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Willoughby City Council is shining a light on its rich international culture with a new CBD activation, Chatswood Nights – Roaming Gnomes, from 6–29 May. Twelve giant inflatable gnomes will be lit up 24 hours a day for everyone to find!

Featuring world music performances, a world-class 3D light show, a food trail and 12 giant inflatable roaming gnomes, Chatswood Nights will delight the community while reinvigorating local businesses affected by the pandemic.

Funded primarily by the NSW Government’s CBDs Revitalisation Program, Chatswood Nights – Roaming Gnomes aims to encourage visitors from across Sydney and regional areas to rediscover Chatswood’s vibrant CBD, which offers shopping, dining, arts and entertainment. Chatswood Nights will sit within Willoughby Council’s year-long Chatswood Culture Bites program of cultural activations, free outdoor events and ticketed performances.

Willoughby Mayor Tanya Taylor, who has begun her tenure with a clear focus on culture and community, is thrilled to be promoting another program of cultural enrichment for Chatswood’s CBD.

“Chatswood’s CBD is a focal point of our vibrant business, arts and entertainment communities and offers great shopping and a buzzing food scene that are ready to be rediscovered,” she says.

“Chatswood Nights embraces our rich and diverse population with a choose-your-own-adventure international food trail and celebrates inclusivity and innovation with a world-class light show and installations. The program has been designed with a clear vision to re-engage our community by supporting our many local businesses that were affected by COVID-19, and showcase Chatswood as an innovative hub with an accessible and vibrant culture.”

The 23-day event celebrates international travel and encourages visitors to explore the globe without leaving home by discovering Chatswood’s different precincts and restaurants.

A world-class 3D animation projection created by Hungarian 3D projection-mapping leaders Limelight, in collaboration with Ukrainian refugee animator Svetlana Reinish, will feature nightly on The Concourse façade. The animation follows the journey of a gnome escaping from his owner’s garden to explore the world. It brings to life his many and varied adventures as he visits more than a dozen countries featured on the Chatswood Nights International Food Trail, such as Malaysia, Thailand, Korea, India, Europe and North America

Twelve giant inflatable gnomes will be lit up 24 hours a day in front of key public spaces and indoor retail centres to engage and inspire the community. Each gnome has its own playful personality, from K-Pop to cosmic, and business to sporty. Using

QR codes at each gnome location, visitors can access food reviews of featured restaurants from leading food bloggers such as Not Quite Nigella, Yukilicious, Nick and Helmi and Tik Tok phenomenon by Nessa Eat.

Simone Chua of Amigo & Amigo, part of the design team for the Roaming Gnomes, explains, “Chatswood’s fabulous ethnic diversity inspired the personalities of the gnomes. You have Asian culture, European culture, and while we might not be able to or feel confident to travel to those places at the moment, you can still experience aspects of these cultures in Chatswood through the food trail, and gnome activations.”

Visitors are encouraged to follow the map of discovery to find all 12 gnomes and take a photo to enter the Roaming Gnomes Competition, with $20,000 in prizes up for grabs. The more gnomes you visit the more chances you have to win.

Adding to the ambience, each Friday night a musician playing world music will entertain the crowd in the Chatswood Live at Night program.

For more information on Chatswood Nights go to: www.culturebites.net.au