The excitement for the 2014 Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras is getting stronger by the day.

Parade Open Day struck that anticipation a little harder this Saturday with the opening of the Mardi Gras Workshop in Rosebery and the new Arts workshop fund.

The opening signals the start of two months of hard work by the Mardi Gras creative teams and community members to produce the fabulous Parade floats, costumes, scenery and props that make the Parade and all Mardi Gras events sparkle.

As per the annual tradition, the open day saw the workshop blessed by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to ensure a safe building season in Mardi Gras 2014. As float builders started preparing their streamers, glitter and high heels, building experts from years past were on hand to lend advice and excite a new troupe of Mardi Gras volunteers.

This event also served as the first announcement of Mardi Gras Arts (MGA), an initiative to raise funds for long-term and much-needed projects such as establishing a permanent Mardi Gras workshop.

On celebrating the launch of the MGA and the Workshop, Festival Producer James Rongen-Hall said, “We’re excited to have announced the launch of this initiative which we hope will ensure the long-term future of the workshop. In the meantime, we’re looking forward to two months of glitter and glam flying around our workshop in anticipation of the fabulous parade! There is a lot of hard work ahead.”

The workshop is not just the Mardi Gras’ “nerve centre”, producing the event’s glamourous and world-renowned artistry. Still, it’s also a centre for creative exchange and collaboration within the GLBTQI community. Without the workshop, the parade can’t happen.

Mardi Gras Board Associate Michele Bauer says, “In recent years, our workshop has been secured at the last possible moment as we move from venue to venue each year, creating instability for both the organisation and the community. Without a workshop, we don’t have a parade; without a parade, there is no Mardi Gras. We need a holistically sustainable creative space to support GLBTQI artists and creatives. We hope that the MGA will make this happen.”

The Mardi Gras Arts initiative has been listed on the Register of Cultural Organisations, meaning supporters who donate money to MGA will receive a tax deduction, a significant step towards the industry reaching its goals. Donations will be available soon on the Mardi Gras website.

To find out more information or discuss the full range of contribution options, please contact: Michele Bauer ([email protected])

For more information about Mardi Gras’ jam-packed calendar of summer events, head to