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Ballarat City Council

We collaborate with the Council in wild and wonderful ways to foster innovative art in our city.

In partnership with the City of Ballarat, we celebrate Ballarat's rich cultural heritage and its vibrant artistic future. Through diverse projects, we connect with our community to support its artistic aspirations.

Ballarat Heritage Weekend

We play a major role in Ballarat Heritage Weekend (BHW). BHW is a growing community festival that runs over the last week in May and attracts over to 16,000 visitors to Ballarat each year. Students from the performing arts, visual arts and communication design programs are involved in producing a diverse range of free public performances, events and talks to celebrate our historic city. The Arts Academy creatively activated iconic Ballarat buildings, including the Ballarat Mechanics Institute (BMI), Her Majesty’s Theatre, and the old Post Office Building, bringing our history to vibrant life.

Heritage Weekend@The Arts Academy is a multi award-winning, transdisciplinary project. It directly engages the rich history and heritage of Ballarat and its surrounds. We ask undergraduate students from first-year undergraduate study to PhD research across diverse creative practices to participate, collaborate and celebrate for BWH.

At its inception in 2013, first-year actors devised Living Heritage street performances in collaboration with Ballarat’s Public Art Program. Since then, the project has developed significant networks for all Arts Academy students with the City of Ballarat, its institutions and our wider community. An exciting and boldly innovative project, Heritage Weekend@The Arts Academy includes professional opportunities for our emerging-artist alumni, and provides current students and graduates with powerful experiences of working creatively in communities. This real-world opportunity incorporates work-integrated learning (WIL) that sets a model for artistic practice in the regions and provides pathways from education to employment.

Return to Sender: Stories from Ballarat

Come and explore the history and heritage of communication in Ballarat from pony post through to the NBN. Old letters and new, post cards, the telegraph, secret notes and messages of love, longing, excitement and protest across the years. Begin at the iconic Post Office Building on the corner of Sturt and Lydiard St, travel through its time-layered spaces before heading to the Town Hall alongside students from the Arts Academy, Federation University Australia who ask: What Heritage Are We Making Now?

Guided performance tour

Audiences will be guided on a performance tour into the Post Office building and ending in the Town Hall.
Audiences to gather on the corner of Sturt and Lydiard Streets in front of the Post Office building at 11.20 am for an 11.30 am start
This is a free event but places are limited.


‘Return to Sender’ is an exhibition of stop frame animation created by Second Year Visual Arts students. Students have visually responded to a selection of stories and ideas relating to the former Post Office as a part of Ballarat Heritage Weekend.
View the works by communication design and visual arts students from 10 am - 3 pm Saturday and Sunday. Enter the Post Office building from Lydiard Street. Entry is free.


Scribe is a live writing process creating a democratic document of the live event. It is designed and led by Australian artist Leisa Shelton/FRAGMENT31 and a collective of artists assembled in each city and site it is invited to attend.

Scribes actively enable the reflections we don’t take the time or feel we have the time to make on the work we experience. Our task is to open and hold this space for each individual. On this occasion, Scribes will be in attendance in public spaces around this years Ballarat Heritage Weekend and ask the question “What Heritage will we leave for the future”.

Playing the Ghost: A guided tour of hoaxers and guisers of the goldfields

Featuring Fauvel: the Australian Mari Lwyd
Where: Starting at the Lydiard St Post Office Gallery coaches entrance
When: 7:30 and 8:30pm on 25 and 26 of May

Come with us to explore Ballarat’s rich heritage of ghostly rituals, beliefs and hoaxes through the winding alleys of Camp and Lydiard st this Heritage weekend. Guisers who created spectres to scare away ill fortune and evil spirits, the wassailing rituals to protect against misfortune and the hoaxers who challenged the authority of the scientific anti-superstitious crusade by ‘playing the ghost’ in elaborate hoaxes. Also see the steps taken by 19th century police, clergy and vigilantes to stamp out what was known as the “ghost nuisance”. Featuring Fauvel the Australian Mari Lwyd, a traditional spectral ‘Grey Mare’, come on a guided theatrical tour of activations and Victorian artworks through Camp and Lydiard street to revisit Ballarat’s subversive and spectral.

Visit the Old Gaol

Where: FedUni SMB Campus Lydiard St South.
When: Hourly from 11 till 5.
Cost: Free

Come visit the Old Ballarat Gaol on a guided tour of Ballarat’s criminal history including a look at the gaol tunnels and turrets in Virtual Reality. Uncover the colourful history of the former gaol and its inmates and explore Ballarat’s criminal underworld of the 19th century through artefacts, blueprints and images in our exhibition. This year featuring new material on the lives of the women held in the Ballarat Gaol and their stories.

Ted Talk: How cities become resource efficient | Ana Pereira Roders

Where: HMST, FedUni Camp St Campus
When: Sunday 26th May, 2pm