When and why did The Boite start in the first place?
After considerable planning, The Boite began with a concert in Richmond’s Actors Theatre in June 1979. The organisation was set up to increase awareness of the changes in Melbourne society with new waves of migration in the ‘60s and ‘70s.
What role has The Boite played in Victoria?
The Boite has played a very significant cultural role in Victoria, bringing people from diverse backgrounds together and presenting their music to listeners from mainstream Australia. We set up events that are accessible and friendly and make opportunities for artists to meet each other, and work together, across cultural and language divides. We support musicians with projects and have done many launches and premieres for new recordings, new work, new bands etc.
Why is it important that artists have access to supportive organisations such as The Boite?
For newly arrived artists, as with anyone who settles in a new country, the most important task is to earn a living. In Australia that is rarely through music practice. Even highly qualified musicians struggle finding performance opportunities when they arrive here. The Boite offers them a welcome. We are interested in the music everybody brings, so The Boite’s recognition of relatively obscure musical styles, and its demonstrated respect for those forms is often very confirming and reinforcing for newly arrived musicians.
What’s next for The Boite?
We will be celebrating The Boite’s 40th Birthday Party this Saturday. Beyond that, we have The Boite Schools Chorus on the horizon and late this year an online history of The Boite will be published.
The Boite’s 40th Birthday Party goes down this Saturday at the Abbotsford Convent. Grab tickets and read more about the organisation via their website, boite.com.au.