PORTAL came about as Council’s Plan B when the eruption of the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the much loved Surf Coast Arts Trail. 

Recognising the huge impact of lockdowns and physical distancing on the Surf Coast’s significant Arts sector and the community, PORTAL focused on keeping us connected through creativity via online curated Arts programming. PORTAL 1 (#NotTheSurfCoastArtsTrail) included skills development workshops (watch the free online videos here) Artist Studio Tours, and panel sessions and discussions about the Surf Coast’s arts ecology.

PORTAL has since become testament to the fact that the Plan B is not always the lesser option – that by its very nature a Plan B is a creative enterprise, and full of opportunities.

The motivating spirit of PORTAL is to encourage connection, collaboration, community and creativity. 

PORTAL’s next phase, funded by Council in recognition of PORTAL’s ability to aid recovery in the shire, features two projects Creative Coalitions and PORTAL Street

Creative Coalitions

Creative Coalitions is a pilot project developed to assist the economic, social and community recovery of the region through the development of unique partnerships between artists and small business.

If you are a Surf Coast small business or artist and wish to participate in the pilot program, fill in the registration form by 31 March.



Portal Street is a curated public art project showcasing three Surf Coast photographers.

With indoor venues continuing to be subject to changing restrictions and occupation limits as a result of COVID, it is time to investigate alternative ways to exhibit artworks outside the gallery or studio space.

PORTAL Street features 3 local photographers whose work celebrates the unique identity, character and natural surrounds of the Surf Coast. They are:

Torquay's Shaun Viljoen (aka The Passerby),

Fairhaven's Rebecca Hosking and

Dean’s Marsh artist Renee Wigley.

From 31 March - 18 April the artist’s work will be applied to footpaths in Torquay, Lorne and Dean’s Marsh.  Follow the QR code at the bottom of the work to learn more about the artist and their work!