Popular Elements festival needs funding certainty
Porirua’s iconic Festival of the Elements needs permanent funding, its organisers told Porirua City councillors last Wednesday.
The arts festival is in its 22nd year and attracts 30,000 people to Te Rauparaha Park each Waitangi Day.
The festival costs $ 162,000 to stage and each year the Porirua Community Arts Council had to start fundraising from scratch, its chairwoman Judy McKoy said.
The council would give $37,358 for the 2014 festival, but most of the grants were much smaller than that, Ms McKoy said.
‘‘It takes a lot of $1000 grants to reach $162,000, and we are nowhere near that.
‘‘Every year we start from zero. We have no backup, no emergency fund. We run very close to the wind.’’
A guaranteed fund from an organisation like the council would make it easier to get further funding, Ms McKoy said.
Mayor Nick Leggett said the festival was vital to Porirua’s calendar and had to be retained.
‘‘It concerns me that we have no security of funding for it as a key event for Porirua,’’ he said.