OVATION Arts Centre Melbourne

Over the past two years, Ovation Dinner has raised funds to enable Arts Centre Melbourne through their program, ACCESS, to bring the performing arts to disadvantaged children around Victoria, regardless of gender, age, ability or cultural or socioeconomic background.

Leonard Joel is proud to support Ovation 2020 and we recently spoke to Andy Dinan, Director of MARS Gallery and Chair of Ovation about the project.

1. Can you tell us about Ovation, and the ACCESS and Inclusion Program it supports? 

ACCESS is an inclusive participation program, which forms part of the philanthropic arm of the Arts Centre.

The performing arts influence and shape our world. They inspire us as individuals, help us build stronger, more connected communities and bring us together for shared experiences that can be life-affirming, life-changing and life-saving.

ACCESS provides subsidised or complimentary transport for regional schools, specially produced access programs and relaxed performances, and free or low-cost programming to nurture and celebrate participation, creativity, imagination, cultural engagement and diversity.

We founded Ovation two years ago, to support ACCESS and we will be hosting an exquisite fundraising dinner for Ovation on 19 February 2020 on stage at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl.

2. When did you first become involved in the Program? 

I proudly joined the Foundation Board for ACM two years ago and it’s been a wonderful enriching experience.

I joined because I was interested in the ACCESS programme and helping to raise funds so every child can visit the Arts Centre regardless of age, gender, ability or cultural or socioeconomic background.

I am extremely passionate about building a creative and prosperous community through the arts.

Each year, hundreds of schools and thousands of students, along with families, communities and lifelong learners, participate in Arts Centre programmes that provide unique opportunities to engage with arts and artists.

Arts Centre Melbourne has been a big part of my life and I thoroughly enjoy helping stage this very special event, which gives back to our centre.

3. Can you tell us a little (without giving too much away!) about the Fundraising Event in February, which will be different to previous years?

Ovation is Arts Centre Melbourne’s signature fundraising event and in February 2020 we will host 240 black tie VIPs who will dine on a specially created menu (this is Melbourne, so it has to be about the food as much as it is about the entertainment!), sipping Yabby Lakes finest wines on stage of the magnificent Sidney Myer Music Bowl, entertained by an array of old and new artists who have all, at some point, performed at the Arts Centre.

Fiona Myer will graciously dress the staff in her fashion label, White Story and Leonard Joel’s John Albrecht will auction two amazing pieces – one a jewellery piece generously donated by the auction house and the other donated by the estate of Inge King.

I can’t give away much more, except that those that attend will experience a once in a lifetime event they will never forget, while aiding our beloved Arts Centre.

5. Anything else you’d like to add?

Please book your seats now! You can do so online, or by contacting Jordan Bowering at Arts Centre Melbourne on 03 9281 8973 or

And, I would like to thank you for considering supporting Arts Centre Melbourne by attending this dinner. Your support means we can deliver our mission to create, connect and enrich the lives of many.

Find out more at