The Canberra Multicultural Community Forum has congratulated the ACT Government for supporting the 2008 National Multicultural Festival, the biggest and best yet held in Canberra.

CMCF chair Sam Wong said more than 160,000 people are estimated to have attended a packed eight days of events, easily a festival record.

“The general feeling was summed up by a person who spoke to me during the food and dance spectacular who said ‘Canberra does not get any better than this’,” Mr Wong said.

“Special thanks should go to the Minister for Multicultural Affairs, John Hargreaves, who worked tirelessly to ensure the festival was a success along with the artistic director, Domenic Mico, who sets ever-higher standards for this event and never fails to meet them. In addition, special thanks to Nic Manikis and his staff of the ACT Office of Multicultural Affairs for their significant contributions to the Festival.”

Mr Wong paid tribute to the host of sponsors led by the Tradies club of Dickson and Woden. “On a personal note I should also like to thank the Hellenic Club which provided the venue for CMCF’s Gala Dinner, and the Al Nour wal Al Amal orchestra of partially-sighted women from Egypt who agreed to perform there with the supports of the Egyptian Embassy in Canberra, and the hard work of the Chair of CMCF Gala Dinner Committee, Diana Rahman,” he said.

“For me, watching and listening to these dedicated performers was one of the festival highlights.

“CMCF was also responsible for organising the force of 120 volunteers without which the festival could not have taken place. Special thanks to the CMCF Volunteers’ Coordinator, Carol Keil, for her dedication and organising skills. In particular, both the sponsors and the volunteers are the lifeblood of this Festival. To sum up, this was a tremendous team effort and one of which the multicultural community and indeed every Canberran, can feel proud.”

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