A $10,000 Victorian Government grant will help lift the profile of the Aireys Festival of Words, attracting more visitors and revenue in the off-peak winter season, the Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney said today.
“The Aireys Festival of Words is a community event which celebrates local culture, literacy, the love of reading, arts and the environment,” Ms Tierney said.
“There are many well-known authors, playwrights and illustrators in the area, and the Festival, now in its third year, has lots of support from the community and business operators.
“It’s a great festival to have in winter to utilise community facilities and increase economic activity for businesses in the off-peak tourism season.
“Improved branding, including banners and signage, and marketing of the event is critical to promote the event to a much wider audience.
“This $10,000 funding from Regional Development Victoria will enable the festival committee to implement marketing strategies which will assist in attracting a greater crowd, in turn improving its ability to increase revenue through gate takings and sponsorship.”
“It will enable the festival to develop an event website, provide banners and flags to better brand the Festival, improve marketing and promotional activities and provide soft re-usable infrastructure to decorate the Aireys Inlet Community Hall.”
Aireys Festival of Words, an initiative of the Aireys Tourist and Traders Association, features presentations by authors, poetry readings, workshops, a children’s venue with children’s authors and illustrators, an art exhibition and music.
In 2009 the event is ready to invest in a quality website and move from smaller venues to the Aireys Inlet Hall to accommodate increased interest and expected growth.
A central hub will be created around the Aireys Inlet Community Hall and continue to occupy local venues including the Surf Life Saving Club, the bookshop, Lighthouse precinct, art gallery and a local bed and breakfast.
The hall needs to be ‘dressed’ to create an intimate, relaxed bookshop/lounge feel, and to create a second space within the hall for a fun, stimulating space for young children.
“In addition to the website and marketing assistance, Regional Development Victoria’s funding will help create a lower ceiling and create panels in the Aireys Inlet Community Hall which will be reusable every year,” Ms Tierney said.
“The Aireys festival of Words project has many social and economic benefits.
“It boosts energy and activity in Aireys Inlet in the middle of winter, and increases economic activity for business operators in the off-peak tourism period
“Most importantly it encourages non-permanent residents to visit the town for the weekend, giving an opportunity for social interaction in a town with a high non-permanent population.
“It also celebrates the skills and creativity of local residents.”
The grant is being funded under the Provincial Victoria Events Program, part of the Moving Forward initiative, the Government’s $502 million plan to make Provincial Victoria the best place to live, work, invest and raise a family.
“The Government is committed to working in partnership with local councils and communities to drive new growth and investment opportunities across provincial Victoria,” Ms Tierney said.