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Sydney's Pride crossing gets a new home

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Years after NSW roads minister Duncan Gay ripped up the rainbow crossing over Sydney's iconic Oxford St, despite massive community objections, the City of Sydney council and the state parliament has approved a new location one block off the strip on the corner of Campbell St and Bourke St.

The news spread quickly as the location was announced on major TV networks and Sydney's and is a fitting announcement during Sydney's annual Pride festival - which coincides with global pride events every June as well as the Mardi Gras in Feb/March each year.

Councillor Christine Forster stated on facebook:

"I have just been notified by the Lord Mayor that the NSW Liberal-National Coalition State Government has approved the installation of a new rainbow crossing at the corner of Bourke and Campbell streets next to Taylor Square.

I first wrote to the Minister for Roads asking for the installation of this rainbow crossing in July 2016. I’m thrilled to see that finally what I requested 2 years ago will come to fruition in time for the 40th anniversary of the 1st Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras on 24 June.

I know that the rainbow crossing will become a celebrated and iconic landmark in the heart of Sydney’s LGBTQI community."

Lord Mayor Clover Moore stated: "It's back!

I am excited to announce that we have been working with the Roads & Maritime Services to finally bring Sydney a permanent rainbow crossing.

This permanent pride artwork will be installed at the intersection of Bourke and Campbell streets, near Taylor Square where our rainbow flag has proudly flown since 2015.

A good news story just in time for the 40th anniversary of Mardi Gras - this Sunday 24 June."

Sydney celebrates the 40th anniversary this Sunday with a new inflatable art installation at Taylor Square and a party at supporting venue, The Beresford. 

Stay tuned to Guidetogay.com for photos and video from the festivities if you cannot make it yourself. 

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Get your Pride on!

Get Your PRIDE ON !!

Well,  Heaven Social Dance celebrated it’s 11th year on the 02th of June with a BIG  Birthday Party and Charity Night!  We raised  $1889 on the night for The Western Suburbs Haven Inc and had over 150 people attend the night. It just gets better and better and every dance..

THAT'S  A TOTAL OF $ 2599.10 over the years at Heaven LGBTQI Social Dance,  My thank you’s are endless...  Firstly to Portia Turbo who hosted the evening  and all the performers , Pomara Fifth, Crystal Ball , Danger Del Rey, Melicious Damage , CoCo Foxx, Dixie Normous, Terra Part, Robert Jeffrey, Delilah Von Tramp, Sandy Bottom, June Richards  & Daniel Turner. The performances were brilliant and we appreciate the time you all donated. Thank you to the people who assisted us on the night Dj Ophelia Shaft for the music, George  for the videos, & Rob From Ego Media for photos and Photo Booth Bay for donating the photo booth, and anybody I may have overlooked. Thank you to the people who donated the raffle prizes and also a huge thank you to Mounties Bowling Club. Also a big special thank you to  Ian , Greg  and Ann-Marie Calihanna and Star Observer for their ongoing support and  also a huge thank you to all the people who attended and made it a brilliant and exciting Birthday and Charity event. We look forward to seeing you all at our next dance on Saturday 4th August with a all NEW Show Cast.   www.heavensocialdance.com

It's now that time when everybody is recovering from the Queen's Birthday Dance Party & Ball in The Blue Mountains that was a huge success; it gets bigger and bigger every year! So if you missed out this year,  mark it in your diary and plan for next year... It time to get your PRIDE on It's that time of the year also when we come together for the Sydney PRIDE festival which runs from the 08th - 30th June for more info : www.sydneypride.com  

In other news you need to keep your eye out for a brand new show on channel 7  ''ALL TOGETHER NOW'' with so many people from the LGBTQI community on the judging panel you know it’s going to be pretty fabulous a good source tells me there’s A high profile DJ’s a drag queen plus Sing /song writer from western Sydney also included In the judging panel.

 

 I’M SO EXCITED to be doing my own radio program this year  PRIDE RADIO 89.3Fm every Sunday from 18:00 to 20:00 With presents Fifi Fo'Fum & Melicious Damage plus weekly special guests Dj's in the studio + Gavin from ACON fortnightly at 7:15Pm and Felicity Frockaccino with out and about  fortnightly at 7:15pm. The program will be supporting the LGBTQ community I really think it's important that we have a gay radio program on the radio on the Internet and on your phone as there's lots of other programs out there but nothing in Sydney on the radio ... With that said I am looking for people or companies that are able to Donate Money to keep the program on air as we are required to pay for 2hr air time yearly ($960) with all new application for the program at 2GLF 89.3fm in 2018 So if you can help out that would be awesome just SMS me 0433232425 your name your number and how you can help for more info check out our brand new website : www.prideradio893fm.com

 

Its Birthday time on the 21th of July  for The Polly's Club, will celebrate 54 years as a major part of sydney LGBTIQ scene. They will be presenting '' The Bitches Of Broadway!! ''  The show is  produced by  Sue Ellen and The Polly's cast and she has been working her butt off at rehearsals I believe, So Come on DOWNTOWN (where all the lights are bright) and we will be waiting for you at Roundhouse Uni of n.s.w at Polly's Birthday Party  7pm -12am ,  $35.00 online NOW or $45 on the door  and I will be giving wrist bands, and The Polly's cast will be there to entertain you as well. Fabulous Hampers and prizes to be won.  www.thepollysclub.com.au

DRAG GOSSIP !!
Heaven in process of trying to locked in their dates for 2019. What will change in 2019?  It is so great that the committee (Greg, Ian & LayDee) and I get to keep it running the night for the GLBTQI community of the west to have somewhere to hang out!!   Now let's Talk about show me the MONEY!! Which Western Sydney  drag queen is being sued and might just end up in court !?  The poor luv does everything right by people and she is having one pulled over her. Hopefully her solicitors can help her out and save her from the stress of the courtroom – though, I would love to see the look on the judges face when she walks in….lol and  which DRAG queen is being hunted by the TAXMAN !!

Until next time ( 12th July 2018) Be Safe & Gorgeous, BB www.beverlybuttercup.com

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15 great minds to help boost Sydney’s nightlife

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Fifteen experts from the local nightlife and creative sectors have been selected to join the City of Sydney’s new advisory panel, charged with helping reinvigorate the city after dark.

The experts, who represent the hospitality, live music and performance, theatre, festivals, retail, business and public safety sectors, were selected from 126 applications following a rigorous selection process.

The nightlife and creative sector advisory panel will give the City advice on how it can best work with industry, business and other government agencies to support a thriving, diverse and safe nightlife.

It will advise on new initiatives, identify emerging issues and opportunities for Sydney’s night-time economy, and help the City engage with local creative, cultural and nightlife communities.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the panel members have a unique opportunity to help shape Sydney’s night-time economy now and into the future.

“Sydney has the potential to be one of the world’s great 24-hour cities, with an exciting and diverse nightlife that matches our thriving daytime economy,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Unfortunately, there’s no escaping the fact that the NSW Government’s lockout laws have put the brakes on Sydney’s nightlife – they were a sledgehammer blow when what we needed was an evidence-based approach to the problems we share with other global cities.

“While we continue to advocate to the NSW Government to relax lockout laws, provide adequate late-night transport and explore licensing reform to allow well-managed venues to continue to trade, we are doing everything we can as a local government to revitalise Sydney’s nightlife.

“Since implementing OPEN Sydney in 2012, we have supported the development of a vibrant and safe night-time culture by leading Sydney’s small bar revolution, introducing food trucks, upgrading late-night taxi ranks, improving wayfinding, and increasing CCTV.

“Our live music action plan, funding for late-night safety ambassadors and grants for businesses to improve or diversify their evening activities all support a more interesting and successful night-time economy.

“This new advisory panel brings together passionate and experienced industry professionals to help us navigate the challenges and opportunities facing our night-time economy at this most critical time.

“These experts will advise us on how we can engage with and bring together the creative, cultural, nightlife, private and government sectors to boost our night-time culture, support businesses operating in the night-time economy and help us realise our vision for Sydney as a world-class 24-hour city.”

The panel will be similar to models already operating in other global cities such as Amsterdam, Berlin, London and New York. It will meet four times per year and be co-chaired by a City of Sydney Councillor.

The panel members are:

 

  • Justine Baker – representing cafes and restaurants, Justine has 25 years’ experience in hospitality and is currently CEO of the Solotel Group, which includes Aria, Chiswick and the Kings Cross Hotel
  • John Green – representing hotels, John has vast experience in liquor licensing policy, including 26 years with NSW Police and as a director of the Australian Hotels Associations since 2008
  • Greg Turton – representing night clubs, Greg has worked in Kings Cross for 18 years and is currently general manager of The World Bar and chairperson of the Kings Cross Liquor Accord
  • Joshua Green – representing small bars, Joshua has worked in a wide range of licensed premises across Sydney, and is currently general manager of Side Bar in Haymarket
  • Joy Ng – representing small bars, Joy is a member of the Redfern Small Bar Liquor Accord and the owner and licensee of The Bearded Tit, a small bar and alternative contemporary arts venue
  • Kerri Glasscock – representing performance spaces, Kerri has operated Venue 505 in Surry Hills for 14 years and has been festival director and CEO of the Sydney Fringe Festival since 2013
  • Kat Dopper – representing festivals and events, Kat is on the board of directors for the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and the founder of Heaps Gay, an event series for LGBTI young people
  • Emily Collins – representing live music producers, Emily has extensive knowledge of the local contemporary music sector and is currently managing director of Music NSW
  • John Ferris – representing electronic dance music producers, John has 30 years’ experience as a club owner and DJ, and is an advisor to the Australasian Performing Rights Association
  • James Winter – representing theatre and performance producers, James is the director of not-for-profit arts organisation Brand X and is on the board of the Darlinghurst Business Partnership
  • Emilya Colliver – representing retailers, Emilya is the founder of Art Pharmacy and Culture Scouts, and a member of the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Young Ambassadors Committee
  • Stephan Gyory – representing retailers, Stephan owns The Record Store in Darlinghurst and is a founding member and the current president of the Darlinghurst Business Partnership
  • Jacob Collier – representing business associations, Jacob is the president of the Glebe Chamber of Commerce and the founder of Bird and Border, a local creative activations consultancy
  • Michael Wynn-Jones – representing building and regulatory frameworks, Michael is a UTS academic, lecturer and consultant with over 25 years’ experience in building regulation
  • Phillip Wadds – representing public safety, Phillip holds a PhD in criminology and cultural studies and has been involved in research on Sydney’s night-time economy for the past 10 years.

 

All applications were assessed by a panel of City staff based on selection criteria in the advisory panel’s terms of reference.

Panel members were selected based on their skills and experience, and with the aim of ensuring they represent the diversity of the nightlife and creative sectors, including various age groups and cultural backgrounds.

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ANZ and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras open applications for national LGBTQI community grants program

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Today, ANZ and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras announced applications are now open for their national LGBTQI community grants program; ANZ & Sydney Mardi Gras Community Grants.

Launching on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT), the program will provide grants of up to $10,000 to LGBTQI not-for-profit community organisations, charities and individuals to help support local LGBTQI communities.

The ANZ & Sydney Mardi Gras Community Grants program will provide financial funding for a wide range of purposes including education and training, community development and creation, arts and culture – anything under the rainbow

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras CEO, Terese Casu, said: “This national grants program is important because there’s real grass roots work that needs to be done in Australia for LGBTQI communities, especially in regional Australia where isolation is an issue – and we know these grants will provide much needed support for the important work being done.”

“Philanthropic and grants funding to LGBTQI specific projects is limited in Australia. There are some fantastic state-based organisations that provide funding, but this grants program has been designed to be national and very diverse.” said Ms Caus.

While collaboration between ANZ and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras has spanned over 12 years, the new grants program extends the partnership past official festivities to ensure ongoing support of LGBTQI communities and projects.

ANZ Chair of the Pride Network, Melissa Tandy said: “As a champion of diversity, inclusion and respect, ANZ is proud to launch this new grants program and help LGBTQI communities and individuals thrive.

“We’re excited to be able to support a wide array of causes and initiatives working to better the lives of the LGBTQI community and hope these grants will make a real difference to Australian’s far and wide,” she said.

Applications for ANZ & Sydney Mardi Gras Community Grants are open from today, 17 May until 1 July with successful applicants announced on 16 July.

For more information please visit www.mardigras.org.au/grants

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All Together = IDAHOBIT!!!

The community will come together next week for IDAHOBIT celebrations for the third time in its history the Parramatta City Council will fly the rainbow flag. The council will raise the flag at Centenary Square in Parramatta on Thursday 17th May to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. The Parramatta Queer Forum (PQF) will be hosting an information stall in front of the Town Hall from 11.30am to 2pm, supported by PFLAG, ACON, PCC, NSW POLICE , Headspace and Twenty10 , So come along and witness history and take a moment to reflect on how important IDAHOBIT is.

HEAVEN 11th Birthday 2.5.18
In other exciting news - a new group for service providers has begun in Bankstown. The “Inclusive Communities Network” will meet every second month in Bankstown and will have a LGBTI focus. The group hopes to increase visibility and inclusion of the LGBTI community in the Bankstown area through events, training, and advocacy. If you are a service provider in the greater South West of Sydney and you would like to get involved, email Gavin  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more info.

Speaking of fabulous – ROBERT JEFFREY will present   " The Vallies A Tribute To Frankie Valli & The Four Sensor '' on Sunday 27th May at Cabra-Vale Diggers Club, 1 Bartley St, Canley Vale from 3 pm $15 FOR TICKETS www.cabravale.com.au

The following weekend on the 2nd June Heaven will Celebrate Our 11th Birthday Party & Haven Charity Night at The Mounties Bowling Club, Fairfield From 6pm-12am. with show's 8, 9 & 10pm Hosted By PORTIA TURBO with Dj Shaft and 15 Special guest performers and its only $15 entry on door with All proceeds from the night will go directly to The Western Suburbs Haven Inc.  Hope to see you at Heaven to celebrate 11 years giving back to the community.  We at Heaven Social Dance have raised well over $24,108 for charity since first starting in 2007 + We have raised over $7,863 dollars going to Acon & Western Suburbs Haven Inc in the 4 years of running Kaleidoscope Social Dance that is NOW a Total of $31,971 (As Of Dec 2017).   So come early for dinner (6pm) and catch up with friends and have chat before the shows that start at 8 pm.  For Info: www.heavensocialdance.com

I’m so excited to announce the winners of (drag) factor these three faces WOW four faces (Drag Queens) as there was a tie so we now have 4 fabulous queens  represent Heaven Social Dance with a brand new show to be launched on 4th August and  6th October at HSD and The WINNERS are  Coco Fox , Danger Del Rey , Crystal Balls & Miss Conception.

Wow  Congratulation to LayDee KinMee She will make her way overseas for a month (MAY) to Represent Australia at Drag ... I am so proud of my little girl she's all grown up NOW

OMG !! how time flies it will be soon time to plan for the June long weekend when the GLBTQI Community take over the Blue mountains with something for everybody from exhibitions to a dance party to a ball and it all starting on Friday with BentART. BentART is an annual exhibition held on the long weekend in June at Wentworth Falls.  The annual event attracts approximately 60 artists and over 150 works of art and is visited by hundreds of people over the weekend from Friday night the 8th of June at 6:30pm ( Opening ) till  Monday the 11th of June. It will be open to the public on Saturday & Sunday from 10am-5pm, + Monday between 10am-2pm only. For more info :  www.bentart.com.au

Here are a few things to pop in the Diary… On Saturday The 9th June, The three sisters social group will  be holding their 37th Annual " Disco - Dance Party " at the Blackheath Community Centre from 7.15pm – 12.15am.  Entry $25 + There will also be a performance from the fabulous LAYDEE KINMEE  &  BOYS  . Take it from me be there early if you want to get a table as it's the biggest event of the year in the mountains with over  400 people packing the community centre.  Following this is the 37th Annual Queen's Ball  - '' DISNEY '' on Sunday 10th  June at the Fairmont Hotel, Leura  … $140  OMG the ball will sold out completely.  For more Info:  82300889 or www.threesisterssocial.asn.au

draggossipDRAG GOSSIP: It's been three years since she CLUTCHed  her ham bag and left the very successful production show to launch her own show two year later !! But is it slowly catching up to the successful Drags to Bitches production shows that have sold out over 50 shows in the last 3 years at venues across Sydney & Canberra !! ..  And with the cold weather just around the corner and a lack of work .. venues .. So only time will tell gorgeous. Sometimes it's just so hard keeping up with gossip and recently so much is going on So if you have any gossip email me or sms me 0433232425 -  Totally confidential gorgeous!!!

Until next time ( 13th June 18) Be Safe & Gorgeous, BB 

 www.beverlybuttercup.com

 

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BUTTERCUP GOT PRIDE!

So Mardi Gras has come and gone…  after 17 times marching in the parade, I made the decision, after well-made plans backfired on me (and being the lazy old Queen I am) to finally front up to the parade and party as… you guessed it – a boy!

I decided for the third time in 26 years of being a drag queen that enough was enough. Was I scared? You bet. But boy was I mistaken. I have mixed feelings about Mardi Gras as I didn't see much of the parade because too many people .. Then off to the party I went. CHER were pretty awesome considering  she is 71 ... and It was nice to some of my idols in the LEGENDS OF DRAG Show at midnight. BUT the rest of the entertainment was a little average considering the party “Sold Out“ and it was the 40th anniversary I thought they would’ve been a lot more!
I ended up leaving at 5am and was in bed by 6am Maybe it's a case of me just being a little bit old and my legs started to kill me and let's not talk about the legend Marcia Monterey walking group with some of western Sydney‘s legends walking in the parade in some of the fabulous costumes Marcia made over the years I honestly don’t think I could walk in the parade ever again it’s a long day and night so glad i did not walk in the parade. I actually enjoyed myself a little bit more just as a boy. Over 10,000 performers took part in the parade to help celebrate 40 years of Mardi Gras…the best night ever at a MG party... I hope you all had a blast too!


This month I celebrate 26 years of doing drag, meaning I'm “technically” 51 years young! OMG it's my birthday = ''YUCK" That means i will reduce my responsibilities and push it onto my drag daughters and other high-profile queens in western community.


I’M SO EXCITED to announce that I'll be doing my own radio program PRIDE RADIO 89.3Fm from Sunday, 1 April and then every Sunday from 18:00 to 20:00 With weekly special guest in the studio + someone from ACON fortnightly at 7:15Pm and Jeremy Smith with what's hot and what's not in movies fortnightly at 7:15pm. The program will be supporting the LGBTQ community I really think it's important that we have a gay radio program on the radio on the Internet and on your phone as there's lots of other programs out there but nothing in Sydney on the radio. (but there might be one more program coming to the radio will have more info in April) ... With that said I am looking for people or companies that are able to donate money to keep the program on air as we are required to pay for 2hr air time yearly ($960) with all new application for the program at 2GLF 89.3fm in 2018 So if you can help out that would be awesome just SMS me 0433232425 your name your number and how you can help for more info check out our brand new website : www.prideradio893fm.com

 

Drag Factor   Finalists 07.04.18
Oh how time flies! In this time I've seen so many venues come and go, we've lost many in Western Sydney as well as the City. Even knowing what goes into a social night – I couldn’t imagine running a full time venue – but many have tried and I congratulate them. Our increasing patronage at the HEAVEN SOCIAL DANCE in Western Sydney means we made the right decision to move to a new club with the first dance in February being a huge success. I am really looking forward to the second dance on the 7st April at Mounties Bowling Club Fairfield from 6pm - 12pm , Entry $10 , Shows 9 & 10pm With the '' GRAND FINAL OF DRAG FACTOR '' with 6 fabulous finals will battling it out for a share o $1200 Coco Foxx , Devivine Intervention , Crystal Ball, Fifi Fo'Fum , Danger Del Ray & Miss Conception, the night will be Hosted By LayDee KinMee + Special Guest Judge’s : Portia Turbo , Melicious Damger and Me.  For more info : (Click on What's On)  www.heavensocialdance.com 


TURBO TRIVIA - you ain't never seen trivia quite like this. Trivia nights hosted by fabulous Drag Queens AND it's Free to play. The various venues have excellent kitchens, so brings your mates and family for a fun night out for everyone. 

Monday - Overlander Hotel Motel (Cambridge Gardens) '' Turbo Bingo '' @  7pm With April Fools.
Tuesdays - Parramatta RSL @ 7pm With Portia Turbo  +  On Tuesdays - Penrith Hotel @ 7pm With LayDee KinMee.  
Wednesdays - Mounties Triglav Club (in St John’s Park) @ 6:30pm With LayDee KinMee. + On Wednesdays at The Greystanes Hotel (Greystanes) @ 7pm With April Fools.
Thursdays - Kings Park Tavern (Blacktown area) @ 7pm With Portia Turbo.
Sundays - Austral Bowling Club (Liverpool Area)  @ 6pm With Portia Turbo.


On the second Friday of every month at Campbelltown RSL on the 13APR & 11MAY is Naughty Numbers – “BINGO with twist” @ 7:30pm With LayDee KinMee. it's cost $6 SET OF 6  4 x naughty games line/house jackpot.


On the last Wednesday of every month at Rooty Hill RSL (Made by the hill ) is 'Drag Bingo' @ 6:30pm $5 per bingo book on the 28March & 25April, Hosted By the fabulously fierce Miss Ellectra Kute . www.rootyhillrsl.com.au
Drags to Bitches will return popular demand for 1 night only at  Major Oak Theatre Restaurant at St Marys on 24 March @ 6pm-12am Dinner & Show 3 course meal $65 Book NOW  (02) 96234850 THIS WILL SELL OUT . For more Info www.dragentertainment.com


DIVA'S ON THE PARK at The Richards On The Park , Canley Vale is on 17MAR - 16JUN - 15SEP & 15DEC from 9pm with drag shows at 10 , 11 & 12 Its Free Night of entertainment but I hear numbers have dropped significantly gorgeous, so this could be another night that gets the chop in 2019! Oh NO let's REDUCE the nights and CHANGE the name and see if that makes thing better??? “NO MORE SHOWTIME“ :(
   

draggossipWhich Western Sydney drag queen is trying to break the world record for putting her hands down boys pants at the Mardi Gras Party??? Mmmmm ….It only takes a few drinks I believe and she's a totally different person….. I know what I'll be buying her for her birthday - some antiseptic wipes for those hands. LOL! 
ALSO, which western sydney drag queen has now resorted to KAIKAI with a Wollongong drag queen that's what she call networking you  GO GIRL show me the money. + Let's take a guess which drag queen is overworked ... 6 night a week and back & forth from overseas and has NO VOICE NOW they just don't listen work work and NO FUN will it be the end of her or THE VOICE ???                      

Until next time (14th April) Stay gorgeous! luv  Buttercup xxx     www.beverlybuttercup.com  

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Sydney New Years Eve Rainbow waterfall heralds new dawn for equality

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A rainbow waterfall of fireworks will cascade from Sydney Harbour Bridge as part of this year’s New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the dramatic technicolour fireworks would confirm Sydney as the New Year’s Eve capital of the world and celebrate Australians saying ‘Yes’ to marriage equality.

"This is a fabulous way to see out 2017 – the year that four out of five Sydneysiders said a resounding 'Yes' to marriage equality," the Lord Mayor said.

"The rainbow waterfall is a well-earnt tribute to the Sydney 78ers who marched for gay rights 40 years ago – it's a reminder of how far we have come and how far we have left to achieve true equality for our LGBTI community. It's a wonderful way to ring in the New Year, and celebrate the 40th anniversary of Mardi Gras.

"With more fireworks than ever before, this year's Sydney NYE celebration guarantees to be the biggest, brightest and best in the world.

"Sydney New Year's Eve contributes an estimated $133 million to the local economy and puts Sydney on the map as a global city for tourism, business, events and creativity on every level."

It takes Sydney fireworks director Fortunato Foti and the crew from Sydney family company Foti Fireworks International more than 5,000 hours to create the New Year's Eve display.

"The challenge this year was to create never-before-seen displays. Out of this we've created some great effects that I'm looking forward to sharing with the people of Sydney and the world," Mr Foti said.

"This waterfall effect is a first for the bridge and we've chosen the rainbow colours that work best for fireworks: red, yellow, green, blue, purple and silver."

Mr Foti says there will be more than 100,000 individual pyrotechnic effects on the night, setting a new record for the annual event's 9pm and midnight displays, with:

8 tonnes of fireworks – 1 tonne more than in 2016
13,000 shells – 1,000 more than 2016
30,000 shooting comets – 5,000 more than 2016

Inner-Sydney artist Nadia Hernández is the creative artist for this New Year's Eve and a series of bright artwork designs have inspired vibrant colour palette for the fireworks.

This year the 9pm and midnight firework display and the dramatic lighting effects beamed from the Sydney Harbour Bridge will feature new pastel shades, including bright orange, pink, lime green and light blue.

Her artwork designs also feature inspirational words, including wonder, harmony, hope and together, which will feature in the animations projected onto the harbour bridge pylons on the night.

"I included these words in the New Year's Eve artworks because they reflect my love of Sydney and send a positive message of hope for Australia and the world as we move into a new year," Ms Hernández said.

"The words and colours are all about what a wonderful place Sydney is in summer – spending time outdoors with family and with friends – and that sums up New Year's Eve in Sydney, too.

"It's such an honour to have been chosen by the City to be the creative artist for New Year's Eve. This project really has been a dream come true for me."

This year the Welcome to Country will include a tribute marking the 50th anniversary of the Sydney-San Francisco sister city relationship that will be celebrated in 2018.

A message from the Muwekma Ohlone peoples of the San Francisco Bay area will be projected onto the Sydney Harbour Bridge pylons at the close of the evening's Welcome to Country.

Sydney New Year’s Eve creative consultant Rhoda Roberts AO said the message marked a close connection between the two cities' First Peoples.

"There is a lovely connection between Sydney and San Francisco – both cities are very similar in their geography and both cities have a strong and vibrant Indigenous culture," Ms Roberts said.

"There's a great synergy between the histories of the First Peoples of these two great cities. The language, the stories and the rituals of the Indigenous peoples here and in San Francisco have survived recognised and honoured, and are still strong today."

At the close of New Year's Eve Welcome to Country, the following words in the language of the Muwekma Ohlone people will appear: "Makkin Mak Muwekma Wolwoolum, Akkoy Mak-Warep, Manne Mak Hiswi!", which translates: "We Are Muwekma Ohlone, Welcome To Our Land, Where We Are Born, San Francisco Bay Area".

San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee said the city was proud to be Included in Sydney's New Year's Eve celebrations.

"We are honored that 2018 will mark the 50th Anniversary of the founding of our Sister City friendship which has built common understanding, cooperation and partnership across the Pacific," Mayor Lee said.

"In January our San Francisco delegation will be visiting your beautiful city and joining with your citizens in celebrating 50 years of friendship and to set the foundation for another 50 years of citizen diplomacy.”


The 2017 New Year’s program highlights include:

6pm Pre-show entertainment
8.38pm Welcome to Country ceremony
9pm Family fireworks display
9.15pm Harbour of Light Parade
midnight Spectacular 2017 Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks display

Getting in and out of the city centre is different on New Year’s Eve. There will be road closures, on-street fencing and diversions to help people get around safely and move crowds to transport. Visit sydneynewyearseve.com for detailed information.

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Sydney gears up for what will be Australia's largest YES vote rally.

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Groups and individuals across the state are preparing to converge on Sydney's Town Hall tomorrow (Sunday 10th Sept) from 1pm to commence a rally and then a march down to Customs House at Circular Quay in support of the YES vote for Marriage Equality.

Recently the Australian city of Melbourne held a massive rally where the city turned out in force to show its support to treat all citizens equally - but predictions for Sydney, since the postal ballot was passed by the High Court, show that many more people will be turning out to make sure the YES voice is heard and seen.  From community groups to families, individuals and couples, it's going to be a massive event.

Speakers that will address the rally include supportive politicians, activists, and campaigners - all of whom have played a massive part in the long - very long - campaign for equality.

Make sure you head on down and show the country that YES is a supportive, respective and positive campaign.

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Hawkesbury Council backs Marriage Equality

Western Sydney's Hawkesbury Council tonight voted to support Marriage Equality.

It seemed that it might not get up seeing as The Mayor who previously had voted against writing to the Prime Minister in support of marriage equality and against flying the rainbow flag for Mardi Gras (stating he was a staunch Catholic and therefore against it) but he changed his mind and put up a Mayoral Minute asking Council to support marriage equality at tonight's meeting.

Greens Clr Leigh Williams amended the Mayoral minute and the following motion passed.

● Council supports marriage equality

● Council opposes the imposition and cost of $162 million non-binding plebiscite to achieve marriage equality and would prefer an immediate parliamentary vote on the matter. Should the government proceed with a plebiscite, Council resolves to support the Yes campaign.

● Council seeks to engage with the local LBGTIQ community with the aim of working with them to campaign for marriage equality.

 

The vote went down as follows:

 

Supported

Leigh Williams - Greens

Barry Calvet - Labor

Tiffany Tree - Liberal

Paul Rasmussen - independent

Christine Paine - independent

Mary Lyons-Buckett - independent

Mike Creed - Liberal

Kim Ford - Liberal (Mayor)

 

Opposed

Jill Reardon - Liberal

Warwick McKay - independent  (Deputy Mayor)

Patrick Connolly - Liberal

 

Absent

Bob Porter - independent

 

Congratulations to the people of Hawkesbury. Many New South Wales councils (that were not force amalgamated by Mike Baird) will go to a vote on Saturday September 10.  Local councils do have a huge impact on resources and social policy for LGBTQI communities - so make sure your vote counts.

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