Winter in the ‘Vale

Polly Snowden has something poignant to say about local politicians and Gold Coast’s music scene. “They’re councilors, and they work for the community,” she said. “And all we need as a community is a sense of unification: a sense of belonging and a sense of being.”

Polly is acknowledging the support – both moral and financial – that has come from two local councillors’ divisional funding for a series of live music events that have generated that “sense of community” as well as economic development for the villages involved. Polly was one of the team behind the incredibly successful Summertime Sessions in the Village which brought Mudgeeraba to life every Friday night through summer. And she’s now one of the team bringing live music to Helensvale, modeled on the Summertime Sessions, as part of a series which will run through winter.

The Mudgeeraba events were supported by local businesses, but funding for the series came from the Division 9 Local Area Works budget – managed by Cr Glenn Tozer. Now, the Helensvale series is being supported financially by Cr William Owen-Jones. “Having seen the success of the Summertime project in Mudgeeraba, it seemed natural to not bother re-inventing the wheel from what Glenn Tozer had created, but to simply ‘borrow’ the idea and rebadge the concept around Winter here,” Cr Owen-Jones said.

The Helensvale series, known as Winter in the ‘Vale, will run over eight Fridays through winter, commencing 12 June. Polly is passionate about the “vibe” as she puts it and gushes as she describes the space being used for the series, which will use the Helensvale Cultural Centre. “It’ll be in that outside courtyard area, – weather depending.

We’ll have the bar going – with beers, wood-fired pizzas, we’re bringing out some turf and beanbags – we’re really going to lush it out with décor. It’s hard to make a cozy space with a concrete floor, but we have it covered,” she said. Cr Owen-Jones says the series of live music isn’t the only groovy thing going on in Helensvale. “We have a new Nightquarter market starting up at the end of the year that will have an outdoor venue with a capacity for around 2000 people. It will be fantastic for bringing the Gold Coast back on the touring schedule for Australian and International acts,” he said. The Councillor also said the response to acoustic music at the Saturday morning markets down at the Helensvale High School grounds had been enthusiastic.

He echoed Polly’s excitement about the facilities available at the Cultural Centre. “We have this amazing library and Cultural Centre been built on the grounds of the old library. It has about 1000 residents a day come through and we are really keen to show off the recording studio, band rehearsal room, and 200 seat auditorium to locals so they can see what an amazing asset we have built for the north of the city,” he said. One of the points of difference between this series of events and the ones held in Mudgeeraba, is the venue’s proximity to the railway line. “It’s walking distance from Helensvale Railway Station,” Polly said. “So people from those other communities like Robina and Varsity and Nerang, can actually jump on the train.” The Councillor said it was just a five minute walk. “It’s incredibly easy to get to and has heaps of parking available at the Helensvale Plaza as well.” “Hopefully it will give locals, and in particular the younger families in our area, a great opportunity to meet and relax on a Friday afternoon and enjoy some great free local music,”Cr Owen-Jones said.

“We have such an amazing depth of young talent on the Gold Coast,” he said. “We can talk about supporting contemporary music on the Gold Coast or we can just go out of our way to give them a go.” 
 Organisers are looking for ways to engage musicians and bands from the Helensvale area in the series of events which will run through June and July.

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Winter in the ‘Vale will commence on Friday 12 June. Check our gig guide for all the details as they become available.

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