The Canberra Multicultural Community Forum (CMCF) is delighted at the ACT Government’s decision to provide an additional $400,000 in funding to the National Multicultural Festival, CMCF Chair Sam Wong said today.

The announcement of the four-year funding boost by the Minister for Multicultural Affairs, John Hargreaves, means the festival will now receive $410,000 annually from the Government.

Mr Wong said it is recognition that the Festival is now one of the premier events on Canberra’s social and cultural calendars, drawing hundreds of thousands of spectators over 10 days during February.

“It has come a long way from its origins as an add-on to the Canberra Festival back in the 1990s,” he said. “Its growth has been phenomenal.

“However, it can’t stand still and the additional funding is recognition of the need for it to attract an increasing number of high-quality performers from around the world.”

Mr Wong said the Festival is also a demonstration that the multicultural experience, which has come under attack in some parts of the world, is alive and functioning well in Canberra.

“I believe the National Capital is also multicultural capital of Australia, if not the world – and the National Multicultural Festival is living proof of that,” he said.

CMCF had a key role in the 2008 Festival, organising the hundreds of volunteers needed to ensure the event ran smoothly.

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