Pop­u­lar El­e­ments fes­ti­val needs fund­ing cer­tainty

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION/NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

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.

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