Council commits to Horizon festival for another three years
  • Thursday 26 January 2017
horizon festival, lantern parade

An embryonic arts and cultural festival will be given room to grow after Sunshine Coast Council committed to funding the festival for the next three years.

Following the stand-out success of the inaugural Horizon Sunshine Coast festival of arts and culture in 2016, council agreed to fund the festival in 2017, 2018 and 2019, committing $343,000 annually.

Arts Portfolio Councillor Rick Baberowski said Horizon was born from an identified gap in the Coast’s events calendar for an arts and cultural festival.

“We have a considerable depth of talented local artists and we wanted to provide a platform for them here on the Coast to showcase their talents to the community and visitors,” Cr Baberowski said.

“We also want the Coast to be known for, not only the many excellent national and international sporting events, but also for providing a strong offer of cultural and artistic programs as a feature in our events calendar.

“By committing to the festival for another three years we’re confident that this quality festival will continue to develop and grow, providing further cultural, social, and tourism benefits to the region while also having flow on effects into our economy.

“Through Horizon we aim to deliver a premier arts and cultural festival that has the potential to become a permanent fixture on the national arts calendar.”

The inaugural 10-day Horizon festival held in September 2016 was an outstanding success and featured more than 200 events across 16 locations.

More than 1000 local artists were showcased with events ranging from contemporary art and new media exhibitions to film, literature, performance, street art and more.

The festival was embraced by locals and visitors alike with a total attendance of more than 35,000 and 20% of attendees coming from intrastate, other states in Australia or from overseas.

It had an estimated economic impact of $2.84 million and promoted social inclusion and well-being, brought communities together, fostered participation and enabled residents to gain a wealth of experiences that would otherwise not be readily available or accessible.

In 2017 Horizon will be held from August 25 – September 3.

The festival will feature artist led events and activities as well as permanent signature events including the opening event, art trail, the internationally renowned REMIX Summit, public art projects and a festival finale event.

The culture of the region’s Indigenous people will also continue to be, not only acknowledged, but featured within the festival.

The success of Horizon 2016 has already helped council to secure $15,000 in funding for the 2017 festival through the Tourism and Events Queensland’s (TEQ) Queensland Destination Events Program (QDEP).

Horizon 2017 Expressions of Interest now open

If you are an artist, performer or producer and would like to get involved in Horizon 2017 expressions of interest are now open. Visit the Horizon festival website for more information –

Keep up to date with future Horizon festival announcements by joining ‘On the Horizon’ via the website or get social and follow Horizon on Facebook (, Instagram (@horizonartfest) and Twitter (@horizonartfest).

Horizon Sunshine Coast is presented by Sunshine Coast Council and supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.