Helen Musa in the Canberra Times today reports the Multicultural Festival’s funding is set to be cut by about half.
She mainly quotes Jorian Gardner, because he was the only one of her eight sources who could go on the record (though she appears to have talked to festival director Domenic Mico as well). Mr Gardner has been the director of the Fringe Festival, which looks like it won’t happen at all next year.
Mr Gardner said the 2007 festival’s funding would be between $130,000 and $150,000. In recent years it has had about $280,000 in funding and the total cost, roughly double this, has been made up through sponsorship and ticket sales. In his opinion, the amount named would only be enough to cover the Food and Dance Spectacular and maybe the Greek Glendi (not sure what this is).
Multicultural affairs minister John Hargreaves denied there had been any decisions made about cuts. He told Ms Musa that rumours of drastic cuts in all kinds of areas had been flying round since the June budget and that people should just wait and see what the actual details were (though from what Jorian said, it sounded like some parts of the bureaucracy think its pretty done and dusted).
Mr Hargreaves said he is “determined to bring to the community the biggest and best Multicultural Festival yet”.