22 April 2022

Queanbeyan Multicultural Festival potentially on the move

| Claire Fenwicke
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Two women dancing on stage

Queanbeyan celebrated 15 years of multiculturalism on 27 February 2022. Photo: QPRC.

Queanbeyan’s highly successful Multicultural Festival could soon be coming to a town near you, following suggestions to expand the event.

Queanbeyan-Palerang Region Council (QPRC) unanimously agreed to Councillor John Preston’s motion to investigate spreading the Festival’s activities across the local government area at a council meeting on 13 April.

“I didn’t get to attend [the 2022 event], but I would have if activities were located in other regional centres,” he said.

“It sounds like it was an absolutely excellent event and it should continue to be supported, but I would like to see it expanded.”

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The Festival was held in Queanbeyan Park on Sunday 27 February from 10 am to 3 pm and welcomed more than 5000 visitors who spent between $20 and $100 with vendors.

It celebrated its 15th year, allowing the public to experience the region’s diverse community through various foods, performances and activities.

Children’s games could not be held this year because of COVID and sporting activities were also cancelled due to wet grounds and COVID isolation.

Regardless, Councillor Michele Biscotti congratulated organisers for putting on “another great event”.

“[This event] is closer to home for me; I was part of the Multicultural Festival since its inception as a vendor many years ago,” he said.

“I’ve seen this event grow year after year and go from strength to strength.”

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Councillor Katrina Willis agreed and said it was a perfect opportunity to showcase the local government area.

“I was very impressed with the variety of food and the diversity of the performances,” she said.

“The mood on the day was just wonderful and, apart from the soggy ground, the park was at its best.”

A report on the Festival suggested the event be promoted earlier through the website and social media channels to attract more visitors and that organisers further expand the stage and lighting for performances.

Vendor and visitor feedback included in the report highlighted how valued the event is by the multicultural community.

“What a great event after a couple of years of cancellations and headaches,” one read.

“Never thought we’d be happy to run out of food,” another read.

Planning is already underway for the 2023 event, with Sunday 12 February or 19 February put forward as potential dates.

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