Published on : Thursday, June 5, 2014
The Giles Government has committed $1.7 million to expand the Territory’s annual program of cultural, sporting and business events under a new banner called Festivals NT.
“We are creating a one-stop Territory festival calendar with a greater focus on Asian engagement,” Chief Minister Adam Giles said.
“The program will build on existing events, as well as incorporate new sporting, business and cultural elements, many with an Asian flavour.
“Festivals NT will cement the Territory as the gateway between Asia and Australia. It will establish Northern Australia as a meeting place for conducting business, as well as a hub for arts, culture and tourism, and a top class sporting destination.
“This is great news for Territorians who will be able to enjoy a wider range of high quality festival entertainment but it’s also a smart strategic move for our economy that will strengthen our business and cultural ties with Asia.
“A new Creative Director will be appointed to oversee the Festivals NT calendar of activities, create a new signature event for 2015 and develop events that offer a greater focus around Territory Day. The recruitment process for this new position will begin in the coming weeks.
“This year’s festival season will be bigger and better with a range of new arts activities including five additional acts for the Darwin Festival.”
The Government has committed an additional $296,000 in funding to the Darwin Festival to build-up its Asian content in 2014.
This will see new acts incorporated into the Festival line-up including two large scale public events – Vietnamese Water Puppets at the Waterfront and Temporary Territories by Indonesian artist collective RuangRupa.
“Arts and Museum will receive an additional $280,000 for exhibitions and cultural events as part of a new Northern Territory international arts program running from July to December this year.
“In the sporting arena, we’ve begun discussions with Territory, national and international sporting bodies who are keen to schedule new fixtures under the Festivals NT umbrella.”
Last night, the Department of Sport met with peak sporting bodies to update them on how Festivals NT and the opportunity it presents to bring even more sporting events to the Territory in the future.
“Soccer is among the sports we’re excited to be talking to about opportunities that align with our Asian focus,” Mr Giles said.
“There’s already a strong line-up of top-level sporting events scheduled for 2014 as part of our agreements with Adelaide United, the Parramatta Eels and the Melbourne Demons. There is also the Quandrangular International Cricket Series being held in the Top End this dry season.
“Business events are another important opportunity to showcase the Territory to investors, as well as provide a boost to the tourism industry.
“Additional funds will be allocated as part of this package to attract more conferences, conventions and high profile business events to the Territory. Our Business Events Ambassadors will assist in this effort.”
Negotiations are underway to bring the national Small Business Association of Australia conference to Darwin. This will add to an already bumper line-up of conferences in 2014 including the prestigious Australia Japan Business Conference in October and NT Resources Week in August which has been experiencing unprecedented demand for exhibition space.
“I urge all Territorians to get involved in this year-round celebration of who we are and what’s unique to the NT,” Mr Giles said.
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