4 December 2018

NCA sees sense over Carols by Candlelight fee debacle

| Genevieve Jacobs
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Carols by Candlelight organisers say they are relieved and delighted that the NCA has waived all fees for this year’s event. Photo: WVYC.

After an outpouring of public anger over the National Capital Authority’s decision to charge Woden Valley Youth Choir $2000 to stage the beloved Carols by Candlelight at Stage 88, organisers have been notified this afternoon that all fees will be waived.

WVYC contacted Region Media after making no progress in prolonged negotiations with the NCA’s events coordinator over the new charges. They had also reached out to the Chief Minister for help, voicing their frustration that a stripped down community organisation devoted to raising funds for charity was being charged $2000 for staging the event.

The beneficiary this year is the Domestic Violence Crisis Service, and organisers feared that the size of the fee would make a considerable dent in the size of the donation. Late yesterday, the WVYC were told that a 50 per cent charity discount had been accidentally omitted from their invoice, but now the NCA has agreed to waive all charges. The NCA has also offered to provide ongoing support in future years.

Carols by Candlelight organisers said, “we are so grateful the NCA has seen that the fee imposed for using Stage 88 would be to the direct detriment of our 2018 charity, DVCS. The news today that they are waiving the fee for our event is very welcome.”

DVCS CEO, Mirjana Wilson was also pleased to hear the news. “Thank you to the NCA from all the staff and clients at DVCS,” Mirjana said. “We know that we will now be able to help even more Canberrans who have experienced family and domestic violence.”

In response to the Region Media story yesterday, a number of local businesses also came forward offering to sponsor the event and cover the costs of the NCA fee. Both WVYC and DVCS thanked the Canberra Community for their outpouring of support, which came in the form of many offers of sponsorship.

“We want to thank all the Canberra businesses who have contacted us since the news article yesterday for their support,” organisers said. They’re hoping to raise around $10,000 in donations for the December 19 event.

A statement from the NCA today said “The NCA appreciate feedback on community events, and understand the concerns raised regarding the Carols by Candlelight event held at Stage 88.

“The NCA supports and encourages the use of National Land for community events and have since advised Carols by Candlelight that the fees and charges will be waived for the 2018 event. The NCA will continue to work with Carols by Candlelight for future events and look forward to forming an active partnership for the benefit of the community in years to come.”

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