Bleach* Festival, founded by Griffith alumnus Louise Bezzina, has received a $90,000 Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award.

The popular arts and cultural event took out the Group Award, which recognises the organisation’s past achievements and potential to contribute to Australian society through the performing arts.

Ms Bezzina, who graduated from Griffith University in 2003 with a Bachelor in Applied Theatre, is the founder and artistic director of Bleach* Festival. She said the festival team was “thrilled” to be acknowledged at the prestigious national awards.

‘Winning this award is one of the most exciting rewards of recognition we have ever received for the Bleach* Festival,” she said.

“The Board and team are thrilled to be acknowledged nationally for the work that we have done here on the Gold Coast.

“This is such a prestigious award and it will enable us to be even more ambitious and adventurous in the new work we make with local artists.

“This is a real game changer for the Gold Coast and Queensland.”

Griffith has just signed a three-year partnership with Bleach* Festival, which has transformed the arts scene on the Gold Coast and attracted close to 1 million people since its inception in 2012.

The centrepiece of this year’s festival will be a blockbuster outdoor performance of Verdi’s Requiem, featuring students from the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University.

Talented musicians from the Queensland Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra will work alongside a full cast from Opera Queensland for a spectacular concert under the stars at the Home of the Arts (HOTA)on 27 April.

Griffith University Deputy Vice Chancellor (Engagement), Professor Martin Betts, said the partnership with Bleach* Festival would provide a remarkable opportunity for students involved in the creative arts at Griffith.

“Griffith has been recognised as the number one creative arts university in Australia,” he said.

“For our students to be involved in an event like this is an invaluable opportunity.

“Our partnership with Bleach* Festival gives our students absolute access and participation in a world-class event.”

Ms Bezzina, a proud Griffith alumnus, said the partnership would provide opportunities for students across the university, from marketing and events management to urban planning.

“We are thrilled that Griffith University is on board as our major partner over the next three years,” she said.

“It’s more than just a logo on a program, it will provide great practical outcomes for students, from performance opportunities and internships.”