top of page


Brian has directed several theatre and corporate events and is known for his work on major outdoor events including:


2003-current: Adelaide Christmas Pageant, now known as the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant. 

For Events South Australia, a division of the South Australian Tourism Commission. 170 moving theatrical sets, including more than 60 floats, 15 bands, 265 clowns and over 2000 performers parading through the streets of Adelaide South Australia over 3.3 kilometres celebrating the start of the Christmas season and the arrival of Father Christmas in Adelaide. This event closes the city every second Saturday in November attracting live audiences of 320,000 and television audiences of 170,000 locally. The event has also been telecast through the Thai Global Network reaching millions of viewers globally.

In 2020 and 2021 due to COVID 19 this parade was run for the first time in its 88 year history as an Arena Spectacular at the Adelaide. The approval was given just 10 weeks before event day. it included over 2000 in the event and celebrated the opening of the season with a float parade on a specially created roadway to protect the turf, about 500 dancers, 200 mass band, carol singers and mass choir to an audience of 25000 at the event and on television it was the 5th highest watched program in South Australia across all channels for 2020. The Arena Spectacular version was repeated in 2021 with a return to the streets of Adelaide in the Pageant 90th year in 2022.


Some news reviews:

"Thousands of children packed city streets yesterday for Adelaide's much loved Christmas Pageant. Families chalked messages of support to the people of Paris after yesterday's attacks. More than 340,000 people took to the streets to watch the pageant's spectacle of colour and entertainment. But it was Father Christmas that stole the show and offered a simple but touching message. 'Christmas is about love, love one and other every day." The advertiser Nov 14, 2015.


“Pageant casts its spell – long may the Christmas Pageant reign. The innocence and delight on young faces as they take in the grand parade is a beautiful reminder of the goodness in the world.” Editorial, Sunday Mail, Nov 2004 describes this event beautifully.


“Father Christmas capped off a memorable Christmas Pageant yesterday when he spoke to his adoring audience for the first time. He then released a single dove as a symbol of peace.” Anna Merola, Sunday Mail, Nov 2003


“..a triumph for director Brian Gilbertson, all the Credit Union staff and volunteers, Events South Australia, the police and all involved-troupers all.” Peter Goers, Sunday Mail 2003


1996 - 2018  Carols by the Creek - Mitcham  - celebrating 20 years in 2016

The first Sunday of December each year at the Soldiers Memorial Gardens Mitcham. Prior to 1996 a small concert was held each year in the Soldiers Memorial Gardens attracting up to 200 local residents. At the request of the local Council Brian Gilbertson produced and directed a new Carols model and named the event Carols by the Creek. Audiences grew rapidly to 4000 and the evening became part of the local calendar. Brian continues to direct and perform in this event each year. Brian created this event 20 years ago.


2004/2006 Canvas in Concert, Michael Murray Theatre.

For Wetlands & Wildlife in association with Westminster School Arts Department. Brian provided the concept for and direction of concerts starring international concert pianist David Helfgott with internationally renowned visual artist David Bromley on stage together.  The audience is welcomed into the artist studio to see him paint whilst listening to music. The music happens to be live performance. The production was repeated in 2006 once again with the two Davids. Artists also participating in 2004 were The Australian String Quartet, mezzo soprano Elizabeth Campbell, Brian Gilbertson, The Adelaide Chamber Singers and Thomas Edmonds. In 2006 they were joined by Johanna Allen, Kym Purling, Nick Parnell, Jenna Wong, the Tal- Kin - Jari Dance group and Barbara Weir.


At the end of each concert The artworks by David Bromley and Barbara Weir became part of the curtain call and were auctioned for charity.


Some reviews:

“We cannot speak highly enough of what you did. You produced an amazing event… Everyone left the night feeling privileged to have attended.” Management, Wetlands & Wildlife.


“Canvas in Concert was not only successful as an extraordinary showcase of the Arts; it drew together like-minded, enthusiastic and talented people to realise a shared vision. Thank you for having the vision and passion to produce what was perhaps a world first.” Head of Arts, Westminster.


2002 David Helfgott Concert, Adelaide Town Hall for the High Beam Festival

Hosted by the Tutti Ensemble Holdfast Choir, with David Helfgott, Brian Gilbertson and Jennifer Kneale and the Tutti Ensemble and orchestra. Broadcast live by the ABC.


2001 Opera in the Wetlands. Private event for Tom and Pat Brinkworth.

A Private Event in the South East of South Australia to celebrate the  opening of the Watervalley Gorge. Headlining the concert were soprano Dame Malvina Major, New York tenor John Keys and Brian Gilbertson.


Some reviews:

"The crowd of 4000 people was spellbound by the enchanting performance overlooking Cortina Lake...the stage, built on the back of a low loader near the water appeared to be almost floating on the lake.....Many of those privileged to witness it experienced the event of a lifetime.” Nigel Austin, The Advertiser, 5 Nov 2001.


“Night of a Lifetime (headline) class with Dame Malvina, John Keyes and Brian Gilbertson singing spine tingling operatic arias and duets and popular, contemporary favourites.” Front Page, Kingston Leader, 7th Nov 2001.


“ director Brian Gilbertson brought together international, state and regionally acclaimed singers, members of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the Adelaide Chamber Singers. ...Set against the Cortina Lakes backdrop, Opera in the Wetlands was a unique South East event.” Front page, Border Chronicle 8th Nov 2001


Hundreds of emails, faxes and letters were received by the Brinkworths from people who attended from all over Australia expressing congratulations with comments like...”thank you for a beautiful evening....a fantastic night....  a privilege to be there..... we will remember the event for the rest of our lives ..... what more could one want?   thanks for inviting us and promoting the Kingston District in such a big way....  an absolutely wonderful experience..... the night was sensational and is ‘the talk of the town’ wherever I go ...people would pay much more for such a premium event brought joy to so many people   ... thank you for one of life’s great experiences, something we will never forget....thank you for sharing this wonderful occasion with so many. I still get goose bumps just thinking about it...... “


1999 Bundaleer Forest Concert Weekend,

Mid North of South Australia. Attracted an audience of 2500 to the main concert and 12,500 experienced the forest walks. New concept, “sports/arts” performances. Injected $750,000.00 into the mid north community over one weekend. The template for this event was created by Brian Gilbertson on a community development model. The event successfully continued as a biannual event run by the community and based on that original template until 2014. 


Some reviews:

“A Major success.” The Flinders News, Sara Phillis April 1999


 “ ...a wonderful event...a great success...thoroughly enjoyable as both an imaginative artistic endeavour and as a celebration of the forest and the local community.” Adelaide Festival Special Events Producer, K Sedgewick


“A feast in the forest....a visionary event....changeovers between the acts ran smoothly on a large stage...Sunday sports/arts entertainments in the forest boosted attendances even further...a unique community event which drew an enthusiastic audience of several thousand from far and wide.” The Advertiser,  Stephen Whittington and Louise Nunn, April 1999.


“..ran seamlessly for two days, delighting thousands..everyone was a winner...a world class event...artistic and event director assembled a stunning program of performers who somehow combined culture with sport and finally the Bundaleer  Forest itself...helped put Jamestown and Bundaleer firmly on the map of ‘must see’ attractions...numerous                 highlights...cast of 330 artists... Northern Argus, April 1999


“The biggest and best regional arts event in South Australia if not Australia this year.”    “ ..proved arts events could provide an economic boost for the area.” Minister for the Arts, The Honourable Diana Laidlaw.


Other Productions directed by Brian Gilbertson

Little Red Riding Hood - The Opera; Year 2 school students 2000.

Millenium Ball Showcase (35 minutes) "The Power of the Music of the Night" Adelaide Convention Centre New Years Eve 1999.

Corporate Showcases - Various Corporate Venues 1994-2000

"From Berlin to Bernstein and Webber." -

"Steppin' Out with my baby" - "Classical rock" - "Stage & screen."

"United in one dream world concert tour" - Various Concert venues 1999

concerts and corporate sponsor performance promotions, 9 countries.

Reconciliation - Why Not, co-directed with Owen Love - Adelaide Town Hall 1997

a musical, multimedia play involving culturally diverse performers

Suzuki Spectacular, (400 young artists) - Adelaide Festival Theatre 1996

Three of Us in Concert, (300 primary school artists) - Adelaide Town Hall 1996

Peter Combe Christmas Spectacular - Adelaide Festival Theatre 1995


© 2000 by Brian Gilbertson

  • facebook-square
  • LinkedIn Black Square
  • Instagram Black Square
  • YouTube Black Square
  • twitter-bird2-square
bottom of page