MEDIA RELEASE: Birregurra Easter Arts at the Homestead

Birregurra Easter Arts at the Homestead

Media Release

Opera star Annelisa Kerrigan headlines Birregurra’s inaugural Easter Arts at the Homestead event celebrating song, story and culture in the bush

Birregurra rolls out the gumleaf carpet country welcome this Easter when it hosts the inaugural Birregurra Easter Arts at the Homestead in a festive celebration of community, creativity and connection on the 175th anniversary of family farming at Tarndwarncoort Homestead.

The event features a packed weekend of songs, story and stunning cultural performances and exhibits from artists both local and invited on the Easter Saturday and Sunday – April 4 and 5 from 11am onwards.

Drawing on the abundance of local talent, the Birregurra Community Arts Group (BCAG) have partnered with the Dennis family, descendants of the original founders of Tarndwarncoort, to share the creative spirit of the community with style, using the building and grounds of the National Trust homestead as the stunning backdrop for music, hands on activities, workshops and exhibits; from bush ballads to light opera and jazz, from visual arts exhibits inspired by the past, to bronze birdlife sculptures.

Chair of BCAG, Fiona Brandscheid, says the program has been developed by the Group featuring, ‘a blend of artistic mediums including visual performance, community art activities – things to see, hear and do.’ The two-day program includes performances by Australian opera star, Annelisa Kerrigan, acclaimed jazz singer Rachel Comte, poetry performances and workshops, kids art activities, an installation called the Parlour Room Project, choir and ukulele performance and more.

Brandscheid believes community engagement in the arts field creates well-rounded places to live. ‘BCAG is also focussing on supporting a youth drama program to strengthen our young community and build resilience so we can have another 175 years of people want to stay in the area.’

The little town of Birregurra, tucked between Colac and Lorne, is drawing a rich, varied and vibrant arts community to its doorstep. Recently named the Best Tree Change Town in Australia, it has also become known for Dan Hunter’s restaurant Brae, winner of three hats in the Age Good Food Guide.

Alexander Dennis settled Tarndwarncoort Homestead in 1840, only five years after Melbourne was settled as a place for a village. Since then, the Dennis family have grown wool on the heritage-listed property – now producing natural yarns for the craft market around the world.

According to 6th generation owner, Tom Dennis, art and creativity have long been an important feature at Tarndwarncoort. ‘The pictures on the walls from the early 1800s, the detail in the stonework, the layout of the gardens, and the designs our wool is turned into – all these elements at the Homestead are reminders of why creativity is so important.’

‘Where Tarndwarncoort started building a community for the extended family, station workers and their families 175 years ago, we’re still building a community through initiatives like the Easter Arts program.

Annalisa Kerrigan will perform in the 1860s Apple Store to an intimate gathering

Annalisa Kerrigan will perform in the 1860s Apple Store to an intimate gathering

Programme features:

  • Easter Sunday performance of light opera with Annelisa Kerrigan
  • Performance on Saturday by Jazz singer, Rachael Comte and her group Finding Isla, Michael Robinson Koss and Birregurra’s community Ukulele Kollective and Gospel Choir
  • Visual and soundscape exhibition featuring local and district artists called The Parlour Room Project
  • Guided tours of Tarndwarncoort’s significant historical art collection in the homestead
  • Roving bush ballad performances
  • A display of world renowned bronze sculptor, Lucy McEachern’s, stunning birdlife
  • Local artist demonstrations and sales
  • Community arts activities for kids including En Plein Air painting, wool craft, heritage games, bush ballad workshops

Rachael Comte – Saturday jazz songstress


Who: Birregurra Community Arts Group & Tarndwarncoort Homestead

What: A weekend program of cultural performance including opera and contemporary jazz, innovative visual arts and sculpture exhibitions, tours of Tarndwarncoort’s significant artworks, community arts activities and roving bush ballads

Where: Tarndwarncoort, 37 Roseneath Road Warncoort, VIC

When: Easter Weekend – Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th April

Contacts: Fiona Brandscheid (BCAG Chair) – 03 5236 2464 or

Website: &

How much: Weekend Passes are Adults $10, Kids (up to 15) FREE. The Opera Afternoon with Annalisa Kerrigan is $20 and tickets available online soon. Click here to listen in to an interview with Fiona and Tom on OCR FM.

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