Planning for the return of Winter Magic Festival in 2019

04 Jun 2018

Blue Mountains Economic Enterprise (BMEE) is set to work with the Winter Magic Festival Committee, after Blue Mountains City Council outlaid $80,000 to help future-proof the event.

The funding will be spent to help:
•    Determine parameters for future Winter Magic Festival events;
•    Establish a new sustainable management structure for the committee; and
•    Engage suitably qualified experts to deliver a full suite of management plans.

Mayor Mark Greenhill said Council was committed to the Winter Magic Festival being a community-led event.

“It is estimated more than 43,000 attended the event in 2017, bringing $2.4 million to the local economy,” Cr Greenhill said. 

“Council acknowledges the commitment and contribution of current and past Winter Magic Committee members and volunteers. We recognise that without their dedication, Winter Magic would not have grown to become the largest event in the Blue Mountains and one of the largest community events in NSW.” 

BMEE chief executive officer Bernie Fehon said: “Whilst this is a community-led event, and we expect that to continue to be the case, our role is to help ensure sustainability of the festival in the long term. We will be helping with capacity-building, governance, structures and procedures and risk management.”

An update to the Ordinary Council Meeting on 29 May stated the Winter Magic Festival could potentially be eligible for triennial funding ($27,500 per year for three years) through Destination NSW, given the scale of crowds and continued growth.

“An application would need to be tailored towards maintaining visitor numbers and reinvigorating the event, to encourage repeat visits or converting day visitation to overnight stays. This level of funding has more rigorous requirements for compliance with operational and strategic planning and is a very competitive process which does not normally fund staffing, infrastructure and security measures,” the report stated.

The Winter Magic Committee cancelled the 2018 event, due in part to difficulties meeting the compliance needs and associated costs required by an event of such a size. 

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