Catholic Arts was this year back with a new-look festival to close out the 2021 calendar of events.
After disruptions caused by COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the Spirit of the Arts Concert kicked off proceedings on Monday, 13 September, with more than 1500 students from 52 WA Catholic schools taking to the stage in RAC Arena for a night of song, dance and drama.
Spirit of the Arts is the new festival project for Catholic Arts, bringing together the traditional Performing Arts Festival concert and Carnevalé events to bookend the week-long festival, with lunchtime concerts in the CBD, a greater visual presence, and a new venue for the centrepiece concert.
Some 350 students performed solo and in groups, and the massed choir of 1100 students singing songs including ‘Faith in the Future’, a song which was recorded by popstar-priest Fr Rob Galea, and has been part of 200th anniversary celebrations for Catholic education in Australia at schools across the country this year.
Students from schools across the Perth region made up most of the concert program, however St Joseph’s Primary School in Bunbury traveled to bring their talent to one of WA’s premiere venues on the night.
Kearnan College Manjimup, Leschenault Catholic Primary School, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Primary School, Mullewa, St Francis Xavier Primary School, Geraldton, St John’s School, Rangeway, St Josephs Catholic Primary School, Pinjarra and St Joseph’s School, Kununurra all recorded footage for a ‘Faith in the Future’ music video that was shown on the big screen.
After the concert, the Carnevalé lunchtime events on Tuesday and Wednesday treated members of the public to dance, choral music, drama, stage and rock bands in Forrest Place and Yagan Sqaure.
The festival concluded with Carnevalé on Friday, the marketplace-style event showcasing performance, visual arts, a fashion parade and stalls including hospitality, jewellery, homewares, craft and gifts.
Each year, Catholic Arts provides opportunities for thousands of Catholic school students in WA to follow their passion for visual and performing arts.
In 2021, almost 17,000 students were involved in the Performing Arts Festival for Catholic Schools and Colleges, and there were a record 197 entries in the Angelico Art Exhibition, which was displayed at the Forrest Centre during August.