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  • Writer's pictureJo

A Whole Bunch of Gratitude...

Planning ahead for this year's Biblio Art Prize, we have approached some local organisations for sponsorship, and we are very excited to report the responses we have received have been extremely encouraging and generous! Virtual flowers and much love to the following:

A huge thank you to Vanessa Gerrans and team at the Warrnambool Art Gallery who have come up with a new prize for our competition this year, the WAG Local Artist Prize, to honour the outstanding work of an entrant from the southwest region. The WAG is all about supporting regional artists and this year they are showing their support in the year of Covid by putting $1500 up for this prize! This will be selected by representatives of the Warrnambool Art Gallery. This is an incredible gesture and we are very proud to partner with them!

Another huge thank you goes to an anonymous sponsor (you know who you are) who has single-handedly put up $500 (in the form of a Blarney Books book voucher) to resurrect the Storyteller's Prize. This sponsor is someone who believes in the power of a good story to change the world.

Then we offer a big thank you to Michaelie at Collins Books, Warrnambool, who is pleased to offer a Runner-Up Youth Award to the tune of $100 (in the form of a book and Collins voucher). It makes our hearts sing when booksellers work together. We don't see each other as competitors so much as people sharing the same passion!

We also extend a very big thank you to Liz and Tan at the sumptuous Merrijig Inn at Port Fairy who have very generously offered to host our Independent Judge and treat them to their divine hospitality.

The excellent Ashmont Motor Inn has been offering guests of Blarney Books & Art a 50% discount on all stays over the past couple of years, and we appreciate this so much! This has made so many of our events possible.

If anyone else is keen to jump on and show your support, it's not too late by any means! Some people are still considering their involvement with the Biblio Art Prize, and we'll make further announcements as more news comes in (the prizes aren't awarded until December)! The Biblio Art Prize is now in its 12TH YEAR, and we feel it's time to really raise its profile. It's still free entry for those under 18, so school teachers, please feel free to let your students know! They are also still eligible for the full swag of prizes too.

To enter the 2020 competition, it's now open - go to our Biblio Art Prize page for details!

Finally, in some incredibly exciting and humbling news, and completely separate from the Biblio Art Prize, we have just been notified that Blarney Books & Art has been successful in our application for a grant through Regional Arts Victoria and Creative Victoria! The funds from this grant will be going towards bringing our business online - in all facets. We plan to be able to host online events, podcasts, bring our exhibitions to online life, and more, as well as making our store inventory accessible to people anywhere. We have built up a pretty solid community over the years, not only in Port Fairy but also around Australia, and we would like to make it easier for people to support us and keep our business sustainable. Covid19 was a harsh lesson in what it means if you don't have a strong digital presence. Social media alone is not enough! So, huge thanks to Jo Grant for her help in her role as Regional Arts (Vic) Officer, and to Creative Victoria. We hope to do justice to your faith in our business.

Thanks to anyone who has supported Blarney, in any way - big or small. You're all part of the Blarney family. x

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