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The Zig Zag Festival

Local traditions, arts in action and the best free activities for kids

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Established in 1984, the Kalamunda Festival became the Zig Zag Festival as of 1986.  The Festival takes place in Stirk Park Kalamunda on the last weekend in October. 

wide view of the 2015 Festival Finale (c) G Berry
Stirk Park filled with people watching the 2015 Act-Belong-Commit Zig Zag Festival finale

 Rather than the one event of the year, the Festival is a showcase for the community to share and display its achievements.  Throughout the year Zig Zag Arts actively seeks to develop the community through engagement  in the arts.

Unlike a lot of festivals and Ag shows, the Zig Zag Festival has remained a free family-friendly event.  Instead of showbags and carnival rides, the Zig Zag Festival features participative activies for children, music and performance on multiple stages, and a colourful market comprising arts and craft stalls and local food vendors.

A traditional parade along the main street of Kalamunda leads the crowds to the Finale Stage for the final performance of the day.  

People from all over the Shire of Kalamunda come to the festival every year, and from the wider Perth community families come to see what the hills community have to offer. We know that visitors regularly come from as far as the south coast, and from as far north as Geraldton for the day.

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The 2018 Zig Zag Festival will be on
Sunday 28 October
  This year's Festival theme is "IMAGINE"
More details

Previous Festivals

Act-Belong-Commit 2016

Zig Zag Community Arts Festival

30th October 2016

"Stirk Island 2116 - one hundred years on"

The 2016 Zig Zag Festival had a focus on the future

As part of the development of the 2016 Festival theme we asked local school children to imagine what the Shire of Kalamunda would be like one hundred years from now.  Very quickly a stong image emerged from all the schools involving higher sea levels lapping at the base of the hills, leaving Stirk Park as an isolated island surrounded by the newly risen waters.

The Hills "dry landers" may now differ from the "ocean fielders" in many ways, but the developing storyline seemed to find more things they have in common...

The School Projects that ran in 2016 developed images and stories that were captured in a small graphic novel and music, that was performed by school based music programs. There was a CD produced with the graphic novel enclosed within it as sleeve notes.

The Festival Finale was like a Rock Opera which had students from Kalamunda Senior High School, the Kalamunda Youth Swing Band and the Junkadelic Brass Band performing the music on stage with Students from the Kalamunda Primary School and Woodlupine Primary School acting out the story in front of the stage.  The then Minister for the Arts, John Day described it as "one of the most creative acts I have seen for a long time".

Arts and Craft stalls again were a feature of the Festival, and of course there was the family favourite: FREE Children's hands-on activities

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The 2015 Festival was our 30th

The 2015 Act-Belong-Commit Zig Zag Festival had a heritage theme "Tracks - Trees & Trains"it aimed to bring out and share the story of the Hills communities in and around the Shire of Kalamunda.  Attendance on the day was steady and large across more of the day than ever before.


The Zig Zag Sound Shell Stage showcased music singing and performance, and in front of the stage there were dancers and gymnasts. Jarrah Celts provided a link to the past and later in the day the Perth Morris Men performed again - they were part of the earliest Festivals too.

The Youth Stage this year saw a major collaboration between Zig Zag Community Arts, Junkadelic, Kalamunda Senior High School and Mentors from Canning College pull together the first completely youth-led program.  The students gain recognition from their involvement in the program towards their Certificate 3 qualification.  Local bands from the Kalamunda Senior High School attracted large crowds to the marquee this year.

The Rotary Checkerboard stage brought aspects of the festival theme to life representing music from the past and the future some Aboriginal singing and poetry from Josie Boyle with David Rivett traditional Celtic folk sounds from Rob Zielinski's band Sian and  the Black Chooks were there with a set of Italian dance tunes and even some songs - who said chooks don't sing?


The Zig Zag Street Parade down Haynes Street was led by the Kalamunda Pipe Band and CirQuest Circus had stiltwalkers, clowns and an unicyclist in costumes to match the Tracks Trees and Trains theme. The Gudes also built and carried props to follow the theme.

The Kalamunda History Village dressed in period costumes and Pat Halahan pushed a traditional wooden wheel barrow. 

The Act-Belong-Commit Zig Zag Festival Float - the Lil' Black Kettle - Zigged and Zagged its way down the hill, drawing its train of carriages behind it, closely followed by the massed marching band comprising Kalamunda Primary School Funk Band Drummers and Shakers, the Kalamunda Senior High School Wind Band, members of the Kalamunda Youth Swing Band, and the Junkadelic Brass Bandthe music was specially composed for the Festival and the performance was excellent!


The special sound-light-and-music Finalé Spectacular started soon after the Parade arrives in Stirk Park.  Waiting at the Stage were the largest Combined Schools Choir we had seen, over 230 children and 20 teachers - achieved through the Singing Noongar Songs inSchools project by Madjitil Moorna Choir. 

The rousing Welcome to Country by Ingrid was the signal that this was going to be something special.  The Combined Schools Choir and Madjitil Moorna Choir took us back to hear songs in Noongar language and reminded us of the first people: the Aboriginal people who were custodians when the land where we met.

The Black Chooks performed Italian Dance tunes telling the story of the settlers woh followed, some from Europe, then 
AKappella Munda Choir sang in Chinese for the large number of early migrants from that continent. 

The Black Chooks reminded us how the railway came to move the timber down the scarp, and then started bringing people up to breathe the fresh hills air. The Lil' Black Kettle song sped up and changed, taken over by the funky beats from
the Junkadelic Brass Band, with Candice from Madjitil Moorna singing the song. They went on to sing Home in the Forest to tell the story of local settlement, building the houses that became Kalamunda.

The final song 'All Our Days'  was opened by the Black Chooks, built on by A Kappella Munda and Madjilil Moorna but in the end it was the Combined Schools Choir who had the last word - the children are the future.

By then the Sunset had blazed in the sky, and 30th Zig Zag Festival had reached its climax. 

Download the complete 2015 Festival Report Back to Top

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Page updated 22 August 2018  MC

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