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Opportunity exists to express yourself

What kind of cultural events do you want to see in the Clarence Valley?  This is the question posed by Festival Director at Live Prawn Productions [LPP] Phil Nicholas. Mr Nicholas has been the event organiser for the ‘Surfing the Coldstream’ festival, an annual event in Yamba, over the last three years. Recently, questions have been posed as to why the popular music and cultural event ‘Surfing the Coldstream’ will not take place this year. Mr Nicholas said that despite what some may think, the event has not been cancelled. “There were never any plans to do the festival in 2017,” said Mr Nicholas. “I committed to run the event for three years and I completed that commitment.” Mr Nicholas went on to say that LPP is in a good place and as strong as it has ever been, with the support from a great committee. “The current financial and operational model that underpins the festival, depends on [the following]; substantial time commitment from volunteers, the generous contributions of local businesses and the on-going support for community projects by Clarence Valley Council. “This model is not necessarily sustainable and neither, it could be argued, is it the most efficient way of delivering on Live Prawn Productions’ platform of creating, curating and promoting cultural and arts events in the Clarence Valley. “As such, the future format and funding model for events is up for debate. “LPP is in good shape, with a decent membership, a well defined audience and reliable revenue, from the operation of the Yamba River Markets. “As a non-profit organisation we invest remaining funds, after subtracting the cost of running the markets, into arts and cultural events. “In the main, this has been utilised for the running of the Surfing the Coldstream festival. “Although in 2016 we also hosted an Australian film premiere in Maclean and the Secret Garden Party at Leche Cafe, in Yamba. “The options for future events are endless and could include dance performances, film nights, skill workshops, concerts, visual art exhibitions and more community performances at the monthly markets. “Events needn’t be produced by LPP either, as we could perhaps fund and support other event promoters. “All these ideas are up for discussion at our AGM on March 8, from 6pm at Wooloweyah Hall and if you can’t make it on the night, contact us via either the Yamba River Markets or Surfing The Coldstream Festival websites or FB pages. “My personal experience with the festival was all about the opportunity that LPP provided, to have a go at producing an event on this scale, building on the fantastic work begun by Dom Ferry ten years ago. “Just looking back at the photographs from the last three festival reminds me what a privilege and a buzz it’s been to make that happen. I never even thought of it as volunteering, rather a means of indulging a passion. “We know the Clarence Valley is full of people who are passionate about the arts and this is your opportunity to put an idea forward.”