Every part of Australia is,
always was and always will be,
Aboriginal land.

As a community gathering-place, a festival of arts, cultural exchange and celebration and as a site for the sharing of ideas and stories, Ten Days on the Island pays respect to the Palawa/Tasmanian Aborigines – The original owners and cultural custodians - of all the lands and waters across Lutruwita/Tasmania upon which our Festival takes place.

With thanks to the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre for place names and other words in palawa kani, the language of Tasmanian Aborigines.

Merry Christmas

As the festive season unfolds and the year draws to a close, I find myself reflecting on the extraordinary journey we’ve taken together throughout 2023. This year has been nothing short of spectacular for Ten Days on the Island, and it’s all thanks to the unwavering support from our vibrant community. We set out with bold aspirations, and, with your enthusiasm lighting the way, we’ve not only met but surpassed our goals.

Terrapin’s Heap, photo by Brad Harris

Our 2023 Festival was a true testament to the power of art, community, and optimism. From the mesmerising performances of international artists like Kronos Quartet to the stellar creations of our local artists—Archipelago, Terrapin, Rooke, TSO, and Van Diemen’s Band—the festival shimmered with diverse stories and exceptional visionaries.

Under the theme of “Radical Optimism,” Dr Lindy Hume’s final program ventured into uncharted territories, exploring the chaos of the world through brilliant lenses of artists who dared to make sense of it all. The Festival Hubs across the island buzzed with life, laughter, and profound conversations, offering space for ideas to mingle and friendships to blossom.

With artists at our core and Tasmanian audiences in our heart, we’re committed to continually pushing the boundaries of artistic expression. This year we premiered eleven new Tasmanian works and invested in a further three Tasmanian projects still in development. Many of these projects have taken years of cultivation and support with our collaborators. We believe in the profound and essential contribution artists make to our lives. That is why Ten Days on the Island invested $1.12 million into new Tasmanian works for the 2023 Festival.

Ten Days on the Island’s commitment to nurturing ground-breaking works has not only enriched Tasmania’s cultural landscape but also propelled several projects to national and international acclaim. These legacies are a testament to the enduring power of the arts and the collaborative spirit that defines Ten Days on the Island.

As we bid farewell to 2023, I want to express my deepest appreciation for being part of this incredible journey. Your passion, your applause, your participation—these are the sparks that fuel our creative fire. I’m filled with excitement as we look ahead to the promises of 2024, eager to build upon the triumphs of this remarkable year with our new Artistic Director Marnie Karmelita.

May your festive season be adorned with joy, laughter, and the warmth of shared moments.

From the heart of Ten Days on the Island, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a New Year filled with inspiration, creativity, and the boundless magic of the arts.

With gratitude and festive cheer,

Vernon Guest