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Festival ‘must remain a community event’

By Graham Cooke - 16 August 2010 10

A call was made today for the National Multicultural Festival to remain a primarily community-orientated event under the control of the ACT Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Chair of the Canberra Multicultural Community Forum (CMCF), Sam Wong, noted that the Loxton Report on the arts in Canberra, had recommended the Festival should return to an enlarged, professionally-curated event.

“CMCF, which has played a significant role in recruiting and deploying volunteers for recent National Multicultural Festivals, would be pleased if the Festival would once again be able to present a wide range of overseas performers,” Mr Wong said.

“However, we believe that its primary focus should be on bringing Canberra people together in a celebration of multiculturalism supported by the ACT Government, the Canberra diplomatic community, international students studying here and the many local ethnic groups.  

“We support arts involvement in the Festival – and we welcome any involvement of the Canberra arts community as partners in this worthwhile objective.”

Mr Wong pointed out that a survey of visitors to the 2010 National Multicultural Festival had revealed a 92 per cent satisfaction rate – 85 per cent had said they were likely, or very likely to attend again in 2011.

“In other words we have a very good product here and while we should always strive to be even better, radical change is obviously not needed.”

“Any changes in the Festival must recognise the hard work of Canberra’s ethnic communities in setting up their stalls and organising performances and displays to share the rich diversity of dance, cultures and languages in the ACT- events which brings tens of thousands of people into the City Centre each year.”

Mr Wong said CMCF would continue to press for a bigger and better Festival in 2011.

“It is an event which puts the ACT on the map – living, vibrant proof to support our claim that Canberra is the multicultural capital of Australia and one of the most successful multicultural communities in the world,” he said.

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10 Responses to
Festival ‘must remain a community event’
farnarkler 11:16 pm 18 Aug 10

Sepi, some of us have been asking that for many years.

TheObserver 1:28 pm 17 Aug 10

The Fringe was massively better as The Majestic at the National Folk Festival – a far better use of the taxpayer dollar in my opinion – and it was much better programmed and much better run – although the punters could have demonstrated a little more of the ‘awareness’ that Generation Y is famed for and not spread so much litter.

landcat 2:16 am 17 Aug 10

johnboy said :

What kind of Irish food would they serve?

Guinness and kidney pie, Guinness and whiskey milkshakes, clover salad with leprechaun dressing, all the yummy stuff that paddys like to eat!

sepi 9:14 pm 16 Aug 10

I missed the festival this year too. Bring back a proper big festival.
Why do they cancel things as soon as they are successful in Canberra?

Pommy bastard 6:26 pm 16 Aug 10

And which “community” would this remain for?

The self-interested, trendy-lefty, arty-farty. subsidy hoovering community one would suppose.

John Moulis 5:32 pm 16 Aug 10

I hope they put the Multicultural Festival back to what it was prior to this year’s lame effort. The removal of the Fringe Festival as well as the scaling back of the event was a mistake, and many who enjoyed the Festival in previous years – such as myself – didn’t bother going this year. The last person to interfere with the Festival was Kate Carnell ten or so years ago when she merged the Canberra Festival and the Multicultural Festival. That was reversed by Stanhope when he came to power. He should swallow his pride, invite Jorian Gardner back (if he’s still interested) and expand the Multicultural Festival to again occupy a full week instead of the blink and miss it weekend we (almost) saw this year.

deye 5:21 pm 16 Aug 10

Hmm they could start by bringing back the fringe.

johnboy 4:05 pm 16 Aug 10

What kind of Irish food would they serve?

landcat 3:59 pm 16 Aug 10

As long as there’s an Irish stall this time, i’ll be happy.

bobbatty 3:45 pm 16 Aug 10

Ha ha what a joke this posting is. Who benefits from the 2010 NMF? And once again some dodgy satisfaction percentage… Can we give the self interest a rest please?

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