April 15th 2013
Islanders recognised in NQ Arts Awards
Marilyn Sheather of Nelly Bay and organiser of the Great Tropical Jazz Parties on Magnetic Island was recognised last Friday night, for her enormous service to the community, when she received a North Queensland Art Award at the Townsville Civic Theatre for her work which has seen an annual, world class, Jazz festival held on Magnetic Island for the last 17 years.
“I was very excited. Really gobsmacked!” Marilyn told Magnetic Times. There were two other beautiful young girls nominated who are now recording music but when David Salisbury read out what was required I thought, the others haven’t done this. Then MC Bernie Lanigan started talking about everything I’d done from my singing through to organising the Great Tropical Jazz Party.
“It (the award) really makes it worthwhile! After the Jazz Parties and (sometimes) criticism I ask myself why am I doing this. But after having gone to the Civic Theatre with hundreds of people there I thought, no, it is worth it!”
Another Islander and musician of great talent, Matt Whitton, along with collaborator Fairlie Sandilands (Fairlie is not Island resident but very involved in the MI History and Craft Centre) were, we hear, key players in two other awards. One, in Film & New Media Award for “The Spine of Creativity” and the other, a Regional Arts Development Fund Award, “Living Life with a Disability," for the work they and the Spinal Injuries Association of Townsville has done in the Arts.
Not missing an opportunity to promote the Island jazz festival, Marilyn mentioned that this year’s Party was almost not going to happen until a one-off donation of $5,000 from a secret supporter rescued the budget which is almost entirely spent on airfares and accommodation.
And, this year, Marilyn says, the venue will be the Picnic Bay Hotel’s Water Oasis Garden over the weekend of August 24-25, so mark your diaries. And the line-up is set to be the cream of Australian jazz with a strong emphasis on collaboration AKA jamming!
So, congratulations Marilyn for your ongoing efforts and passion and very well done Matt and Fairlie.