Festival gaining momentum



IT might be the bright young thing on the Australian festival circuit, but even the Federal Government wants to come along for a ride with the Surfing the Coldstream Festival.

Yesterday the Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker, visited Yamba with a $14,000 cheque in his top pocket ready to commit federal arts funding to the festival's first run in October.

The funding is a welcome surprise for organisers who had been anxiously waiting for weeks to learn whether their application for the grant through Festivals Australia had been successful.

Festival chair Dom Ferry was thrilled the government had elected to support Yamba's first 'arts-fringe' festival even before it had staged its first event.

"I'd say at a guess between 1000 to 1500 festivals (around Australia) apply for the grants annually and they (Festivals Australia) to my knowledge have a budget of about $250,000 to distribute to all those festivals ... so for us to be chosen, especially for a first-time event, is rather rare," he said.

Mr Ferry said the grant had helped organisers climb another rung in the ladder as far as preparation went.

"The goal that we set ourselves is definitely obtainable now," he said.

The Surfing the Coldstream Festival in Yamba is planned for October 22-23.

For more information visit www.dom.zip.com.au.stc

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