Prominent businesswoman and long time supporter of the arts, Janet Holmes à Court has been named the latest Patron of the annual Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival.
The festival, which returns to the South West region in May, is the biggest regional literary event in WA and brings novelists, journalists, creatives and storytellers together with the local community at a series of workshops and events.
Ms Holmes à Court is owner of the internationally renowned Janet Holmes à Court Collection, with galleries in West Perth and at Vasse Felix estate in Margaret River.
In 1995 she was awarded the Officer of the Order of Australia for her services to business, the Arts and Community and in 2007 received the Companion of the Order of Australia in recognition of her services to advance Western Australia's musical and theatre culture, visual arts and ongoing services to the community.
Chair of the Art Gallery of Western Australia (AGWA) and a Board Member of the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM), she said she was delighted to have been asked to take on the role.
"I look forward to playing a constructive role in the further development of this important event," she said.
Readers and Writers Festival & Creative Director Sian Baker said she could not be more excited about the appointment.
"It is an incredible honour for the Festival to have the opportunity to work with a person who welds such unbridled passion, knowledge and advocacy for the Arts and Culture here in regional Western Australia," she said.
"The Festival is thrilled to officially welcome Janet Holmes à Court as our patron and we look forward to her contribution in this advocacy and advisory role, helping us continue to grow the Festival and providing more vital opportunities for writers, storytellers and performers to get in front of live audiences."
Ms Holmes à Court will take over the role of Patron from The Honourable Kim Beazley AC, with Ms Baker thanking Mr Beazley for his "outstanding contribution" to the festival.
"His support over the last two years has been invaluable and we are deeply grateful for his ongoing advocacy in support of the Arts in the South West," she said.
The Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival will be held from May 12-14 at Margaret River HEART and urrounding venues in Margaret River, Busselton and Augusta.
The full program will be announced on Friday 24 March and tickets will be on sale on Monday 27 March 10 am AWST. More information: www.mrrwfestival.com
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