By Matthew Sims
The Victoria Day Council has honored the work of the Footscray Community Arts Center as part of its official Victoria Day celebrations.
FCAC received the Victoria Day Award for the Arts on Friday, July 1.
Victoria Day is a celebration of the state’s independence and the rich history it has enjoyed since the secession of New South Wales on July 1, 1851 for 171 years.
As part of the celebrations, the Victoria Day Council has awarded individuals and groups who have made significant and valuable contributions to Victorian communities.
FCAC Chair Julia White said it is important for FCAC to be recognized after a challenging period of COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions.
“We congratulate the Victoria Day Trustees for their foresight in recognizing the power of art by having a special category for art awards,” she said.
“The creative industries in Victoria have endured two very challenging years of the pandemic, and recognition of this kind is incredibly important for building visibility and access to art in this state.”
FCAC co-chief executive Daniel Santangeli said the award marks an important step in the center’s ongoing story.
“This award recognizes an important cultural legacy left by the artists, union members, meat workers and activists who founded Footscray Community Arts in 1974 and the continued impact we generate through collaboration with artists and the community,” he said.
Tony Cree, President of the Victoria Day Council, said he was “elated” to recognize the efforts of all the award winners throughout the day, including Victorian of the Year award winner Kevin Sheedy and Young Victorian of the Year award winner Julia Kay.
“On behalf of the Victoria Day Council, I thank them and congratulate them on their truly outstanding achievements and the great work they have done,” he said.
In 2021, FCAC paid more than 525 performers, 77 percent of whom identified as First Nations, CALD, LGBTQIA+ and/or persons with disabilities, and delivered 926 events, including 12 exhibitions.