Midwinta FestivalAs word of the inaugural Midwinta Gala Ball circulated in Melbourne and excitement grew, the Midsumma team were hard at work building an entire Festival that surrounds the black tie event.

“Midwinta follows community feedback that Midsumma, Pride March, Melbourne Queer film-reviews Festival, and Chill Out all occur at the start of the year, leaving a long gap in the GLBTI calendar. “ Aaron Hockly, Midsumma Chair.

The Midwinta Festival, made up of eight events, will run primarily throughout August.

Midwinta Festival focuses on community, fundraising and networking, as well as reconnecting with those faces that you only see at Midsumma, but in the cool crisp winter months of Melbourne.

“Midwinta Festival is a chance for community groups who are already hosting individual events across the winter months, to coordinate our calendars in order to assist each other, create greater awareness for all events and bring the community together in winter, when the effects of physical and psychological isolation can really take hold. We hope to see Midwinta grow from a relatively small Festival in 2014, to a large community-orientated winter icon over the next three to five years.” Festival Manger, Monique Thorpe

The 2014 Midwinta Festival events:

STATUS at The Arts Centre Melbourne, 23 – 27 July. Following the sell-out Midsumma play-reading, STATUS has been developed into a total production housed by the Arts Centre Melbourne in late July. Midsumma is thrilled to see this piece go from strength to strength and cannot wait to see what the STATUS consortium developed.

libeRATe at Art @ 1 Spring Street, Opening Tuesday 5 August. Rat Simpson is the Midsumma Visual Arts Convenor and Deputy Chair, as well as a full-time graphic designer and successful artist in her own right. Rat presents this solo exhibition at the Midwinta Festival, which brings her professional training and street art style together with magnificent results.

Team Melbourne Midwinter Mixer, Saturday, 2 August. Get to know you, teammates! Team Melbourne, the umbrella queer sporting alliance in Victoria, is hosting a mixer night for all current and potential players. A great chance to meet like-minded people and chat off the field/court/pool etc.!

GLOBE lunch at CQ private dining room, Friday 8 August. Join the Gay and Lesbian Organisation of Business and Enterprise (GLOBE) for lunch with IBM’s Gail Wittich as she presents and discusses IBM’s diversity journey in the lovely CQ private dining room.

Pride March Bake Off at DTs Pub, Saturday, 9 August. What’s the easiest way to support Pride March’s 20th anniversary? Get baking! With a new timeslot, this much-loved event returned in 2014 as part of the Midwinta Festival at its traditional home of DTs, Richmond.

Midwinta Gala Ball at Grand Hyatt Ballroom, Friday 15 August. “The cornerstone of Midwinta is a gala ball on 15 August 2014 in the Savoy Ballroom of the Grand Hyatt. This is a night to frock or suits up (or both), enjoy a 3-course meal, experience the tremendous talent and dance the night away. The night aims to raise funds for Midsumma through an auction of goods and services generously donated by many businesses and individuals, so come prepared to spend big!“ Aaron Hockly, Midsumma Chair

When This You See Remember Me, David McDiarmid exhibition at NGV, Thursday 21 August. An after-hours viewing of the beautiful and inspiring works of David McDiarmid. Join us for a wander in the gallery, followed by informal dinner and drinks nearby.

Medicated, by T J Bateson at Tacit Contemporary Art, Wednesday 27 August. Midwinta closes with Tim Bateson’s exhibition Medicated. In 2013, Tim was diagnosed with Mantel Cell Lymphoma and had been undergoing treatment since. Reaction to being informed you have Stage IV Mantle Cell Lymphoma does not typically include planning a large-scale, 3-week solo exhibition that includes raising money for the Peter Mac Foundation.