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The Christmas Bell - A moment for us all

Released on: 19 November 2020

Released on: 19 November 2020

Christmas Bell

Gather the family and save the date of Saturday 5 December as the Port Macquarie-Hastings community celebrates the festive season like never before.

With the help of our region’s talented performing artists, passionate locals and some special guests, Port Macquarie-Hastings Council are bringing the community a COVID-safe virtual Christmas event, The Christmas Bell - a moment for us all.

The community are being encouraged to come together to experience an amazing online production that says thank you to our community with an amazing collection of performances and entertainment featuring talented locals, celebrating the start of the festive season.

With the catastrophic fires in late 2019 and impacts still being felt by many, the drought conditions we’ve experienced and COVID-19 turning our worlds upside down, our community has demonstrated resilience, connectedness and true spirit that we can all be so grateful for.

Mayor Peta Pinson said our community has not had the opportunity to come together to show gratitude, celebrate our communities resilience and reflect on a year that has been like no other.

“Whilst we’re not able to enjoy our traditional Countdown to Christmas event this year, we are excited to give our community something special, creative and new,” said Mayor Pinson.

“What a wonderful opportunity for us all to gather safely in small groups with friends and loved-ones and take a moment to reflect on the challenges and successes of the year that's been.”

Local Singer/Songwriter and performer, Rose Wilson said The Christmas Bell is a beautiful and unique project.

“It showcases wonderful local talent and a unifying and uplifting vision of celebrating and enjoying the places and stories which connect us all,” said Ms Wilson.

“It offers some of the most genuine and heartfelt Christmas magic I’ve ever encountered, and I am delighted to be involved, and can’t wait for this glorious and collaborative work to be shared with our community.”

Renowned pianist and performer Fiona Hawkins believes music is a gift from another world, from ancestors of the past communicating to inspire and give us hope.

“Music is a universal language that connects us without prejudice and speaks to us all equally,” said Ms Hawkins.

“It’s an honour to be asked to be a part of this wonderful project at a time when family, friends and community matter most – Christmas time!”

Talented local artist, David Brooker created The Christmas Bell image and artwork for the event, which is based on an original photograph taken by a local RFS volunteer after the 2019 bushfires around Lake Cathie. The photograph was then beautifully drawn by David and created into artwork for the entire community to enjoy, representing The Christmas Bell event.

The Christmas Bell - A moment for us all is possible thanks to an Australian Government Bushfire Disaster Recovery Grant, with Council partnering with Got Ya Back Productions to create the extravaganza.

Here’s what we can look forward to:

  • Professional performances by local artists including:

    - Fiona Hawkins - Kendall based Pianist, Composer and Singer. Her song ‘Grace’ featured on a Grammy Winning album in 2014 

    - Phil Jamieson - Front man, lead singer and guitarist of ARIA award winning rock band, Grinspoon

    - Blake O'Connor - 2019 Toyota Star Maker and Golden Guitar Winner 
  • Interviews with inspirational locals
  • The lighting of the Christmas tree.
  • The unveiling of Gratitude Murals recently painted around the region by local artists
  • A guest appearance by the jolly man in red!

“We’re really encouraging everyone to settle in with friends and loved ones at home, say thank you, and celebrate what it means to be part of this wonderful community,” added Mayor Pinson.

“Where will you be watching The Christmas Bell?”

For a sneak peak of the production, visit pmhc.nsw.gov.au/the-christmas-bell

The Christmas Bell will be streamed live on Council’s Facebook Page and YouTube channel youtube.com/pmhcouncil on Saturday 5 December from 7pm – 8pm.

If you’re unable to tune in on the night, the production will be available on Council’s website until 11 January 2021.