The region’s vibrant regional arts and community spirit will be on show this weekend at the Boolarra Folk Festival, which has received funding through the Latrobe Valley Authority’s Community Facility Fund.
The Festival Committee of Management has been granted $5000 to help run the festival.
Latrobe Valley Authority’s Interim Chief Executive Officer Kylie White said she was thrilled to support the event, which, due to its extended program, is set to boost local spending.
“This is an event with a strong history of community support, being run entirely by volunteers for the benefit of the local community including traders, venues, business, accommodation and artisans alike.,” she said.
Boolarra Folk Festival Event Coordinator Ariane Ramsay welcomed the announcement.
“The funding has enabled the organising committee to extend the formal event program to include Friday evening, Saturday evening and Sunday for the first time,” Ms Ramsay said.
The recent purchase of the Boolarra Community Hotel by the local community will also mean for the first time visitors can stay in the six acres of camping space adjacent to the hotel, which is just a five minute walk from the festival site.
The festival aims to attract up to 10,000 people this year, 20% of these from Melbourne and interstate.
“Like all our Latrobe Valley communities – Boolarra is affected by the closure of Hazelwood and so this provides a welcome boost to the economy and community,” Ms White said.
The grant is the second for the local arts community, after the Latrobe Regional Gallery received $770,000 in December last year so it can carry out refurbishments to enable it to host international exhibitions and loan artworks from across the world.
“These refurbishments – which include upgrades to the façade, foyer and entrance, enhanced lighting and improved accessibility, shelving, security and climate control systems – are on track for completion later this year,” Ms White said.
The Boolarra Folk Festival, run by Boolarra community volunteers, begins this Friday 3 March at ARC Yinnar, continuing throughout the weekend and concluding at the Boolarra Community Hotel on Sunday 5 March.
The event is also sponsored by Latrobe City Council.