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The Sydney Eisteddfod is an independent community based non-profit organisation limited by guarantee a registered charity in Sydney, Australia, and listed on the federal Register of Cultural Organisations eligible to receive tax-deductible donations. Directors and advisors are honorary. Sydney Eisteddfod annually present the McDonald's Sydney Eisteddfod, with the help of arts and education professionals. In 2012 the Festival grew to over 400 events for singers, dancers, actors, musicians, choirs, bands and orchestras, along with creative categories for composers, writers and poets.
The Sydney Eisteddfod formerly known as the City of Sydney Eisteddfod opened in 1933. held from 9 to 26 August 1933 in the Sydney Town Hall, The Assembly Halls, The Railway Institute Halls and Paling's concert Hall. The illustrated souvenir programme cost one shilling
The Sydney Eisteddfod acts as a reference source for public enquiries about other competitions and opportunities, arts organisations and support groups, performances presented by commercial and non-profit presenters; encourages opportunities for public performance by developing artists; promoting recitals, concerts and performances; nurtures interest in the performing and creative arts, and cultivates future audiences.
Piroozi Desai-Keane OAM – CEO Sydney Eiesteddfod. Born a Zoroastrian. Educated though the University of Cambridge via the Cathedral High School in Lahore, Pakistan and later through the University of the Punjab, Lahore, majoring in languages (French and German) and philosophy.
From 1976–1981 worked as Program Director at the Goethe-Institut (German Cultural Centre, Lahore).
Arrived in Australia in 1981 and joined Sydney Eisteddfod in 1982.
Became an Australian citizen in 1984 and a Justice of the Peace in 1986. Married Christopher Keane in 1994.
After serving as secretary, administrator and general manager Piroozi Desai-Keane was appointed chief executive of the Sydney Eisteddfod in 2008 taking over from Geoffrey Jones who became paralysed after suffering a stroke.
In June 2009 she was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the Queen's Birthday Honours list, in recognition of her services to the community.
Sydney Eisteddfod won the City of Sydney Business Award, Cultural and Creative Services section in 2011.
- Miss Amelia Farugia
- Mr. Geoffrey T Jones OAM
- Mr. Simon Kenway
- Dr. Nicholas Milton
- Mr. Steven McRae principal dancer with the Royal Ballet
- Mr. Stuart Skelton
- Mr. Simon Tedeschi
- Ms. Fiona Ziegler
- Ms. Leone Ziegler
- Mr. Joshua Horner
Following the opening of Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1932, some people believed that the city needed to cultivate a more sophisticated image. At the time Sydney had no Opera House or symphony orchestra and one of its three live theatres was already marked for demolition, members of the Citizens of Sydney Organising Committee consulted leaders of the local musical community and devised plans for a great eisteddfod to enhance Sydney's reputation as a centre for arts.
The NSW State Conservatorium and President of the NSW Music Week Committee drew up a proposal to hold a large-scale event to bring together the best musical and elocutionary talent of the various States. On 22 December, this was adopted at a meeting at the Sydney Town Hall under the chairmanship of the Lord Mayor Samuel Walder MLC.
In the 1933 New Year honours, Walder received a knighthood. He relinquished his mayoral duties, but continued his career in State politics, retained his place on the Citizens of Sydney Organising Committee and continued to support the Eisteddfod.
The First City of Sydney Eisteddfod offered a programme of 84 vocal, choral, speech and musical events and drew 5,410 entries. It opened to great success on 19 August 1933 with artist including Joan Hammond, Ernest Llewellyn and Joy Nichols.
Apart from a four-year recess during the Pacific War the competition has continued ever since. The Citizens Committee disbanded in 1950, but the Eisteddfod continued with the same mix of political, civic, educational and industry leadership. The City of Sydney Cultural Council was incorporated in 1975 to embrace a wider range of activities.
McDonald's Australia commenced its association with Sydney Eisteddfod (formerly known as Sydney cultural Council) in 1988 with naming rights sponsorship. McDonald's Australia have also supported the McDonald's Operatic Aria since 1989 and the McDonald's Ballet Scholarship since 1998 providing the necessary nutrient for encouraging and developing artistic talent across Australia.
Beginning their careers with Sydney Eisteddfod
- Australian Government – Register of Cultural Organisations
- The Sydney Eisteddfod Story: 1933–1941 by Jennie Rowley Lees
- "Sir Samuel Walder". The Sydney Morning Herald. 24 January 1933.
- http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/17783935?searchTerm=citizens%20of%20sydney%20eisteddfod&searchLimits=\\Morning Four Year Recess The Sydney Morning Herald Friday, 16 January 1942
- http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/56431316?searchTerm=citizens%20of%20sydney%20eisteddfod&searchLimits Sydney Eisteddfod resumes Morning Bulletin Rockhampton 16 January 1946