ICelebrating Art and Ability: Orly’s Hearts


The Winter Magic Festival in the Blue Mountains is an annual celebration that transcends the bounds of tradition, inviting the community to embrace creativity and the magic of artistic expression. One of the festival’s standout features is the ArtStreet competition, where local artists collaborate with businesses to transform Katoomba Street into a vibrant canvas. In this article, we’ll shine a spotlight on the talented winners of the ArtStreet competition and delve into the inspiring achievements of Katoomba High School’s Orly Saban at the Focus on Ability Film Festival.

ArtStreet Winners:

The ArtStreet competition serves as a platform for artists in the Blue Mountains community to showcase their talents and collaborate with local businesses. The 2023 edition saw remarkable submissions in two categories: Over-18’s and Under-18’s.

In the Over-18’s category, Greystanes Disability Services claimed the first-place honor for their compelling group work titled “Connections.” This piece exibited at the Sanwiye Korean Cafe, providing a glimpse into the diverse perspectives of the local community. Jadin Cole secured the second-place position with his mesmerizing work, “Winter Magic,” exhibited at the Tibetan 3-Sisters, adding an extra layer of enchantment to the festival atmosphere.

In the Under-18’s category, the talented Orly Saban from Katoomba High School captured the first-place accolade for his artwork titled “Love one Stitch at a Time.” This young artist’s creation not only reflects artistic prowess but also conveys a powerful message of unity and love within the community.

Winter Magic LOVE Festival:

The anticipation and excitement peaked at the Winter Magic LOVE Festival, where the winners of the ArtStreet competition were officially announced on the Salute to Youth Stage. The event marked a celebration of creativity and community spirit, bringing together artists, businesses, and residents alike.

Focus on Ability Film Festival Triumph:

In addition to the ArtStreet triumphs, the Winter Magic Festival had another reason to celebrate – the success of Filmmaker and Teacher Sean O’Keffe’s film of Katoomba High School’s Orly Saban at the Focus on Ability Film Festival. This annual international short film festival challenges filmmakers to create a five-minute film celebrating the achievements and abilities of people with disabilities.

Sean’s  documentary about Orly’s entry in the ArtStreet exhibition, titled “Orlando’s Heart,” clinched victory at the festival. The film is a testament to the school’s commitment to showcasing the diverse talents of its students and fostering an inclusive environment. You can relive the winning moment by watching the awards ceremony here or you can go directly to watching the documentary here.on the Katoomba High School YouTube channel under the video titled ‘Orlando’s Heart.’


The Winter Magic Festival not only transforms the streets of Katoomba into a magical wonderland but also serves as a platform for local artists to showcase their talents. The ArtStreet competition winners have not only left their mark on the festival but have contributed to the vibrant tapestry of the Blue Mountains community. Moreover, the success of Orly Saban at the Focus on Ability Film Festival reinforces the power of storytelling in highlighting the abilities and achievements of individuals with disabilities. As we reflect on these achievements, it’s evident that art has the incredible ability to unite, inspire, and celebrate the rich diversity of the Blue Mountains community.