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A star on the rise!
Paul Kapeleris’ life changed in an instant when his musical career skyrocketed to fame after an extraordinary performance of Andra Day’s Rise Up on popular television program, Australia’s Got Talent earlier this year.
The now 23 year old with the angelic voice and exceptional piano playing skills is the 2019 Vision Australia Carols by Candlelight Ambassador.
The talented musician was born with only 15%; he now only has 5% vision which is slowly deteriorating.
Paul found a new meaning for life when his mother encouraged him to start piano lessons at the age of eight.
‘’It was very difficult as I couldn’t see the notes. Basically my teacher told me to practice and feel the notes with my eyes closed. The piano has a set structure so I don’t have to look to play the piano anymore. There’s a lot of muscle memory going on,’’ Paul explained.
From a young age, Paul would watch talent shows on television such as X Factor and Australian Idol, and would dream of doing something similar as he grew up. To Paul, music was what gave him the confidence and freedom to truly be himself.
Earlier this year, Paul completed his Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in music, which came after years of dedication to the piano and music.
Inspired by his mum, music teachers and professors, Kapeleris has had the privilege to learn from a variety of people over the years.
Kapeleris finds inspiration across the music industry with his idols being Sam Smith and Chris Stapleton for their ability to connect with their music and audience.
‘’I love Ed Sheeran’s songwriting ability, and Gary LeVox and Tori Kelly for the absolutely stunning vocals. All of these incredible artists have sculpted my own artistry in some way, and I am eternally grateful for their drive and passion to make music.’’
As Vision Australia Carols by Candlelight Ambassador, Kapeleris hopes to provide inspiration to those who don’t think they are good enough or have what it takes.
‘’Vision Australia has allowed me to live a life I would never have been able to live otherwise. They have provided me with support, got me out of the house with young adult social activities, and have taught me life skills through occupational therapy. Interacting with other people who have vision impairments is an enriching experience that, for me, would only have been possible through Vision Australia.’’
‘’As someone who has lived with a severe, degenerative vision impairment for all of my life, it means the absolute world to be given this opportunity. We are strong. We are powerful and can do anything.’’
‘’It is quite daunting knowing that I will be performing in front of an audience of millions of people on Christmas Eve. Not being able to see anything helps! It’s just me and that piano on the stage.’’
The rising-star is treating this journey as something special, something to be cherished with every second . Alongside writing his own music, Kapeleris is willing to take on every opportunity that comes his way, he’s going to grab it with both hands and never let go!
13 Nov 2019
It's going to be a hot one!
The weather forecast is in and we’re expecting a warm and sunny 31 degrees for Carols by Candlelight 2018. With that in mind, make sure you’re prepared to have a sun smart and well-hydrated Carols.
Preparing for Carols
31 degrees is hot. Make sure to bring sun smart clothing, hats, and water.
If you’re planning on queuing up through the day, make sure you have sun screen and sunglasses. Make sure you reapply your sunscreen every two hours!
Any water bottles you bring into the Sidney Myer Music Bowl will need to be emptied before you enter the venue, but you can refill them inside the venue. Water stations are located at the back of the hill, to the right after entering at Gate 1, and inside the Christmas Festival next to our range of food trucks.
If you’re feeling the heat, or if you feel unwell for any reason, we have first aid stations set up thanks to St John’s Ambulance. These are at the back of hill, to the right after entering at Gate 1, and inside the Christmas Festival.
Run out of sunscreen on the night? No problem! Our first aid stations have extra sunscreen available.
As well as water, you can bring your own non-alcoholic beverages on the night. Beverages need to be sealed and in containers not made of glass. Also to be considerate to other guests try and only bring a reasonable amount, a slab of soft drink per person is probably too much.
To make sure you get enough shade you’re welcome to bring umbrellas to keep the sun away. Please only bring personal sized umbrellas, without pointy ends (for safety reasons) and make sure they are folded away by 7:45pm so that everyone can see the main performances.
If you need a bit of shade but haven’t brought an umbrella, our Christmas Festival area has plenty of shade, as well as activities, rides, and food.
Have questions about what else you can and can’t bring into Carols? Check out our guide here.
19 Dec 2018
Top food and drinks at our Christmas…
As Carols by Candlelight approaches, we’d like to highlight some of the excellent food providers who are supporting us in 2018. Keep an eye out for these delicious delectations, and so many more, at the Christmas Festival!
Villa Maria Wine Garden
For the fourth year in a row. Villa Maria is the highest ranking New Zealand winery in this year’s “World’s Most Admired Wine Brands” list.
Said Sir George Fistonich, founder and president of Villa Maria Estate, “being named as the most admired wine brand in New Zealand four years in a row is testament to the level of quality our wines consistently deliver and shows we exceed in all the award criteria. It’s such amazing recognition for Villa Maria and I’m incredibly proud that we continue to rate the highest New Zealand winery on this most prestigious of lists.”
A leader in sustainability, innovation and quality, Villa Maria is a family owned winery recognised as an icon in the New Zealand wine industry, and their travelling wine truck will be present at Carols by Candlelight 2018 for you to sample this incredible wine!
Barista coffee by Brewtech
Brewtech is an industry leader in the Melbourne specialty coffee market, a coffee-loving team who supply premium equipment, sales and servicing to many of Melbourne's best cafes, restaurants and coffee roasters.
Brewtech is very proud to be supporting Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight in 2018. This year Brewtech is also providing coffee for all our staff and performers, giving them the buzz and the energy they need to provide and support such quality entertainment!
Goldeluck’s Doughnuts was established in 2018 by Phillip Kuoch. Since their humble beginnings, they have served more than 350,000 customers and regularly been featured as one of the best doughnut shops in Melbourne by publications such as the Herald Sun and Concrete Playground.
With stores in Croydon South and Eastland, Goldeluck’s is notorious for its innovative, award-winning doughnuts which not only taste great but look amazing! Goldeluck’s delicious doughnuts are totally unique, and we’re thrilled to have them join us this year for Carols by Candlelight. This year they will be teaming up with Vision Australia Radio, and together their stall will share the great services that Vision Australia’s audio team provide to the community while Goldeluck’s will be selling their world famous doughnuts with all proceeds going towards the 4x Brighter Appeal.
19 Dec 2018
What to bring and what to leave at home
Carols by Candlelight 2018 is almost here! Hopefully you have booked your tickets and started making plans for a night of celebration and song. To help you have the best night possible we’ve put together a short list of what to bring, and what things are best left at home.
What to bring:
Your copy or copies of the Carols by Candlelight Songbook, available in the Herald Sun or from our website
Comfortable clothing appropriate to the weather, including hats and sunnies for sun safety in the afternoon, and rain-jackets or ponchos in case of rain!
Collapsible prams are also welcome, although these must be cloaked when you arrive
Picnics are welcome in appropriate containers (see below), along with your picnic blankets
There are ATMs available on site, but bringing some cash is recommended for easier, quicker purchase of beverages and other items
Your loudest proudest singing voice and lots of Christmas cheer!
What to leave at home:
BYO Alcohol or any glass containers are not permitted at this event! Best to purchase beverages on-site
Guns, fireworks, drones and other dangerous items are obvious no-nos!
Please don’t bring wax candles; electronic ones will be available for purchase at the event, with all of the proceeds supporting kids who are blind or have low vision
Please don’t bring any metal knives, including cheese knives
For a better viewing experience for your fellow audience members, please leave behind any portable seating higher than 20cm off the ground, including hard eskies that could be used as a seat. This also goes for tables, tents and sun shelters inside the venue.
No pets please; assistance animals only are permitted
Pointy umbrellas can be a danger and a viewing obstacle to those behind you, so please leave them at home or try to bring an umbrella without a sharp end. If the weather looks poor, bring raincoats or ponchos
We ask that you don’t bring any glow sticks, laser pointers, selfie sticks or professional cameras (phone cameras are okay!)
Please note that bag checks will take place at the gate and prohibited items may be refused or confiscated.
We’re looking forward to seeing you all at Carols by Candlelight and we hope you have a fantastic time with your friends and family. Don’t forget to share your photos with the hashtags #carolsbycandlelight and #4xbrighter!
13 Dec 2018