Act-Belong-Commit Swan Festival of Lights (SFOL) 2018 - 1st Nov to 1st Dec

Act-Belong-Commit Swan Festival of Lights (SFOL) 2018 - 1st Nov to 1st Dec

The Act-Belong-Commit Swan Festival of Lights (SFOL) 2018 – ‘Celebrating Deepavali Together’ is set to take Perth once again on a multicultural journey of the senses, through a vivid experience of colours, rhythms, and flavours, with events from the 1st Nov – 1st December 2018.


SFOL 2018 consists of an impressive line-up of events across the Perth CBD area over the month-long period, including Soul Speak an art exhibition at the State Theatre Centre of WA, an afternoon discussion with Vikku Vinayakram, the Act-Belong-Commit Swan Festival of Lights 3-day outdoor festival, Gandhi – the movie at the Perth Cultural Centre, ‘Conversations’ a theatre production at the Heath Ledger Theatre and Rangoli – Indian Street Art at the Perth Cultural Centre.

Since its inception in 2008, the Act-Belong-Commit Swan Festival of Lights has flourished, attracting 35,000 patrons in recent years to celebrate the vivacious and enriching Indian festival of Deepavali (Diwali). A joyous occasion observed by over one billion people across the world, Deepavali is a celebration of the Inner Light that resides in all of us.


Just as we celebrate the birth of our physical being, Deepavali celebrates the positive permutations of ‘Light’ - hope, peace, harmony, knowledge, joy and truth – and it's dispelling of ‘darkness’.  This universal theme of light triumphing darkness serves as the foundation of the Festival and inspires a unifying experience. Millions of people celebrate this international festival across the globe. 

SFOL is presented by Annalakshmi Cultural Centre of WA and Saraswati Mahavidhyalaya (SMV), both not-for-profit institutions, staffed largely by volunteers, and guided by the principles of “Serve, Love, Give” and “Art for the love of it”. SFOL is supported by the Government of Western Australia Office of Multicultural Interests, Healthway promoting the Act-Belong-Commit message, Lotterywest, City of Perth, the Tamil Association of WA, the Government of India and Confluence – Festival of India in Australia. 



Interview opportunities: To arrange interviews with artists or the presenters, contact Somun Balasubramaniam by email


All event photography and posters


SFOL 2018 festival events (1st Nov – 1st Dec)

Refer to the links below to access individual event photographs / media.

Soul Speak | Art Exhibition

Free entry: 10 - 5pm weekdays/weekends* 01/11 - 01/12 | State Theatre Centre of WA

An artwork is a live entity. It speaks to the mind of the artist even before it is created. It continues to grow, interact and morph into an experience, that lasts forever in psyche of the observer. Soul Speak is a strikingly beautiful, thought-provoking collection of private artworks inspired by music and rhythm. Perth-based, artist-dancer Sarasa Krishnan and artist-musician Subhashini Balasubramanian bring a uniqueness in approach to their creation, which speak a similar language. A speaking, a conversation, an expression of a longing from the soul.

*Check for weekend entry details.

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An afternoon with music legend, Vikku Vinayakram | Dialogue

Free entry*:1:30 pm, 03/11 | Saraswati Mahavidhyalaya (SMV) - 263 Beaufort St, Perth

Vikku Vinayakram visits SMV for an informal dialogue with all. Vikku is a Grammy award-winning master percussionist on the ‘ghatam’, an ancient Indian percussion instrument from South India and is a recipient of the Padma Bhushan award, the prestigious National honour conferred by the President of India; and Sangeet Natak Acadami award, the highest honor for music in India.

* Entry conditions apply, check for entry details


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Act-Belong-Commit Swan Festival of Lights | Outdoor Festival

Free entry: From 4.30 pm, 9-11/11 | Supreme Court Gardens

Celebrating Deepavali by the Swan River with friends and family. Enjoy delicious food & beverages by Annalakshmi, watch dance and music performances by local and international groups, participate in arts, crafts and workshops, take the kids to fun rides/activities, take a tour through Tamil Nadu and end the evening with fireworks. A family friendly, smoke and alcohol-free event.

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Gandhi - The Movie | Outdoor Film

Free entry: 6.30 pm, 25/11 | Perth Cultural Centre, Northbridge

A WORLD EVENT - it took one remarkable man to defeat the British Empire and free a nation of 350 million people. His goal was freedom for India. His strategy was peace. His weapon was his humanity. Now, 150 years later marking the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, watch the epic film, Gandhi – directed by Sir Richard Attenborough, starring Ben Kingsley, John Gielgud, Rohini Hattangadi. Light Indian snacks and masala chai will served to patrons.

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View Gandhi Movie Trailer


Conversations | Live Music & Dance

Pay as you wish: 7pm 30/11 & 6pm 1/12 | State Theatre Centre of WA - Heath Ledger Theatre

An evening of music and dance, featuring legendary sitar maestro Ustad Usman Khan, followed by 'Dance Conversations', a production collaboratively produced by Malaysian-based award-winning performing arts company TFA Inner Space Dance and Australian based arts organisation, Saraswati Mahavidhyalaya. ‘Dance Conversations’ disrupts the notion that mastering more than one Indian classical dance style is beyond the capability of the human body. This production will see a collection of dancers masterfully communicating through a number of dance styles, seamlessly moving from one to the next, allowing for an expansive type of conversation to occur. Tickets available at

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View Dance Conversations trailer

‘Rangoli’ - Indian street art | Street Art

Free entry: From 9.30 am, 01/12 | Perth Cultural Centre, Northbridge

Witness the making of Perth's largest live 12-hour continuous Indian street art. Light Indian snacks and beverages will be available from 4 pm by Annalakshmi, at the State Theatre Centre Court Yard.

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About the presenters


Annalakshmi Cultural Centre of WA

A household name for more than a decade in Perth, Annalakshmi is largely run through the work of voluntary staff. Inspired by its founder the late Swami Shantanand Saraswati, it is a truly unique dining experience where guests may eat to their heart’s content and pay what their heart feels – a concept that stems from the belief that no price can be put on dishes prepared with love.  

But the Annalakshmi experience does not end there. As an advocate of vegetarianism, Annalakshmi regularly conducts cooking classes and demonstrations as well as talks on health and wellness. 

Annalakshmi is also a cultural centre where artists of various cultural backgrounds have a space to express themselves in a culturally invigorating and welcoming environment. In this way, Annalakshmi serves the people of Perth, on the lap of the Mother Swan, via healthy food, music and dance.


Saraswati Mahavidhyalaya | Centre for education and performing arts

Over the past 30 years, under our patron and founder, the late Swami Shantanand Saraswathi, SMV (formerly the Temple of Fine Arts) has been a sanctuary for performing and visual arts and culture. SMV is dedicated to the promotion of culture and the fine arts in Australia and beyond - transcending age, cultural, social and geographical boundaries.

SMV follows the principles of ‘serve, love, give’ and ‘art for the love of it’ and has strived to make arts and culture accessible to all. SMV operates on the principle of collaboration and inclusiveness and we regularly work with artists within the cultural community of Australia on joint works and productions.

Through performances, workshops and its syllabus, SMV has contributed significantly to educating and exposing art lovers everywhere to dance, music and sub-continental tradition. SMV has staged internationally renowned dance and music productions such as Indian renditions of Swan Lake and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and has crossed cultural boundaries through Lady White Snake, Ramayana, The Legend of Mahsuri and Naad Brahma. These productions have been presented in a number of locations around the world including Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, India and the USA. Recently, SMV staged a dance drama production, the Indian epic, “I am Ravana” at the State Theatre Centre of Western Australia. This production was invited to feature at the Kuala Lumpur International Arts Festival in September 2018.

SMV has also formed close relationships with world-class artists including Pandit Kumar Bose, Pandit Birju Maharaj and Dr L Subramaniam, extending into intercultural exchanges with artists including dancer and international choreographer Olivier Tarpaga. SMV now seeks to produce a new work annually as an emerging professional performance company.