The Canberra Multicultural Community Forum does not support the significant changes to the National Multicultural Festival recommended in the Loxton Report, CMCF Chair Sam Wong said today.

“While there are some positive elements to the report, we do not accept that the Festival should be moved to later in the year to become a feature of a revamped Canberra Festival,” Mr Wong said.

“The National Multicultural Festival has established itself as Canberra’s premier summer event, ranking alongside Floriade in spring. We see absolutely no reason to change the current time frame and format.

“A survey of visitors to the 2010 National Multicultural Festival in February revealed a 92 per cent satisfaction rate – 85 per cent said they were likely, or very likely to attend again in 2011. Need we say more?

If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.”

Mr Wong said the whole tone of the report, Review of ACT Government Events and Festivals, by Peter Loxton and Associates, was dismissive of the positive benefits of diversity.

“We do not support the proposal to have a single funding stream, Ministry or agency responsible for all events and festivals,” he said.

“The ACT Office of Multicultural Affairs has a fine track record of managing the National Multicultural Festival and we believe that should continue.

“In fact, CMCF believes that other events, including the Canberra Day Celebration, would benefit with a better focus on culture and diversity and we would be very happy to assist in this regard.”

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