Strand of success Business owners call for Ephemera to be an annual event
NORTH Ward business owners have had an influx of customers during Strand Ephemera and called for the buzz to continue with more frequent events in the area.
The public art festival is held every two years but Raw Energy cafe owner Sunny Chandel said it would boost business if Ephemera became an annual feature.
Mr Chandel opened the Strand cafe last September.
“It’s a community thing, it brings so many people to- gether. I’ve never seen so many people come to the Strand, it changes the whole vibe,” he said.
Mr Chandel said the cafe had seen an influx of out- oftown visitors, particularly from Melbourne, who had taken advantage of cheap flights from Tigerair.
“I think it would be a shame if this doesn’t happen every year, and I would recommend that we do this every year,” he said.
Mr Chandel said Townsville City Council could bring more visitors by introducing events to the area, for example by moving the Cotters Markets to the Strand.
Mayor Jenny Hill said she had not considered making Strand Ephemera an annual event, but would take the suggestion on board.
“When we were elected we said that we wanted to have more events, and we’ll look at what other events we do through the year that we might be able to put on The Strand,” she said.
Cr Hill said it was a problem that many city events were at the same time of year – the Australian Chamber of Music Festival, Townsville Running Festival and Strand Ephemera.
“Because of traditionally good weather at this time of year, we tend to see a lot of the events fall in the space of a month or two months,” Cr Hill said. “It would be nice if we could spread them out a bit better.”
Gelatissimo owner Astrid Orne- Gliemann echoed Mr Chandel’s enthusiasm, saying she would love to see an annual Strand Ephemera.
“We’ve increased sales, compared to last year, prob- ably up to 15 to 20 per cent, it’s been very good,” she said.
“There’s definitely more people from out of town.”
Townsville Chamber of Commerce president Troy Popham said Strand Ephemera had created a buzz for local businesses.
“People who have gone down to see the artwork … have been eating and taking advantage of the cafes and restaurants along The Strand,” he said. “There’s masses of people, it’s been hugely popular.”
Mr Popham said it would be great to trial Strand Ephemera as an annual event, but that would depend on festival logistics.