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CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT is an annual Australian Christmas
Christmas
tradition that originated in southeastern Australia
Australia
in the 19th century and was popularised in Melbourne
Melbourne
in 1938. The tradition has since spread around the world. It involves people gathering, usually outdoors in a park , to sing carols by candlelight, featuring live performances by both national and international celebrities and accompanied by a band and or orchestra. Today, the largest such event is held annually at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl
Sidney Myer Music Bowl
in Melbourne's King's Domain Gardens on Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve
since 1938.

CONTENTS

* 1 History * 2 Broadcast

* 3 Sydney
Sydney
Carols

* 3.1 In Victoria * 3.2 Carols Around Australia
Australia

* 4 References * 5 External links

HISTORY

One of the earliest forms of Carols by Candlelight
Carols by Candlelight
began in the 19th century, when Cornish Miners in Moonta , South Australia
Australia
, gathered on Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve
to sing carols lit with candles stuck to the brims of their safety hats. The tradition spread through Victoria and Melbourne , until it was popularised in 1938 by Norman Banks , a radio announcer, then with Melbourne
Melbourne
radio station 3KZ . Whilst walking home from his night-time radio shift on Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve
in 1937, he passed a window and saw inside an elderly woman sitting up in bed, listening to Away in a Manger being played on the radio and singing along, with her face being lit by candlelight. Wondering how many others spent Christmas
Christmas
alone, he had the idea to gather a large group of people to all sing Christmas
Christmas
carols together by candlelight. The first ever such event was held in Alexandra Gardens the following Christmas, 1938, and was attended by around 10,000 people.

Following World War II
World War II
, the Carols became so well patronised that the decision was made to move it to the neighbouring park in King's Domain. In 1959, the newly constructed Sidney Myer Music Bowl
Sidney Myer Music Bowl
provided a permanent venue, where they are still held to this day.

Funds raised from donations, ticket, and candle sales are given to Vision Australia
Australia
(formerly the Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind, RVIB). However, originally, all profits went to the Austin Hospital . During World War II
World War II
the Red Cross
Red Cross
and the Australian Comforts Fund joined the Austin Hospital as co-recipients, and in the immediate post-war era the RVIB received funds, as did the Austin Hospital.

Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve
2012 marked the 75th anniversary of Carols by Candlelight, a much loved event that has become a tradition in households around Australia.

In 1938 the massed choirs were led by Horace Stevens , who was followed in the position by Max Balderson . The musical director since 2003 has been John Foreman , and from 1984 to 2002 the MD was Geoff Harvey .

In earlier years, Carols by Candlelight
Carols by Candlelight
had a strong classical music theme, and a noticeable religious influence. The Sun Aria winner for each year was automatically invited to sing at Carols by Candlelight. However, since the 1960s, the program has certainly moved towards popular culture.

BROADCAST

The event was originally hosted by its founder Melbourne
Melbourne
broadcaster Norman Banks and broadcast over 3KZ . When Banks left the station in 1952, Philip Gibbs became host. During the time that Philip Gibbs was hosting, the program became a radio/TV simulcast on 3KZ and ATV-0. From 1980 it was telecast nationally through the Nine Network . 3AW replaced 3KZ as the radio broadcaster. The event is also broadcast and telecast live to eastern Asia, many Pacific Islands and New Zealand.

Brian Naylor later became the host and, then, for 18 years it was compered by Ray Martin . From 2008, it was presented by Today hosts Lisa Wilkinson and Karl Stefanovic
Karl Stefanovic
, and since 2013 by Wilkinson and Today Extra co-host David Campbell . Because of this arrangement, the show often features Nine personalities such as Hi-5 , and more recently, stars from Nine's hit series, The Voice .

YEARS HOSTS BROADCASTER TELEVISOR

1938-1951 Norman Banks 3KZ

1952- Philip Gibbs 3KZ

Philip Gibbs 3KZ ATV-0

1980–1989 Brian Naylor 3AW Nine Network

1990–2007 Ray Martin 3AW Nine Network

2008–2012 Lisa Wilkinson and Karl Stefanovic
Karl Stefanovic
3AW Nine Network

2013–2016 Lisa Wikinson and David Campbell 3AW Nine Network

SYDNEY CAROLS

In 1950 a Sydney
Sydney
Carols by Candlelight, based on the Melbourne
Melbourne
event, was held in Hyde Park
Park
. It was sponsored by 2UW and the Daily Telegraph , in aid of the Rachel Forster Hospital for Women and Children, Redfern. The host was 2UW broadcaster Vernon Lisle . The event is believed to have lasted for about a decade. Since 1983 there has been a similar event in Sydney, namely Carols in the Domain which is simulcast over the Seven Network and Smooth FM in Sydney.

Similar albeit, usually smaller events are now also held all over Australia, usually arranged by churches, community halls, local councils, or other community groups. They are normally held on Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve
or the Sunday or weekend before Christmas.

IN VICTORIA

In North Balwyn, Carols in the Park
Park
is held annually. In 2011 it moved to Macleay Park, North Balwyn.

In 2012, 10,000 people attended the celebration in Victoria.

In Geelong
Geelong
, there is Denis Walter 's Carols by the Bay held on the first Saturday of December. This is the third largest Carols by Candlelight event in Australia, behind Sydney
Sydney
and Melbourne
Melbourne
. It is held at Eastern Beach and is a free event. There is also Carols in the Park
Park
in Johnston Park
Park
on Christmas
Christmas
Eve.

The City of Monash organises the large annual Carols by Candlelight event in Jells Park
Park
, hosted by Pete Smith . It has attracted up to 25,000 people and has been running for over 25 years.

In the City of Yarra a large Carols by Candlelight
Carols by Candlelight
event has recently been held in the Abbotsford Convent gardens.

In the City of Manningham a large Carols by Candlelight
Carols by Candlelight
event is held annually in Ruffey Lake Park
Park
.

In Werribee , there is the annual City of Wyndham Carols held on the lawns at the historic Werribee Mansion. This event takes place on the second week of December.

CAROLS AROUND AUSTRALIA

In Brisbane
Brisbane
the Lord Mayor's Christmas
Christmas
Carols (Carols in the City broadcast by Nine Network ) are held normally the first Saturday in December, at Riverstage in the City Botanic Gardens
City Botanic Gardens
.

In Perth , Carols by Candlelight
Carols by Candlelight
are held in mid December at the Supreme Court Gardens , while other events are held at Fremantle , Scarborough and Rockingham . In 2012, Suzie Mathers performed during the IGA Carols by Candlelight
Carols by Candlelight
in Perth

In Adelaide
Adelaide
, Carols by Candlelight
Carols by Candlelight
is held in the weeks before Christmas
Christmas
in Elder Park
Park
on the banks of the River Torrens . In 2012, 30, 000 people witnessed the event.

In Newcastle, New South Wales , Carols by Candlelight
Carols by Candlelight
are held in mid December, both at Speers Point Park