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The Piers Festival 2014 – A celebration of migration

January 26, 2014 @ 7:30 am

World music, dance, food, art, walking tours, discussion forums, photos & historical exhibitions and fireworks!

Welcome to the third installment of the popular Piers Festival, a celebration of migration at Princes Pier which has welcomed people to the shores of Melbourne throughout our rich migrant history.

From Chinese immigrants during the gold rush to European immigrants post Second World War, from wartime shipping to cruise shipping, these piers have been the gateway to Melbourne for decades.

Photograph by Glenane Photography


Photograph by Glenane Photography

12pm – 5pm: VOICES STAGE
Hosted by SistaNative

Enjoy some of Melbourne’s finest harmonies from culturally diverse artists and communities including: The Sevdalinka Choir – The Brimbank Multicultural Choir – Mir Kumen On Yiddish choir The Sivaganga’s Choir – Cambur Pinton

12 – 5pm: DANCE STAGE
Hosted by Melanie Moravski

Watch and learn fun steps with a colourful array of cultural dance groups including: Rangana & Udumbara Sri Lankan Dance – Ceffyl Gwyn Welsh Dance – Ekol Folkloric Turkish Dance – Albanian Folkloric Dance – Asanti Dance Theatre

Presented by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Did you or your parents arrive as migrants? Hear some incredible stories that draw out the universal experience of the migrant with guest speakers from some of Melbourne’s key migrant communities. Forums will be held upstairs in the historic gatehouse.

Migration forums: Download complete program & speaker biographies

Admission to is free but places are limited. Call 9188 3681 or register on-line:

12:30 – 1:30pm: Migration Mosaic (a mix of artists and influencers of migrant heritage) register at (www.trybooking.com/DUTE)


  • Huseyin (Huss) Mustafa, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Commissioner VMC & President Australian Turkish Business Council
  • Anita Horvath – Emerald Hill Ward Cr
  • Cece Ojany
  • Mikelangelo
  • Vinko Simic 2:00 – 3:00pm: Baltic Waves (marking the 65 year anniversary of Baltic migration since the late 1940s) register at www.trybooking.com/DUTH
  • Anu Mihkelson, PhD
  • Ryk Bliszccyk
  • Gabriel Zemkalnis
  • Elvira Latiss3:30 – 4:30pm: Australia Day Ambassadors (outstanding citizens of migrant heritage) register at www.trybooking.com/DUTK
  • Nyadol Nyuon
  • Stefan Romaniw OAM
  • Vedran Drakulic
  • Elizabeth Chong 12pm – 4pm: KOOLIE HAT MAKING AND KITE MAKING
    Come along and learn how to make traditional Chinese Koolie hats to protect you from the summer sun or come and learn how to make your very own kite- a pastime invented in China over 2,000 years ago and spread across the globe.

    KITE FLYING: At 4pm there will be a group kite flying session on the beach to show off your brand new kite.


    Take a leisurely stroll from Princes Pier along the scenic promenade and Station Pier. Explore significant heritage and cultural landmarks that have shaped the port’s rich history of migration.

    Discover the many uses of the ports over 150 years as a point of arrival and departure and hear some fascinating stories along the way.

    Walks will depart from the Multicultural Arts Victoria Information Marquee at the entrance to Princes Pier at 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm, 5pm, 6pm and will run for approximately 40 minutes.

    Guides: Janet Bolitho and Meyer Eidelson.

    Places are limited and registrations are essential. Call 9188 3681 or register on-line at www.trybooking.com/DUTA

    Hosted by Mikelangelo

    5:00 Sounds of Polynesia
    5:20 Welcome to Country
    5:30 Saorise – Irish music
    6:20 Santa Taranta – music from the south of Italy
    7:05 VulgarGrad – Russian convict music
    7:50 Compania Glendi Band (Stavrina) – Traditional Greek music and dance
    8:35 Jimmy Bosch and The Salsa Kingz – Jazz and Salsa Legend
    9:20 Fireworks

    12:00pm – 9:30pm: EXHIBITIONS, FOOD & CRAFT
    The beautifully restored Princes Pier will come to life with food and crafts from around the world, roving entertainers, storytelling and children’s activities.

    Upstairs in the historic boathouse, don’t miss three informative and fascinating exhibitions by:

    Co.As.It – Italian Historical Society

    Slovenian Association Melbourne

    Bonegilla Migrant Camp community of Benalla

    For your comfort: Bring a folding chair or cushion and small umbrella

    Photograph by DWV Photography

    How to get to The Piers Festival?

    Tram 109 lightrail to Waterfront Place, Port Melbourne.

    Parking in surrounding areas is very limited. Catch the Princes Pier (off Pier Street, Port Melbourne).

    Check the weather forecast. It can get a bit windy and sunny. Bring sun hat, sun glasses and wind gear if necessary and have fun!

    Media enquiries

    Download Media Release

    Andrea Makris, Multicultural Arts Victoria, Tel: 03 9188 3681, Email: events@multiculturalarts.com.au


    Originally called Railway Pier, the heritage listed Station Pier officially opened in 1854 and played a pivotal role in the lives of gold seekers and early settlers.

    It was the departure point for key military expeditions and the entry point for hundreds of thousands of European migrants over the past century.

    Princes Pier, adjacent to Station Pier, was completed in 1916 and also played a significant role in Victoria’s multicultural, wartime and maritime history.

    Its 1935 gatehouse is heritage listed and the pier was recently restored for public use by the Victorian Government, through Major Projects Victoria.

    The 1935 gatehouse will house historical photographs and this will be the first major event on the pier since its restoration.

    Piers Festival

    The Piers Festival welcomes all to celebrate migration and cultural diversity at this historic landmark.



January 26, 2014
7:30 am