WOW Festival

March 8, 2018

Katie Noonan and Hon Kate Jones, Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development and Minister for the Commonwealth Games

The exciting world-renowned WOW (Women of the World) Festival which has already showcased in 23 countries around the world, will be staged in Brisbane in April during the Commonwealth Games.

Announcing the full program of the Commonwealth festival on the eve of International Women’s Day, Kate Jones, Minister for Innovation and Tourism, Industry Development and Minister for the Commonwealth Games, described the annual event as a  “global phenomenon”.

She said this would be the first time WOW was staged in conjunction with a Commonwealth Games and from now on it would be run in conjunction with future Games.

It will run from April 6 – 8 at the Brisbane Powerhouse as part of the Games’ Festival 2018 program.

Ms Jones said WOW would be a highlight of the Festival 2018 program and provides the community and visitors to Queensland with a unique opportunity to explore issues faced by all of us working towards a more gender equal society.

“The program of performance, workshops and activities showcases women who are using their business skills and creativity to build cultural and social enterprises, while also discussing the barriers women face and encouraging people to think about how they can unite, move forward and succeed.”said Ms Jones.

The Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will take an up-front role in the festival when she joins a panel of speakers from across the Commonwealth to discuss current affairs in WOW Views in the News on Saturday, April 7.

To mark the fact that the Games will, for the first time, feature an equal number of male and female medals, a special sports panel will take an entertaining look at what is next for women in sports.

The panel will include the President of the Commonwealth Games Federation Dr Louise Martin, Queensland Firebirds star Caitlyn Nevins and Brisbane Heat and Queensland fast bowler Holly Ferling.

A massive free and ticketed arts and cultural program has been released showcasing Queensland, First Nations and international artists in exhibitions and performances covering genres from rap to the Indian sitar.

Other performance highlights include excerpts from Fan Girls by Yve Blake, a major new  musical exploring the bloodthirsty story of teenage girls prepared to kill for love, based on hundreds of interviews and inspired by a story from an obsessed fan of Harry Styles from One Direction.

Ghosts of a Goddess will be a twilight spectacle where circus performers from Vulcana Women’s Circus scale the heights of the Powerhouse.

A unique program inclusion will be Under 10’s Feminist Corner where two interactive sessions hosted by creative artists will be held where girls (only) will unpick rules they have learnt in their early years, imagine a world without them and reveal the changes they want to see in the future.

The Under 10 boys (only) will explore how the rules might be different for girls, what it means for girls’ lives and what boys can do to help build gender equality.

The festival will close with a bang when the voices of Australian stars, including Clare Bowditch. Deborah Conway, Emily Wurramara and Hannah Macklin join with special guests including Fiji’s “Queen of Pop” Laisa Lualala Vulakoro, ShoShona Kish from Juno award-winning Canadian duo Digging Roots to celebrate women in music in a special  Songs That Made Me concert at Queensland Performing Arts Centre on Sunday, April 8.

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