Australia agenda: Australian International Furniture Fair

Trendspotters and interior designers will be hunting for the AW 2011/12 season's key themes, designs and colors at the Australian International Furniture Fair in Sydney this week.

3rd Australian International Furniture Fair
February 2-4
Sydney Exhibition Centre
Australia, Sydney

Now in its third year, the Australian international furniture fair attracts over 200 national and international exhibitors. Special features of this year's show include 'the EDGE' - a section dedicated to the very latest in furniture design - and 'hotel + hospitality' which looks at the next trends to hit the world of hotel design. The Australian international furniture fair has a much narrower focus than Ambiente (February 11-15) for example, as it concentrates solely on furniture and not the broader aspects of household design.

59th Perth International Arts Festival

February 11 - March 7
Various locations
Perth, Australia

The Perth International Arts Festival is the longest-running multi-arts festival in Australia. While attendance is slightly lower than at NSW's iconic Sydney Festival, the Perth International Arts Festival offers a more varied program. The three-week-long event welcomes more than 800 performers and boasts a diverse program of art, music, theater, dance, literature and film. More than 800,000 people attended the festival in 2010.

33rd Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras

February 19 - March 6
Various locations
Sydney, Australia

Sydney's annual Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras is not the largest annual gay pride festival in the world in terms of participants but it rivals gay and lesbian pride events in New York City, Amsterdam, San Francisco and Sao Paulo for the title of "best gay event in the world." Sydney's world-famous Mardi Gras Parade (on March 5th) is the highlight of the two-week long festivities. In total there are more than 80 different events to attend including the first ever Harbour Cruise, the Mardi Gras Film Festival, Fair Day and one of the world's most celebrated dance parties, the Mardi Gras Party.

19th Tropfest
February 20
The Domain, Royal Botanic Gardens
Sydney, Australia

Tropfest is world's largest short film festival. It offers young filmmakers a unique opportunity to showcase their works to a huge audience. The festival is open to anyone who wishes to enter and usually amasses around 650 entries each year. Tropfest is held annually in Sydney but is also broadcast live to venues in Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart and Perth. The Melbourne International Film Festival, held annually in July, draws a slightly bigger crowd and is considered to be the world's largest showcase of Australian cinema.

17th Mildura Wentworth Arts Festival

February 25 - March 13
Various venues in Mildura and Wentworth
Victoria, Australia

The Mildura Wentworth Arts Festival is a regional festival held in Victoria's rural northwest. The event offers a vibrant program of visual and performing arts, workshops, theater, cinema, music and performances and in 2010 attracted around 30,000 attendees. Festival highlights include the Mardi Gras & River Festival and the Madec Harvest Grape Crush on February 26, Music Under the Stars featuring Marcia Hines on March 12 and the Admedia Back Lane Festival on March 13.

2nd Art Month Sydney

March 1-31
Various venues across Sydney
Sydney, Australia

Sydney celebrates contemporary art with a month-long festival of exhibitions, late night openings, free public talks, behind-the-scenes tours and special events. More than 70 galleries across the city will take part in the event. Like LA Arts Month, Arts Month San Diego, and New York Gallery Week, the event aims to promote local galleries and artists. It also aspires to encourage people to make gallery-going a regular activity in their schedules.