Many festivals have had to be postponed or cancelled due to the current threat of the coronavirus and related restrictions, however, the Victorian Seniors Festival was able to move their performances into a digital format.
Victorian Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers, Luke Donnellan, officially launched the Victorian Seniors Festival Reimagined today, ensuring that Victoria is still able to keep the seniors in the Victorian community connected and engaged.
Usually, this festival is only a month long, however, the new digital format has allowed for a six month virtual party with a theme that showcases how seniors can thrive despite the pandemic.
Minister Donnellan says, "The Victorian Seniors Festival is an important part of Victoria’s social calendar, and it’s great to see it will continue as something for older Victorians to enjoy during this uncertain time.
"We wanted to ensure the reimagined festival had a mixture of activities and broadcasts for everyone to enjoy and by extending the festival to six months we’re keeping people connected for longer.
"From Mark Trevorrow – a staple in the Australian comedy scene – to a showcase of opera from a leader and pioneer of First Nations arts and culture Deborah Cheetham AO, there’s something for everyone."
In the new Victorian Seniors Festival Reimagined format, there will be three broadcasts each week with Australia's best talents, and stories that recognise and celebrate Victorian seniors.
There are a lot of virtual events and activities for seniors to experience for their own homes, including music, stand up comedy, Bollywood dancing and more.
The festival's theme is 'In the groove", which is encouraging older Victorians to embrace these new virtual opportunities.
Country music singer, Tania Kernaghan, is looking forward to entertaining the virtual crowds for the Victorian Seniors Festival this year.
Ms Kernaghan is well versed in entertaining online crowds with her music through live-streams on social media called 'Garage Karaoke', which she performs in the back of her Triton ute.
Ms Kernaghan says, "I love performing for older people. They listen and they are really appreciative."
"I started doing [Garage Karaoke] as a way to connect with people and in the process brighten someone’s day through my music. You never know what people are going through in their own homes and Garage Karaoke is 15 minutes of fun every Thursday night. I even use a hairbrush as a microphone. People tune in from all around the world.
"Music is really powerful, it can soothe your anxiety, it can lift you up, it can heal a broken heart, it can change your mind and your emotions within three minutes.
"So, spreading a bit of love and happiness and fun for those few minutes is the easiest thing I can do all week."
For more information about virtual events and activities from the Victorian Seniors Festival, visit the Seniors Online website.