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Monday, January 14, 2013

Geelong - the 'City of Festivals'?

DCSCA has suggested to the City of Greater Geelong council that it considers promoting Geelong as the ‘City of Festivals’.

Each year, the City of Greater Geelong council supports at least fifteen community festivals through its Community Arts & Festivals grant programme. (This includes, of course, the excellent Festival of Glass in Drysdale - a DCSCA initiative!) Some of these festivals are one-off events receiving a one-off grant, while others are recurring events which receive triennial funding.

A glance at the list of these festivals shows its great diversity - a tribute both to the council's Arts department that has nurtured community arts and festivals in Geelong and to the council committee that disburses the grants.

DCSCA has suggested to the council that it considers building on Geelong's strength and diversity in community arts and festivals by promoting Geelong as the 'City of Festivals'. Such a strategy has three advantages:
  1. Promoting Geelong as a 'City of Festivals' would build on and celebrate Geelong’s diversity and would highlight the creative activity that is happening across the whole of Geelong, rather than focus simply on the city centre.
  2. Having several strong festivals throughout the year would mean that visitors would be likely to find a festival in Geelong, no matter when they visited.
  3. Promoting Geelong as the ‘City of Festivals’ would make better use of a lot of the grant money that the council disburses currently. At present, each festival has to spend a significant part of its budget on promotion, whereas promoting Geelong as a 'City of Festivals' would offer each festival the chance to fold its specific promotions into an ongoing promotional effort.
DCSCA's proposal draws on our three years experience (and success!) in presenting the Festival of Glass, which each year attracts a greater number and - more importantly - a greater diversity of exhibitors from across the wide world of glass. Our focus remains the Festival of Glass as an event in our local area, of course, but we are proposing this city-wide initiative because it would benefit all the community festivals in the area by making each one part of a bigger identity - 'Geelong, the City of Festivals'.

(The 2013 Festival of Glass opens on Saturday 16 February with a Bottleneck Guitar Evening at the Harvester Moon restaurant, 2320 Portarlington Road, Bellarine. [Bookings and enquiries: 5259 3200]. Then, on Sunday 17 February a glass Expo happens between 10.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. at the Bellarine Secondary College Sports Centre in Peninsula Drive, off Anderson's Road, Drysdale. [Melway 470 F3]. Free admission. We're planning a post-Expo exhibition of competition winners and short courses in glass arts and crafts by Expo exhibitors.)