Art

29 April - En Plein Air

En Plein Air Art in the Vines Competition

Saturday 29 April - Monday 1 May

Artists are invited to bring their own materials and experience the joy of “En Plein Air”, in direct engagement with nature, where the transitory effects of light can be observed and recorded. Bring your easel and create your masterpiece! Artworks produced over the nominated days may go on exhibition at Mistletoe Winery’s Pokolbin Gallery. All welcome, accommodation available at various venues. This Competition based Around Hermitage is an acquisitive competition with $1500 prize money sponsored by Mistletoe Winery for the Artwork that best ‘Captures the beauty of the Hunter’.

When: 8:00am - 5:30pm Sat April 29, Sun April 30, Mon May 1
Where: Hermitage Road (various locations) - Participating Venues:
Mistletoe Winery, 771 Hermitage Rd, Ph. 1800 055 080
Estate Tuscany, Cnr Mistletoe Lane & Hermitage Rd, Ph. 02 4998 7288
Misty Glen Wines, 293 Deasys Rd, Ph. 02 4998 7781
Cost: Free, but you must register – either by email prior to event or on the day at one of the selected venues.
Further information: Competition rules and online registration

29 April - SINGLETON UNITING CHURCH OPEN DAY AND ORGAN RECITAL

SINGLETON UNITING CHURCH OPEN DAY AND ORGAN RECITAL

Saturday 29 April

Come visit one of our local architectural treasures as Singleton Uniting Church opens its doors and celebrates its heritage with this exclusive event for Singleton Festival 2017!

Marvel at the stunning building with its exterior of Ravensfield stone and Welsh slate, and an interior roof based on the traditional hammer beam principle with solid ribs and moulded cornices. Inside, seating for 400 was created from beautiful kauri wood, while splendid stained glass memorial windows illuminate the beauty of the interior. The more you explore, the more you will find; the interior of the church is filled with historical and religious testaments to the pivotal role this church and its people have played in Singleton’s story.

To complement the ambience of the church and in celebration of this special event, the original pipe organ will be played for guests from 2:30pm. This beautiful 1920s instrument was installed in memory of soldiers who fought in World War 1. Come join us, relax in the surrounds and reflect on the richness of Singleton’s past – we will see you there!

When: Saturday 29 April - Church open 10am – 4pm, Organ will be played from 2.30pm

Where: Singleton Uniting Church, 1 Church St, Singleton

Cost: Free

Further information: Contact Singleton Uniting Church on (02) 6572 1652.

30 April - Guinness World Record attempt

Official Festival Launch and Guinness World Record Attempt

Sunday 30 April

Head to Singleton Civic Centre as the Singleton Crafters lead the community in crushing the current Guinness World Record for the ‘Most People Crocheting Simultaneously’. Don’t worry if you can’t crochet, we’ll teach you! Receive a crash crochet course from Singleton Crafters at 9am ahead of the record attempt. Lions Club of Singleton will be serving up a barbecue breakfast all morning and there will be plenty of food and entertainment options for the family even if you don’t want to participate in the World Record Attempt.

The Civic Centre will open its doors from 10am for the registered participants. There will be a limited opportunity to register on the day but be early to ensure this is done between 9am and 9:45am to meet the deadline – we cannot guarantee that we can meet demand on the day. The Civic Centre will go into lockdown at 10:45am, and once you are inside the record attempt area this is where you will need to stay.

The official launch of Singleton Festival will take place inside the Civic Centre at 11am and the record attempt will begin around 11:15am. Participants need to crochet continuously for 15 minutes to make the attempt official. We intend going for 20 minutes just to be sure. Then it’s time to celebrate!

Bring your own size 4 crochet hook, 8-ply yarn and water. Alternatively, you can bring along a crochet project you are already working on. Any leftover crochet pieces or yarn will be collected by Singleton Crafters and incorporated into one of their charity projects.

When: 9am – 11:45am Sunday 30 April
Where: Singleton Civic Centre
Cost: Entry is free
Further information: To register your attendance or to discuss access requirements, please visit or call Singleton Visitor Information and Enterprise Centre on 6578 7560

2 May - Bursting at the Seams

Bursting at the Seams

Tuesday 2 May

Singleton’s Mechanic’s Institute will hold an open day with groups showcasing their crafts and interests to the broader community. You are invited to come along and visit Monday Art Group, Singleton Quilters, Family History Society Singleton Inc., Singleton Potters and Singleton Textile Artists. Groups. Visit their facilities and maybe, just maybe, take the step to develop your own creativity. The historic 1866 building designed by John Wiltshire Pender is home to these groups who are only to willing to share their knowledge and skills with others.

You will be able to visit the groups in action, ask questions and speak to their members about what they do, why they do it and the personal satisfaction they gain by taking a special interest in something a little different from the everyday.

When: 10:00am – 2:00pm Tuesday 2 May
Where: 74 George Street, Singleton
Cost: Entry is free
Further information: Contact Singleton Visitor Information and Enterprise Centre on 02 6578 7560

All dates - Hunter Valley Wine Food Film

Hunter Valley Wine Food & Film Festival

Thursday 4 May - Sunday 14 May

Merging the Senses – Taste, Sight, Sound is a collection of experiences presented by the Around Hermitage Wine and Food Trail. Enjoy the ambience of the vineyards whilst enjoying locally made fine wines and gourmet food from the region’s restaurants and providores. Indulge in a ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ at your accommodation or head to one of the cafes for a sumptuous breakfast with a glass of Hunter Valley sparkling to set you up for the day’s activities. During the day a number of fun activities will be on offer. As evening approaches, head to the Hunter Ridge Vineyard for the main event - get there in good time to grab a bite from one of the pop-up restaurants and enjoy some local wine, then sit back to watch the sunset over the Brokenback Mountain range before the film starts.

When: Thursday 4 May (Launch date) – Sunday 14 May (various times)
Where: Around Hermitage (various venues)
Cost: Many events are ticketed; follow link here for further details on individual event pricing
Further information: please click here for further details or phone 02 4998 7781 for general enquiries

6 May - Bulga Beats

Bulga Beats

Saturday 6 May - Sunday 7 May

Bulga Beats is a community event, unifying festival experiences with practical learning through workshops in art, movement and theatre to deeply engage and enrich patrons. Saturday is the main event with markets, food, the main stage, busking stage and a DJ shack running throughout the day and night. Sunday is a day of rejuvenation where the main focus will be on workshops, talks, learning and art. The workshops range from healing, yoga and dance through to music mentorship and art, among others. The festival will conclude Sunday afternoon but with an open invite to all who wish to stay on and connect through music jams, talking or dancing together. Camping is free for all and we encourage you to come as early as you wish and stay as long as you want.

When: Saturday 6 May – Sunday 7 May
Where: Bulga Recreational Ground, 19 Inlet Road, Bulga
Cost: Tickets range from $30 to $37, available via Eventbrite
Further information: See Facebook Page for updates

6 May - Artisans Open Day

Artisan’s Open Day

Saturday 6 May

Keen for an adventure? Visit Elderslie and witness a rare treat as traditional blacksmiths join forces to create a sculptural monument while surrounded by other artisans and entertainment. Will Maguire is a multi-award winning contemporary Artist Blacksmith who works with hot steel, forging and manipulating it, creating forms that are beautiful, genuine and new.

Based in the beautiful surrounds of the Hunter Valley NSW he is a one of very few contemporary blacksmiths in Australia utilising contemporary design and traditional skills learnt from masters overseas.
On May 6, Will will open up his workspace to visitors who can watch him and his blacksmith colleagues at work in the forge at the Maguire family’s Elderslie property. To tie in with the theme, other craftspeople will also feature on the day to demonstrate their skills and passion, also fostering networking opportunities for the creative community. With live music and complimentary refreshments, you can sit back and relax, lap up the view and take in the skill of traditional craftsmanship at its finest.

When: From 10:30am, Saturday 6 May
Where: 664 Elderslie Road, Elderslie
Cost: Entry is free
Further information: Contact Singleton Visitor Information and Enterprise Centre on 02 6578 7560

6 May - Singleton Historical Museum

Singleton Historical Museum

Saturday 6 May - Sunday 7 May

To celebrate Singleton Festival, Singleton Historical Museum offers free entry to the public this weekend. Be prepared to step back 200 years in time and catch a glimpse of colonial life in Singleton.
The settlement of Singleton District originally known as St. Patrick’s Plains began shortly after the discovery of the area by the Howe expedition in 1820. The main road to the Upper Hunter crossed the river at Benjamin Singleton’s Ford and the small settlement developed into a town. By the 1860s, with the coming of the railway, the district’s rural industries increased and the town prospered. It was the development of the massive coal deposits in the latter part of the 20th century that saw an increase in the population and added to the expansion of the district.

Today the town’s development can be identified by the remaining historic buildings that give Singleton its distinctive character.

Singleton Historical Museum in Burdekin Park, occupies the town’s first jail keeper’s residence and was also the site of the first lock up built in 1840. Discover the town’s past within the walls of the museum with displays dating back to the 1800s.

The museum also has a number of publications on the town’s history for sale.

When: 12:00pm – 4:00pm Saturday 6 May and Sunday 7 May
Where: Singleton Museum, Burdekin Park, Singleton
Cost: Entry is free
Further information: Contact Singleton Visitor Information and Enterprise Centre on 02 6578 7560

6 May - Flickerfest

Flickerfest Film Night

Saturday 6 May

Flickerfest is coming to the Hunter Valley Wine Country for the first time! Flickerfest is a well-established short film festival and we will be showing the Comedy set.

Head to Peter Drayton Wines for the main event of the day, get there in good time to grab a bite from one of the Pop-up Restaurants, enjoy some local wine then sit back to watch the sunset over the Brokenback Mountains before the film starts.

Join the Australian Flickerfest Tour during Singleton Festival for the Best of Australian Shorts – 2017.

When: 4:30pm – 10:00pm Saturday 6 May
Where: Peter Drayton Wines, Pokolbin
Cost: TBC - please check website link below closer to the date
Further information: Please click here for further details or phone 02 4998 7781 for general enquiries

7 May - 8 Artists

Painting at the Pub

Sunday 7 May

The Royal Hotel will play host to 8 Artists who will set up their easels on the grassed area of the beer garden and showcase their artistic flair for all to see. 8 Artists are a local collective of artists (and not necessarily 8!) who meet weekly to explore art and encourage one another’s creative journeys. Key words for this art group are: inspiration, exploration, appreciation, personal achievement and individuality. The artists work with a variety of mediums and art styles that challenge them to push the boundaries.

This is a rare opportunity to chat with the artists while they express their creativity on canvas. The artists will also have works on display and for sale.

To add to the ambience and the laid-back feel of the event, acoustic band ‘The Way’ will perform during the afternoon.

The Royal Hotel also offers an extensive lunch and dinner menu for you to choose from – why not gather a group and make a day of it?

When: from 11:00am, Sunday 7 May
Where: Royal Hotel, George Street, Singleton
Cost: Entry is free, food and beverages available for purchase
Further information: Contact the Royal Hotel on 02 6572 1194 or contact the Singleton Visitor Information and Enterprise Centre on 02 6578 7560

7 May - Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead

Sunday 7 May

Follow the trails and trials of Joe and Jimmy Governor in a candid conversation with local historian Sarah Johnstone at Singleton’s historic Caledonian Hotel in this one-off exclusive event for Singleton Festival 2017.

Bushranger Joe Governor was shot and killed on October 31, 1900, near Mount Royal via Singleton. His body was laid out at the Caledonian Hotel as evidence of his death with landholders near and far made the journey to Singleton to see for themselves that Joe Governor was indeed dead.

The story goes that Joe and his brother, Jimmy, were passing through Singleton on the run from the law. Joe was trying to get to an Aboriginal mission at St Clair when he was split up from Jimmy after an ambush. Joe’s grave can be seen outside the boundary fence at Whittingham Cemetery (3km south of Singleton). His corpse was not permitted within the bounds of the graveyard.

He and his brother, Jimmy Governor, were greatly feared in the district at the end of the 19th century. The book and film, The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith, are based on their adventures.

This event will comprise introductory words from Sarah at the Caledonian Hotel before the group boards a bus and heads to Whittingham Cemetery to visit the gravesite for further discussion. The bus will then return to the Caledonian Hotel where Sarah will continue to expand on this infamous historical event and reflect on influencing contexts of the times.

Ticket price includes bus transportation to the cemetery and meal. Drinks are an additional cost. Proceeds from this event will be donated to Singleton Historical Museum.

When: 3:00pm Sunday 7 May
Where: Meet at Caledonian Hotel, George Street Singleton (includes return transport to Whittingham Cemetery via bus)
Cost: $25/ticket (includes discussion, your choice of 2 dinner options and return bus); Payment must be made at time of booking as places are strictly limited
Further information: For bookings and payment, contact the Singleton Visitor Information and Enterprise Centre on 02 6578 7560 or visit during opening hours

11 May - In Conversation with Peter FitzSimons

In Conversation with Peter FitzSimons

Thursday 11 May

Join us for this intimate event with renowned all-rounder Peter FitzSimons, well-respected columnist for The Sydney Morning Herald and Sun-Herald, as he reflects on his life experiences. FitzSimons speaks four languages, has played rugby for Australia, co-hosted radio shows with Mike Carlton and Doug Mulray, interviewed famous people around the globe from George Bush to Diego Maradona, and is the Chair of the Australian Republican Movement.

FitzSimons has also written over 27 best-selling books including Tobruk, Kokoda, Batavia, Eureka, Ned Kelly, Gallipoli, Fromelles and Pozières and biographies of Douglas Mawson, Nancy Wake‚ Kim Beazley‚ Nick Farr-Jones‚ Les Darcy, Steve Waugh and John Eales, and is one of the nation’s biggest selling non- fiction authors of the last fifteen years. His ability to bring history to life with his vibrant writing style and his expert melding of writing and research are some of the secrets of his success.

In 2016’s The Great Aussie Bloke Slim-Down was a change of direction with Peter detailing his journey of deciding to live a better, healthier and happier life, giving up the booze, getting fit and losing 45 kilos in the process. He discusses the fads that failed him, the diets that died fast and left him furious, and the ways his waistline kept the belt industry in business.

Peter is the most popular after-dinner speaker in Australia, he is married to Today Show co-host Lisa Wilkinson and they have three children. This is a rare opportunity to hear him chat locally, and tickets will sell fast. There will be an opportunity at the end of the evening to have your books signed.

When: Thursday 11 May, 6pm

Where: Charbonnier Hotel Singleton, 44 Maitland Road Singleton

Cost: Tickets are only $35/ head, including two courses and a complimentary glass of Savannah sparkling wine on arrival. Bookings and payment can be made through Singleton Library on (02) 6578 7500.

Further information: Contact Singleton Library on (02) 6578 7500 or for meal and venue enquiries, contact Charbonnier Hotel directly on (02) 6572 2333.

10 May - Bush Poets

Bush Poets’ Yarn Night

Wednesday 10 May

It is not just the famous words, but it is how they are said. Bush poetry is about to gain a whole new bunch of fans when the Newcastle Hunter Valley Folk Club presents a Bush Poets’ Yarn Night at the Clubhouse Hotel. These vibrant performers are known to have their audiences hanging off every word, such is their skill! Join us for a great night celebrating the power of the spoken word to entertainment, inspire and amuse.

Guest poets include Ron Brown, Kent Daniel and Tony Parry. And there will be an open invitation for anyone attending to share a poem or yarn, with several bottles of Hunter Valley Wine up for grabs as prizes.

The Clubhouse Hotel serves dinner each night from 6pm so make sure you arrive early, grab a good seat, enjoy a fresh tap brew and meal and prepare for a night that will have you in fits of laughter as only a good bush yarn can do.

When: 7:30pm Wednesday 10 May
Where: Clubhouse Hotel, John Street, Singleton
Cost: $25, includes two-course meal; Tickets available from the Clubhouse Hotel, phone 02 6571 2593
Further information: Contact the Clubhouse Hotel on 02 6571 2593

10 May - Sisters of Mercy

A Change of Habit

Wednesday 10 May

You are invited to be in the audience for the world premiere screening of ‘The Sisters of Mercy’ – a DVD which tells the story of the Sisters and their lives in Singleton through the experiences of the Sisters themselves, particularly that of Sister Monica Sinclair.

This unique collection of oral histories is directed by Garth Russell, whose 30 years of radio combined with many years of acting, presenting and performing have been instrumental in teaching him ways to use his passion and skills to become an extractor of great stories. Garth was the obvious choice when it came to telling the story of the Sisters of Mercy.

Enjoy a glass of wine and canapes, then sit back and enjoy the sisters’ story as they reflect upon their lives, beliefs and the changing face of Singleton.

When: 5:30pm – 7:30pm Wednesday 10 May
Where: Sacred Spaces Community Room, Queen Street, Singleton
Cost: Donation at the door
Further information: Contact Sacred Spaces on 02 6572 2398