Colac Otway Shire Chief Executive Peter Brown says virtual concerts presented by the Colac and Apollo Bay communities demonstrated their resilience, and the ability of small communities to understand how best to support each other through a crisis.
Red Door Theatre Company and Nick Moloney Productions joined forces with local media the Colac Herald and MIXXFM, and Colac Otway Shire, to present a virtual concert on Saturday night, showcasing local talent and encouraging viewers to order takeaway food or buy local produce to support businesses.
Apollo Bay’s home-grown talent got together for a ‘COVID-friendly gig’, which streamed on Friday night and can be viewed via Facebook, thanks to Marrar Woorn Neighbourhood House, Matty Orchard Music, Jackson Hayat Films and Show, Don’t Tell, with Colac Otway Shire providing the venue.
“These two initiatives were a credit to all involved in production and sponsorship, and also a credit to our community for supporting the events and local businesses,” Mr Brown said.
“We understand more than 1200 accounts, or households, tuned in to watch Colac’s Big Night In, which could account for thousands, with many of those ordering in.
“It’s been incredibly difficult for our hospitality industry and there are challenging times ahead as they continue to provide service or start to reopen while adhering to COVID restrictions with potentially limited capacity.
“Many food businesses offering takeaway and home delivery in Colac were between 25 to 50 per cent up on sales, with locals happy to order and wait longer than usual for their Saturday night meal because businesses were so busy.
“To their credit, many of these businesses have done a lot of hard work to diversify and continue operating. We have pubs serving takeaway food, restaurants and cafes now offering home delivery, and now they are looking at how they can offer outside dining.
“These businesses deserve the community’s support, just like the talented performers who took to the COPACC or Apollo Bay Senior Citizens stages to play their part in boosting our communities’ spirits after what has been an unprecedented time for everyone. Residents can pick up food from their local businesses and watch the concert anytime.
“The organisers and supporters of the two concerts deserve our thanks and recognition for the countless hours which have gone into producing the virtual concerts and also to local media for helping to promote the Big Night In,” he said.
“Great work again, Colac Otway.”