Bigger and better: Castlemaine arts website gets supercharged

Published: 27 Oct 2021

Theatre Royal in Castlemaine

Get Lost – a website born during lockdown to enable Mount Alexander Shire’s artists to hold online exhibitions, performances, e-commerce and training – is being upgraded to boost functionality and users.

That’s a boon for Castlemaine creatives wanting to collaborate and strengthen their business potential.

The Victorian Government is contributing $225,000 to the upgrade through its $10 million Regional Recovery Fund, which aims to kickstart regional recovery by investing in local projects so communities can respond rapidly and flexibly to the impacts of the pandemic which have played out differently across the state.Mount Alexander Shire's town centre

“In testing and developing new ways to work together, we’re building a collective sense of pride in who we are and what we do,” explains Mount Alexander Shire Cultural Development Officer, Vicki Anderson. “We’re also acutely aware of the role we play in the wider cultural wealth across central Victoria and so the Get Lost platform seeks to build a greater line of sight to our local professionals ready to do business across the region, state and nation.”

The website has already tasted success.

Thanks to streaming by Get Lost, the 2020 Castlemaine Documentary Film Festival was able to proceed in live format at the Theatre Royal Castlemaine, with COVIDSafe restrictions limiting live attendees. The platform drew paying audiences across four states and territories and enabled the production team to cover costs.

Via its chat system, online attendees were able to discuss the program and submit questions to live panel discussions which followed each film. And to create a sense of connection across live and online audiences, the Get Lost Collective additionally live streamed the panel discussion events, many of which featured participants ‘Zooming in’ from outside Australia.

That extended audience is crucial.

“Prior to the pandemic in February 2020,” says Vicki, “our region was recognised by the Australia Council as a key cultural tourism destination. Strengthening our engagement with national and international audiences is critical to our economic recovery.”

Page last updated 21 Jun 2022
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