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    2017 Nati Frinj - Dusk.

Nati Frinj to widen horizons

Horsham mayor Mark Radford believes a key aspect of the biennial Nati Frinj festival at Natimuk is ‘widening people’s horizons’.

Cr Radford said he was again looking forward to the quirky, unusual and diverse nature of the Nati Frinj Biennale, which had become embedded in the Horsham district events calendar.

“It’s a classic story that started as an idea of bringing many different types of people in a community together for a unique celebration,” he said.

“The arts program this year is very impressive and if it’s like other years it will just come together beautifully. 

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“It’s on the edge when it comes to art and everyone involved does it well.”

The biennale is from Friday to Sunday as part of the Melbourne Cup long weekend and features everything from parades, aerial shows, exhibitions and theatre production to tours and opportunities for community interaction.

It is designed to ‘celebrate and express the creative energy of Natimuk and invited artists’.

Cr Radford said scheduling the festival every two years had been an important strategic and winning move and a push to involve children had also been successful.

“It helps build the excitement and people seriously look forward to it,” he said.

Natimuk born and bred festival director Hanna French said the countdown to the festival was exciting.

“Much has been happening already through all the community and children involvement, and as artists begin to arrive this week and start rehearsals it will be full-steam ahead,” she said.

“There’s been a huge community effort and that is why I’ve really loved coming back to Natimuk to work. 

“The feeling is like everyone in town has a little bit of ownership of the Frinj. The generosity of the community is outstanding.”

Ms French said organisers were curious to see how much of an impact national television coverage of Natimuk and its culture – a mixture of farming, rock-climbing and art – on ABC program Back Roads would translate to visitors.

“We’re really excited to see who comes to the festival. The potential is for a whole new audience,” she said.

Ms French said the festival program was so diverse it would be hard to gauge how many people attended.

“When there are so many things happening over three days it makes it difficult. We generally say between 3000 to 4000 people,” she said.

“That’s a lot of people for Natimuk and we hope the old girl holds together. We’re confident she will – it’s a pretty robust community.”

Ms French said a free shuttle bus would run from Horsham Art Gallery to Natimuk on each day of the festival.

“It’s great because people will be able to leave their cars at home,” she said.

More information about tickets, programming or other details surrounding Nati Frinj Biennale is available online at

– Dean Lawson

The entire October 30, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire October 30, 2019 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!