Lake Macquarie City Council commits to funding 34 events across the city in the next 12 months

CROWD PLEASER: The Blast from the Past Festival, in Toronto, was among the Westlakes events supported by the council in the latest round of Event and Sponsorship funding. Picture: David Stewart
CROWD PLEASER: The Blast from the Past Festival, in Toronto, was among the Westlakes events supported by the council in the latest round of Event and Sponsorship funding. Picture: David Stewart

Lake Macquarie councillors have voted to commit more than $155,000 to help fund 34 events across the city in the next 12 months.

The events range from an international veteran cricket competition, and an inflatable boat race, to a food and wine festival.

Council's arts, culture and tourism manager Jacqui Hemsley said the money would be provided in the latest round of Community Event and Sponsorship funding.

"Our Community Event and Sponsorship program aims to fund meaningful, creative and high-quality events for our community and visitors," Ms Hemsley said.

"The assessment panel looks for events that celebrate community, culture and identity, attract visitors and help strengthen Lake Macquarie's economy."

Ms Hemsley said analysis of each proposed event revealed significant potential flow-on benefits.

"Supporting events like these has a real benefit for people who live in Lake Macquarie, not just in terms of the economy, but by building a sense of community and place."

Among the Westlakes events supported were.-

  • Morisset Lake Macquarie Agricultural Show, at Morisset Showground ($10,000);
  • Carols on Dobell, in Wangi Wangi ($2000)
  • Art Lovers Movement annual art exhibition, Cooranbong ($2000);
  • Lakefest, presented by Royal Motor Yacht Club, Toronto ($5000);
  • Time Out! Festival for Physical and Emotional Wellbeing, presented by Morisset Rotary Club ($7000);
  • Toronto Picnic in the Park ($2000);
  • Carols by the Lake, Toronto ($2000);
  • Blast from the Past Festival, Toronto ($2500); and
  • Mountain Bike Association National Cup round, Cooranbong ($7500).
The annual Art Lovers Movement annual exhibition. Picture: David Stewart

The annual Art Lovers Movement annual exhibition. Picture: David Stewart

Recipients elsewhere around the city included Screen Hunter's Real Time Festival, NSW Police's 'Say No To Violence' family fun day to be held in November, the outrigger canoe state finals, and Opera Hunter's performance next June of La Traviata.

"The variety of events we've committed to support reflects the diversity of activities on offer to our community throughout the next 12 months," Ms Hemsley said.

Event organiser Natalie Brown, whose Lake Macquarie Food and Wine Festival, in Speers Point, won funding following a successful first year in 2018, said the grants provided a much-needed boost.

"It means we can take something we think is going to be good and make it even better," Ms Brown said.

"Hopefully, that will bring even more people to the city."

The latest round of funding marks the first time Council has administered the program via the online SmartyGrants platform.

Under the new system, event organisers can apply for financial support through three channels: Sponsorship, Community and Local, with funding provided twice a year.

Applications for Round 2 of this year's program open in October.

Carols by the Lake, in Toronto. Picture: Jamieson Murphy

Carols by the Lake, in Toronto. Picture: Jamieson Murphy

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