Strength, love, unity and diversity: this is what the imagery of the 2005 Sydney Gay And Lesbian Mardi Gras festival is meant to represent.

It also reflects the festival’s ability to reach out and influence the wider community. Plus, of course, the exuberance, freedom and joy the Mardi Gras celebration creates, New Mardi Gras co-chair Mark Orr said.

The merging of hearts artwork will be officially unveiled on Friday 17 December at the launch of the 2005 festival guide at the State Theatre.

It was designed by international advertising agency Euro RSCG Worldwide Australia, who were asked to create imagery that reflected the spirit and energy of the season.

The company’s CEO Glen Fraser said he was thrilled to be given the opportunity to work on Mardi Gras and felt an incredible responsibility to get the image right.

It’s not every day you get the chance to work on the brand strategy for one of the world’s most important cultural events, Fraser said. Mardi Gras means any number of things to any number of people. It’s a celebration but it’s a party with a purpose.

The agency also created New Mardi Gras’ new slogan, Our freedom, your freedom.

Steph Sands, co-chair of New Mardi Gras, explained the statement meant that personal freedom was only possible if the queer communities banded together and fought for equality as one.

Mardi Gras is a chance for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer people to be together and be whoever they want to be, Sands said. It’s about absolute self-expression. It’s about the realisation of individual freedom through incredible unity. And when we unite we’re all free to be whoever we want to be.

The 2005 festival will be officially launched on Friday 4 February. Fair Day is on Sunday 20 February, while the parade and party are being held on Saturday 5 March.

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