Council rejects record festival sponsorship

Glenn CordingleyBroome Advertiser

An application from Shinju Matsuri to the Shire of Broome for a record amount of sponsorship money has been rejected.

Festival bosses wanted $100,000 a year over three years plus $50,000 of in-kind support a year.

Councillors made the decision behind closed doors at their ordinary council meeting last Thursday.

They voted to go with an original council officer recommendation made to the arts, culture and heritage advisory committee last month of contributing $60,000 for another year plus $50,000 in-kind support and $8000 towards the major art prize.

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Shinju Matsuri president Chris Maher said he made several presentations to staff, councillors and committee members outlining the request for increased sponsorship.

“We are disappointed but we are going to have to work harder to find the missing money and put on a good festival,” he said.

“We budgeted for the 100k so we will now explore other avenues of funding to help the festival grow into an event recognised nationally and internationally.

“We are not going to end the year in debt but we have designed a program that we don’t quite have the money for so we are going to have to continue exploring other avenues to keep building the festival.”

The arts, culture and heritage advisory committee last month went against the officer recommendation for the $60,000 cash option with the request from Shinju Matsuri.

But that suggestion was overturned at the ordinary council meeting.

Shire president Ron Johnston said organisations needed to focus on becoming financially self-sufficient instead of relying on council handouts.

“We think that $68,000 with a considerable amount of other support is quite sufficient, especially when we are talking about using ratepayers’ money,” he said.

“At some stage events must become self-funding. A perfect example of this is the Broome Turf Club, which is by far the biggest event in Broome and the Shire does not and has not funded that at all.”

Mr Johnston recognised the importance of Shinju Matsuri to Broome but queried the need to “put on an event that is not breaking even”.

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