Mayor Cr Margaret O’Rourke has welcomed today’s announcement that Bendigo has become a City (and region) of Gastronomy, joining the UNESCO Creative Cities network.
There are 246 recognised Creative Cities around the world, in seven different categories (Design, Film, Literature, Crafts and Folk Arts, Media Arts and Gastronomy). Bendigo is the first City of Gastronomy in Australia.
Across the world, only 66 cities were designated in 2019, and just 10 in the Gastronomy category. Bendigo joins cities such as Barcelona, Montreal, Dunedin, Chengdu, Östersund and Tucson who are also Creative Cities.
Cr O’Rourke said the announcement was a huge achievement for Bendigo and the region.
“This honour recognises that Greater Bendigo has a thriving creative scene and that we are committed to supporting creative industries and sustainable food systems,” Cr O’Rourke said.
“Thank you to the people and organisations involved in the local food, beverage, hospitality and tourism sectors for their work and support for this application process.
“Our application truly was a collaborative effort. Without the support of our community, our neighbouring councils and members of the Dja Dja Wurrung, we would not have been successful.
“Being part of the Creative Cities Network opens up so many opportunities in economic development, tourism and investment.
“We are very excited about the possibilities open to us from becoming a Creative City and are keen to continue the great work that has already begun in this space.”
The City’s application focused on:
- The importance of Indigenous history, food and living culture
- Bendigo as a creative hub – from the Art Gallery to theatres, festivals and heritage
- Produce from across our broader region, from the Murray to the Macedon Ranges
- Greater Bendigo’s multicultural community and the ways food and creativity bring us all together
- Community initiatives to support local, healthy, sustainable food
- Innovation and safeguarding food systems in an era of climate change