Design Canberra Festival Design Canberra Festival

Photo: 5 Foot Photography
Photo: 5 Foot Photography

Record support from across sectors for DESIGN Canberra, the ACT’s fastest growing festival

As DESIGN Canberra prepares for its sixth year of more than 200 events, exhibitions, activations, tours and talks, the festival announced it has received record support from sponsors across industry, retail, education, hospitality, property and government.

“DESIGN Canberra has resonated with ever-increasing audiences near and far because design is in our city’s DNA. DESIGN Canberra is a powerful platform to promote design and the work of designers and to celebrate and promote Canberra as a global city of design. We are heartened to receive the generous support of the ACT Government together with so many leading businesses across sectors. We are in a strong position to secure the future of this authentic, innovative and experimental festival,’ said Rachael Coghlan, CEO and Artistic Director of Craft ACT and the DESIGN Canberra festival.

Craft ACT (presenters of DESIGN Canberra) were delighted to receive news from the ACT Government that they would support the festival with $100,000 for an additional 2 years in 2020 and 2021. The ACT Government recognises that a strong local arts industry is a vital component of Canberra’s cultural life, international reputation and economy. This commitment shows how, while underpinned by the arts and artists, cultural activity can extend far more broadly and produce significant social and economic impacts. The Civic Square focus of festival programs has also been made possible with support from the ACT Government under the City Renewal Authority’s City Grants program.

The 2019 festival’s exclusive Major Partner is the Canberra Centre, the third year of their support. “The Canberra Centre’s attention to detail, enthusiasm and commitment to quality design is perfectly aligned to the design values promoted in the ACT’s fastest-growing festival. We look forward to sharing the successful DESIGN Canberra platform with the Canberra Centre to grow our audiences, support emerging and local designers and promote design excellence.”

DESIGN Canberra Platinum Partners for 2019 are Rolfe Classic BMW, holly, the University of Canberra and Capital Airport Group. Platinum partners are leaders in design and valued collaborators in the innovative and experimental programs the festival curates. Together, they support the festival to make signature and world-class design programs, including the popular Living Rooms open homes and pop-up exhibitions, design installations and visits by international design leaders.

The festival’s new hotel partner is the brand-new Midnight Hotel (opening September 2019). Midnight Hotel has been designed by world-renowned Fender Katsalidis Architects and Oculus Urban Design and is part of Marriott International’s acclaimed Autograph Collection’s portfolio of hotels crafted with vision and passion. DESIGN Canberra’s exclusive hotel partner, Midnight Hotel will welcome DESIGN Canberra VIPs and audiences throughout the festival.

The festival is pleased to welcome the Goethe Institut as a Cultural Partner. Their international design leadership has enabled the festival to recognise the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus with innovative contemporary German design, the inflatable installations by Plastique Fantastique (Berlin). The installations by Plastique Fantastique have also received generous support from Capital Airport Group (Platinum) and Gold Sponsor the Delegation of the European Union.

Other valued Gold Partners include design leading firms which started in Canberra but have now expanded nationally and internationally: Icelab (digital design), Tait Network (Architects, Landscape Architects and Urbanists) and Thinkplace (human centred design). Joining the festival as a gold partner is ANU Kambri, a new innovative cultural precinct located at the Australian National University designed by BVN.

Media partners supporting the festival in 2019 are HerCanberra (Canberra’s hugely successful online network, digital community, website and magazine) and Dezeen (the world’s most popular and influential architecture and design magazine).

Valued Silver sponsors in 2019 include AusGlass (the national body for the promotion of contemporary glass art in Australia), Design Tasmania (Design Centre). Together with Craft ACT, AusGlass and Design Tasmania have made the international Italian-Australian glass exhibition possible. The National Capital Authority, which builds understanding and appreciation of the role of Canberra as the National Capital is supporting the festival once again, this time as a silver partner. Beverage partners Lake George Winery and Capital Brewing Co will generously support festival events and hospitality and Sellicks Consultants (award-winning, multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy), will provide engineering advice to a robotically-fabricated installation in Civic Square designed by platinum partners University of Canberra.

DESIGN Canberra was a big idea from a small organisation, Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre. First presented in 2014 (when it attracted 24,000 people), DESIGN Canberra has grown to embrace a regional and global focus, becoming a critical and collaborative forum for contemporary, relevant, experimental and authentic design. 112,844 people attended the festival in 2018, a 19% increase on 2017. To encourage access, 80% of events are free and the festival hopes to build interstate visitation from tourists to help to secure the future of this vital festival.

“Together with our festival partners, we organise and help curate multiple events such as exhibitions, tours and talks with numerous individuals and organisations. Our experienced creative team has a passion for collaborating with like-minded organisations, facilitating ideas, connecting artists and bringing the right audiences to experience them.”

In addition to sponsors and partners, the 2019 DESIGN Canberra festival will benefit from a new network of supporters from across the arts and design community. The fast-growing DESIGN Canberra festival platform can now be shared with a creative and local community including: ACT Writers Centre, Ainslie + Gorman Arts Centres, Australian Museums and Galleries Association (ACT), Australian National Capital Artists (ANCA), Australian Design Centre, Australian Graphic Design Association, Australian Institute of Architects (ACT), Belconnen Arts Centre, Canberra City Framing Gallery, Design Institute of Australia, Fusion Journal, M16 Artspace, Megalo, Photo Access, Radford College, Strathnairn Arts, The Design Kids, Transport Canberra, Tuggeranong Arts Centre.