City commits to supporting flagship events

05 Sep 2019

City of Newcastle has locked in three years of support for two flagship community events that attract tens of thousands of people to the city each year.

The sponsorships, worth almost $350,000, will provide certainty for both the Newcastle Writers Festival, and the Anzac Day services delivered by the City of Newcastle Returned Services League (RSL) Sub-branch.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the City was committed to supporting these quintessentially Newcastle events, which celebrate culture and the legacy of the Returned Servicemen and Women.

“These three-year sponsorship agreements will provide event organisers with certainty of the City’s assistance for these important community events,” she said.

“City of Newcastle is proud to have been a founding sponsor of the Newcastle Writers Festival, which since its inception in 2013, has grown into a three-day literary event renowned in the cultural community.

“This three-year agreement offers a commitment to the strong community focus of the Newcastle Writers Festival, with more than 40 per cent of its event program free to the public.

“The City of Newcastle will continue its support of the region’s Anzac Day events, which provide community members with a chance to show their respect for the men and women who bravely fought for our freedom and continue to serve our country today.”

Under the terms of the agreement, the City will provide $40,000 per annum to the Newcastle Writers Festival during 2020, 2021 and 2022, ensuring almost all of its events are held in the City’s cultural facilities including City Hall and Newcastle Region Library.

The funding is contingent on Newcastle Writers Festival keeping at least 40 per cent of its events free for the community to attend.

Event organiser Rosemarie Milsom was overjoyed after locking in the long-term sponsorship, ahead of their eighth annual festival in 2020.

“I believe this sponsorship, which will secure the venues that are key to our event, is recognition of our contribution to the cultural dynamic of the city,” she said.

A separate sponsorship agreement will provide $75,000 per annum to the City of Newcastle Returned Services League (RSL) Sub-branch, supporting their delivery of the Anzac Day dawn service, the Anzac Day march and a United Service of Remembrance at Civic Park for three years from 2020.

Sub-branch President Ken Fayle acknowledged the importance of the long-term sponsorship agreement, which helped provide certainty around their delivery of the various Anzac Day events.

“By providing alternative commemoration services, it gives everybody within the community the opportunity to attend an Anzac Day event,” he said.

Mr Fayle said this year’s dawn service was the best attended in Australia, attracting more than 50,000 people to the Camp Shortland site.