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About us

Our history

The Australian National Eisteddfod was established in 1954 as a not-for-profit community organisation incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act of the ACT (Certificate A10). It is registered as a charity and as a deductible gift recipient under the Australian Federal Income Tax Assessment Act (ABN 32 452 693 087). There has been an eisteddfod in Canberra annually since 1955.

The Eisteddfod was preceded by the Canberra Eisteddfod Society, which was established in 1937 and held annual eisteddfods until 1941, when it went into recess because of the Second World War.

In recent years the annual eisteddfod has attracted about 5000 individual entries and 100 groups — local and interstate — in 200 event categories for ages 6 years and under to open.

Who we are

The Patrons, Members, Sponsors and Friends who support the Eisteddfod are committed to encouraging and fostering the pursuit of excellence in all disciplines of the performing arts.

The Eisteddfod has activities organised and presented almost completely through co–operative volunteer effort, supported by the generosity of many individuals and businesses.

There are at present six competitions, in Bands & Orchestras, Choirs, Instrumental and Contemporary Music, Piano, Singing and Speech and Drama. Each of these has an eminent Artistic Adviser, who advises on artistic standards generally, including the content of the syllabuses and selection of adjudicators. The competitions are organised by teams of volunteer convenors. The convenors make practical arrangements for the competitions, including developing and managing budgets.

How does the eisteddfod contribute to the community?

  • it promotes the development of excellence in cultural expression,
  • it encourages practice and public performance in voice and instrument as soloist or group member,
  • it develops skills in these areas,
  • it helps the individual gain confidence in both individual self expression and in group activity.

The skills developed have lifelong use not only in the performing arts but also in any career field and in any community endeavour.

The eisteddfod presents on a regular basis:

  • four weeks of solo and group recitals in voice – singing and speaking – and instrument,
  • 1500 individual performances with a further 2500-3000 participants in groups i.e. ensembles, bands, orchestras and choirs.
  • 200 plus age based performance and composition competitions from 6 yrs to Open in voice(s) and instrument(s) for solo and group performance,
  • a low cost opportunity to ‘tell your story’ in public performance,
  • an opportunity to learn by seeing and hearing how others perform, and
  • an opportunity to receive a confidential written assessment – and perhaps an award from a discipline accredited specialist.