Cultural festival on the cards

A FESTIVAL to celebrate cultural diversity in the Clarence Valley has been proposed for later this year.

At a meeting of Clarence Valley Council's community and cultural services committee in Maclean yesterday, councillors agreed to apply for funding through the Community Relations Commission to stage a festival later in the year.

Council director of community and cultural services, Jill Napier, said the proposed festival would provide an opportunity to bring people from different backgrounds together and engage with the wider community.

She said the Clarence Valley did not have a high percentage of people from different backgrounds, but that in itself presented difficulties for people.

It meant they sometimes had difficulty developing social networks or forming contact with people with similar backgrounds.

"It will help show people what they bring to the Clarence Valley community," she said.

"They are a small part of our community, but the social isolation can be significant."

The aim of the festival would be to celebrate cultural, linguistic and religious diversity; encourage community participation in the organisation of events; build and strengthen community networks; improve understanding of the value of cultural diversity; strengthen community cohesion and unity, and; disseminate information that links people to services.

A full meeting of council will now consider making a funding application. If successful, the council would be guaranteed funding of up to $20,000 a year for three years.

Council had initially listed October 3 as a possible date for the festival, but a further report will be presented to determine if the date can be changed. The festival would change locations each year.

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