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Tasmania’s Stories

Mona Foma looks to Lonnie

Edition 186_Brian Ritchie ...a new creative journey

Hobart has been Monaised ahead of schedule and the annual summer festival, Mona Foma, is now looking to work its transformative magic on Launceston.

Curator Brian Ritchie said in July the festival’s original 10-year plan was to change the culture of Hobart, but that goal had been achieved early.

“Mona Foma’s philosophy has always been to bring variety and depth of contemporary and traditional Arts practices to the general public,” Mr Ritchie said.

“We’d like to embark upon a new creative journey, to relocate to Launceston in search of new challenges, new collaborations, fresh partnerships.”

MONA will now work with the State Government's Events Tasmania on funding for the move.

If all goes well a free, pop-up Mofo event will be held in Launceston next year, along with the annual Hobart festival.

Then the full Mona Foma would move north in 2019.

MONA owner David Walsh announced the plan at a Tourism Industry Council Tasmania (TICT) luncheon in Hobart in July.

The Chairman of the TICT, Daniel Leesong, called it a “transformational project”.

Launceston's Mayor, Albert van Zetten, said it offered an “incredible opportunity” to his city.

Alderman van Zetten said the MONA brand was synonymous with Tasmania’s recent tourism boom.

“While tourism is still thriving in the north and in Launceston to the tune of an 11 per cent increase last year, we see this announcement by Mr Walsh as an incredible opportunity to continue that growth and to help further investment and jobs growth in our great city,” he said.

Bass Liberal MP, Sarah Courtney, said the festival would be a “strong addition” to the Launceston scene.

Launceston Art Society president Carolyn Riley said: “Any potential for advancing the performing and visual Arts in the north has to be explored.

“MONA has become an international icon.

“We should take every opportunity to share the love.”

Launceston is on the brink of an urban transformation with a $5 million Better Cities deal and the $260 million relocation of the UTAS campus into the CBD.

Plans were announced in July for a 78-room hotel to be built opposite the Albert Hall in Tamar Street.

Singapore's Fragrance Group also plans to develop the Clarion Hotel site, while works continue on local developer Errol Stewart’s Silo Hotel project and JAC Group’s $40 million plan for the TRC Hotel site.

Tourism to the city is on the rise.

Mona Foma would, hopefully, complement Launceston's popular annual Festivale (FestMo, perhaps?).

Since its inception in 2009, Mona Foma has been at the forefront of a cultural and tourism renaissance in Hobart.

Its winter step-sister, Dark Mofo, has also been spectacularly successful, smashing all its attendance records in June this year.

Mr Ritchie, the former Violent Femmes frontman, said: "We want to make Mona Foma bigger, better, more creative, more diverse and more famous (and by famous we mean infamous)."

Image courtesy of Brian Ritchie

Footnote: Mona Foma 2017 was judged Australia's Best Contemporary Music Festival at the Helpmann Awards in Sydney in July.

1 August 2017, Edition 186

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Facts about Tasmania

Tasmania

Tasmania is the southernmost state of Australia, located at latitude 40° south and longitude 144° east and separated from the continent by Bass Strait. It is a group of 334 islands, with the main island being 315 km (180 miles) from west to east and 286 km (175 miles) north to south.

Tasmania

Tasmanians are resourceful and innovative people, committed to a continually expanding export sector. In 2012-13, international exports from the state totalled $3.04 billion. USA, China, Taiwan, India, Japan and other Asian countries account for the bulk of exports, with goods and services also exported to Europe and many other regions.

Geography

Tasmania is similar in size to the Republic of Ireland or Sri Lanka. The Tasmanian islands have a combined coastline of more than 3,000 km.

Geography

The main island has a land area of 62,409 sq km (24,096 sq miles) and the minor islands, taken together, total only 6 per cent of the main island's land area. The biggest islands are Flinders (1,374 sq km/539 sq miles), King, Cape Barren, Bruny and Macquarie Islands.

Geography

About 250km (150 miles) separates Tasmania’s main island from continental Australia. The Kent Group of Islands, one of the most northerly parts of the state, is only 55km (34 miles) from the coast of the Australian continent.

Climate

Twice named 'Best Temperate Island in the World' by international travel magazine Conde Nast Traveler, Tasmania has a mild, temperate maritime climate, with four distinct seasons.

Climate

In summer (December to February) the average maximum temperature is 21° Celsius (70° Fahrenheit). In winter (June to August) the average maximum is 12° C (52° F) and the average minimum is 4° C (40° F). Snow often falls in the highlands, but is rarely experienced in more settled areas.

Annual Rainfall

Tasmania’s west coast is one of the wettest places in the world, but the eastern part of the State lives in a rain-shadow. Hobart, the second-driest capital city in Australia, receives about half as much rain as Sydney.

Annual Rainfall

Annual rainfall in the west is 2,400 mm (95 inches), but hardy locals insist there is no such thing as bad weather, only inadequate clothing. If you travel 120 km east to Hobart, you experience a much drier average of 626 mm (24 inches) a year.

Population

The 512,875-strong community spreads itself across the land; less urbanised than the population of any other Australian state. Hobart, the capital city, is home to more than 212,000 people.

Capital City

Hobart nestles at the foot of Mt Wellington (1,270 m / 4,000 ft) and overlooks the Derwent Estuary, where pods of dolphins and migrating whales are sometimes seen from nearby beaches. Surrounded by thickly forested rolling hills, the city is home to the state parliament and the main campus of the University of Tasmania.

Capital City

Its historic centre features Georgian and Regency buildings from colonial times. Hobart is home port for coastal fishing boats, Antarctic expeditions and vessels that fish the Southern Ocean.

Land Formation

Mountain ranges in the south-west date back 1,000 million years. Ancient sediments were deeply buried, folded and heated under enormous pressure to form schists and glistening white quartzites.

Land Formation

In the south-west and central highlands, dolerite caps many mountains, including Precipitous Bluff and Tasmania's highest peak, Mt Ossa (1617 m / 5300 ft). More than 42 per cent of Tasmania is World Heritage Area, national park and marine or forest reserves.

Flora

Vegetation is diverse, from alpine heathlands and tall open eucalypt forests to areas of temperate rainforests and moorlands, known as buttongrass plains. Many plants are unique to Tasmania and the ancestors of some species grew on the ancient super-continent, Gondwana, before it broke up 50 million years ago.

Flora

Unique native conifers include slow-growing Huon pines, with one specimen on Mt Read estimated to be up to 10,000 years old. Lomatia tasmanica, commonly known as King's holly, is a self-cloning shrub that may well be the oldest living organism on earth. It was discovered in 1937.

Fauna

Tasmania is the last refuge of several mammals that once roamed the Australian continent. It is the only place to see a Tasmanian devil or eastern quoll (native cat) in the wild and is the best place to see the spotted-tailed quoll (tiger cat), all carnivorous marsupials.

Fauna

The eastern bettong and the Tasmanian pademelon, both now extinct on the Australian continent, may also be observed.

Fauna

The Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine, was Australia's largest surviving carnivorous marsupial and is a modern day mystery. The last documented thylacine died in captivity in 1936 and although the animal is considered extinct, unsubstantiated sightings persist.

History and Heritage

Aboriginal people have lived in Tasmania for about 35,000 years, since well before the last Ice Age. They were isolated from the Australian continent about 12,000 years ago, when the seas rose to flood low coastal plains and form Bass Strait.

History and Heritage

Descendants of the original people are part of modern Tasmania's predominantly Anglo-Celtic population.

History and Heritage

Tasmania was originally named Van Dieman’s Land by the Dutch explorer Abel Janszoon Tasman in 1642. The island was settled by the British as a penal colony in 1803 and the original name was associated with the convict era. It was changed to Tasmania when convict transportation stopped in 1853.

Economy

A resourceful island culture has generated leading-edge niche industries, from production of high-speed catamaran ferries and marine equipment to lightning-protection technology.

Economy

Tasmanians produce winches and windlasses for some of the world's biggest ocean-going pleasure craft; large-scale inflatable evacuation systems and provide specialist outfit-accommodation services to the marine industry.

Economy

The Wooden Boat Centre at Shipwrights Point has re-established the skills and traditions of another age and attracts students from around the world.

Economy

Tasmania is a world leader in natural turf systems for major sporting arenas and in areas of mining technology and environmental management. Its aquaculture industry has developed ground-breaking fish-feeding technology and new packaging.

Economy

Tasmanians sell communications equipment to many navies and their world-class fine timber designers and craftsmen take orders internationally for furniture made from distinctive local timber.

Economy

The state is a natural larder with clean air, unpolluted water and rich soils inviting the production of 100 varieties of specialty cheeses, as well as other dairy products, mouth-watering rock lobsters, oysters, scallops and abalone, Atlantic salmon, beef, premium beers, leatherwood honey, mineral waters, fine chocolates, fresh berry fruits, apples and crisp vegetables.

Economy

Tasmania is a producer of award-winning cool-climate wines, beers, ciders and whiskies. Other export products include essential oils such as lavender, pharmaceutical products and premium wool sought after in Europe and Asia. Hobart is a vital gateway to the Antarctic and a centre for Southern Ocean and polar research.

Economy

The industries in Tasmania which made the greatest contribution to the state's gross product in 2010-11 in volume terms were: Manufacturing (9.4%), Health care and social assistance (8.2%), Financial and insurance services (7.2%), Ownership of dwellings and Agriculture, forestry and fishing (each 7.1%).

Getting to Tasmania

Travel is easy, whether by air from Sydney or Melbourne, or by sea, with daily sailings of the twin ferries Spirit of Tasmania 1 and 2 each way between Melbourne and Devonport throughout the year.

This site has been produced by the Brand Tasmania Council © 2014

Brand Tasmania

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