Penola Coonawarra Arts Festival - Regional Arts Festivals South Australiaq


A little about our Festival …

Our Festival takes place annually during May, following the Coonawarra vintage. Our aim is to highlight excellence through the involvement of local, national and international artists. We promote Penola’s rich literary, art and cultural heritage, and the fine wines of Coonawarra through our program.

Exhibitions, workshops, Festival flavours and performances are held in Penola, and at many of Coonawarra’s winery cellar door’s.

Described by Brian Chatteron OAM, General Manager of Co-Opera, as ‘…surely one of the most culturally distinguished regional festivals in Australia’, we believe that the Festival has become a significant event in the state’s calendar.

Each year the festival has attracted major events and exhibitions that have appealed to a broad audience and contributed to its growing profile.

Our Festival committee is made up of passionate bunch volunteers from the Limestone Coast of South Australia. We are a non-profit organisation that began in 1991.


  • 2015 UNESCO Prize ‘for an outstanding contribution to the regional cultural life of South Australia, promoting all facets of the Arts, and cultural tourism.
  • 2013 South Australian Regional Award, from Brand South Australia. This award highlights individuals or organisations that have made significant contribution to their region and the State over a twelve month period

‘The Arts’ … encompasses almost anything you want it to be

It is not is always about the ‘medium’, it is not always about the painting on the wall, the sounds that come from the instruments nor a piece of drama. It is also the lamp post in the street, the creative stories of authors, poetry, the sculptured chair you sit on, the melody of a song, the stamp on a letter, a stained glass window, the photos in your album, the presentation of last night’s meal, a landscaped garden, perhaps even your letter box, the layout of your screen saver, the graphics on your phone, your phone case, the clothes you wear, the interior of your car, a house plan, the movement when you dance und so weiter.

Art has many unique and varied reasons of existence whether this be to document history, to express belief, to awe and wonder, display talent and imagination, to protest, to communicate and to process creativity. We don’t seek to take a structured definition. We want all and everyone to be part of what is, to us ‘the arts’ and its limitless boundaries.

Welcoming all ideas into our festival.