitehaven Beach
WHEN: 6-8 September  
TICKETS: whiteonwhitehaven.com.au
 

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Get Rhythm At The Pub! With Johnny Cash and June Carter

May 16, 2024

Don’t miss your chance to relive the magic and love between country’s most famous couple with The Johnny Cash & June Carter Show.

In ‘Get Rhythm’ witness real-life husband and wife duo Mark Caligiuri and Johanne Caligiuri mimic famous on-stage couple Johnny Cash and June Carter.

Alongside Mark and Johanne are Mark’s sons, Chris and Lucas, and Mark’s cousin Adam Prozzo – making this incredible show an authentic family affair.

At young ages, both Mark and Johanne loved classic music, Johanne grew up listening to 50’s rock and roll and Mark grew up singing along with the rockstar Elvis.

It wasn’t until they saw Walk The Line in 2006 that Johanne decided to create a Johnny Cash and June Carter show, and with Mark loving the music also, he was all for it, and they have now been performing the show together since 2007.

Like many, the COVID-19 lockdown paused their performances, but they used this time to develop the show making it even bigger and better.

During lockdown Johanne said her stepsons reached out to her and Mark.

“They said, I know you guys are working on this show, can we be involved in it too,” said Johanne.

“So, it actually came from them reaching out to us after noticing what we were doing behind the scenes.

“And I always say to the boys, this is very special, don't forget this time with your dad because in years from now you will look back and it is very unique.”

Get Rhythm is usually a theatre act, but Mark and Johanne are looking forward to their visit to The Pub.

They performed last year and said the staff were exceptional and they can’t wait to perform again.

“At Airlie Beach Hotel it is a bit more laid back and we love feeding off the audience. So, if the audience are wild, we're going to be wild with them,” said Johanne.

“We can guarantee that people will have a good time, it's going to be so much fun!

“And if you want to sing along, you can do that too!”

WHAT: Get Rhythm
WHERE: The Pub, Airlie Beach Hotel
WHEN: Saturday 25 May & Sunday 26 May
TICKETS: You don’t need any! But booking a table is recommended

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