Castlemaine’s 2013 State Festival gets $20k funding

NEXT year’s Castlemaine State Festival has secured $20,000 funding from the state government.

Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell announced the windfall on Thursday and described the festival as a “signature event for the region”.

She said the biennial festival combined visual arts, music, theatre, opera, comedy and dance and highlighted the Goldfields as an artistic hub and cultural tourism destination.

“With Castlemaine less than 90 minutes from Melbourne by car or even less by train, the festival is the perfect event for the whole family to enjoy, particularly during autumn when the region is most vibrant,” Ms Lovell said.

Castlemaine State Festival director Martin Paten said next year’s event would run from March 15 to 25 with a program set to be launched in early December.

“It will again offer a spectacular program of regional, national and international performances and exhibitions across all art forms,” he said.

The event began in 1976 and attracts more than 40,000 visitors. Mr Paten said the latest round of funding was good news.

“About 60 per cent of our audiences come from other places beyond central Victoria,” he said. 

“This funding provides vital support to promote the festival across Victoria and nationally. “

The 2011 festival attracted about 43,500 sales to ticketed events, up by 26 per cent compared to the previous festival in 2009. Organisers of the 2013 festival will work with Hepburn Shire and the City of Greater Bendigo to create and promote accommodation and experience packages in order to attract an increased number of visitors from Melbourne and interstate.

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