New Artistic Director appointed for OzAsia Festival and 2020 Festival update

Adelaide Festival Centre will welcome Annette Shun Wah as Artistic Director of the 2021 OzAsia Festival, providing a fresh lens on Australia’s leading contemporary arts festival engaging with Asia.

Photo by Brian Geach

Ms Shun Wah is a freelance actor, writer and broadcaster and since 2013 has served as Executive Producer of Contemporary Asian Australian Performance – a non-profit organisation promoting cultural diversity through cross-artform theatrical works.

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, OzAsia Festival cannot proceed with ticketed performances and public events this year.

However, to ensure an ongoing presence of this popular festival in 2020, Ms Shun Wah will deliver a series of online discussions and interviews at the end of this year, focussed on the importance of Australia’s continued engagement with Asia and the arts.

Annette Shun Wah said, “Having enjoyed a long association with OzAsia Festival over many years, I’m thrilled to be joining the team at this critical and dynamic moment in the relationship between Australia and Asia.

“Although we cannot present a full program in 2020, our online series will be a platform to engage patrons, industry and leading thinkers on exciting and essential ways to explore the connections between Asia and Australia, especially through contemporary Asian Australian artists.

I’m looking forward to leading the next evolution of this very important festival, and I can’t wait to program a fresh, surprising and deeply relevant OzAsia Festival 2021.

Adelaide Festival Centre CEO & Artistic Director, Douglas Gautier AM said,

There has never been a more relevant time to engage the Australian community around the importance of unity, cultural understanding and tolerance through creative collaboration.

We are thrilled to welcome Annette Shun Wah on board and look forward to her online talk series later this year and an even bigger and better OzAsia Festival in 2021.

Adelaide Festival Centre’s OzAsia Festival 2020 was set to take place from October 22 to November 8, with its 14th program showcasing the best theatre, dance, music, visual arts, literature, film, food and cultural events from across Asia and Australia.

Events set to return in 2021 include OzAsia Festival’s Moon Lantern Parade, the iconic Jaipur Literature Festival satellite event and Lucky Dumpling Market.

Adelaide Festival Centre Trust Chairman Michael Abbott AO QC said,

OzAsia Festival is a fixture in Adelaide’s cultural calendar and continuity is important.

Even when present circumstances mean some of the festival’s traditional events can’t take place this year, the new Artistic Director will keep audiences connected and involved and continue the celebration of Asian and Australian creativity.

His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC, Governor of South Australia and Patron of OzAsia Festival said:

I have loved OzAsia Festival for many years and am very proud to be Patron.

While we will all miss the Moon Lantern Parade and the wonderful shows this year, the industry discussion will be fascinating and demonstrates how committed Adelaide Festival Centre is to supporting the creative engagement of Asian and Australian artists.

Now more than ever, the arts are essential as our communities work together to recover.  I warmly welcome Annette to this important role and look forward to working closely with her.

Peter J Snee

Peter is a British born creative, working in the live entertainment industry. He holds an honours degree in Performing Arts and has over 12 years combined work experience in producing, directing and managing artistic programs & events. Peter has traversed the UK, Europe and Australia pursuing his interest in theatre. He is inspired by great stories and passionately driven by pursuing opportunities to tell them.

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