Small halls concert had big impact

The Festival of Small Halls wound its way into Batlow on Sunday and received a warm and appreciative welcome.

The concert, performed by singer-songwriters Claire Anne Taylor of Tarkine Forest, Tasmania, and Dave Gunning, of Nova Scotia, Canada, backed up by Molly Polmeer of Talbingo, drew about 70 people to the Batlow Literary Institute.

The crowd were well entertained and the artists expressed their gratitude that the Festival of Small Halls allowed them to visit and play in places such as Batlow.

Dave and Claire were on their way between two of the biggest contemporary folk festivals in Australia, the Port Fairy festival and the National Folk Festival in Canberra.

“They had a lovely time in Batlow,” event spokesperson Justine Wilkinson said.

The Literary Institute, which is still being renovated, handled the occasion perfectly.

“It is looking fantastic at the moment, even though it is not yet finished,” Justine said.

“This is the second concert we have held since the renovation got underway and we are hoping to have another toward the end of the year, depending on the progress of the work.”

The Festival of Small Halls Australia was inspired from the seed of an idea in Canada for a new touring structure to take great music into regional areas. On Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada, local communities have hosted roots, traditional and acoustic artists in community halls all over the island since 2008. In 2014, armed with a vision of bringing big music to small places, the Ontario Festival of Small Halls joined the family. The event was born of inspiration by the spirit of community, hospitality, exceptional music, and fun that has made small halls festivals in PEI and Australia such treasured events.