Fundraising focus for Perth festival

THE Perth International Arts Festival is launching the 2002 event with a fundraising cocktail party on September 21 and a new perspective on funding one of the State’s premiere cultural events.

Prompted by a weak Australian dollar and the ever increasing costs associated with PIAF, festival organisers, including director Sean Doran and general manager Wendy Wise, are appealing to the general public to help fund the festival in 2002.

“All arts and community groups have to look to diversifying their source of income… in a sense it’s a part of a longer term plan to raise more funds for the development of the program,” Ms Wise said.

“We have a turnover of between seven and eight million dollars for the whole festival.”

In Mr Doran’s first year at the helm the festival recorded a loss of more than $2 million, with the controversial Watershed music venue accounting for the most significant proportion of that figure.

However, a pared down international program and a reduced regional touring sche-dule helped the festival get over the line in 2001.

Mr Doran maintained the success of last year’s festival could be attributed to the risky initiatives put in place in his first year.

The festival secures funding from a number of different sources, including sponsors and primary partners the Lotteries Commission of WA and the University of Western Australia.

Initiatives like the fundraising cocktail party are intended to supplement funding from major partners and to deliver the festival a vehicle to generate excitement and enthusiasm.

“Funding goes into our general program budget and enables us to keep up with the fall in the Australian dollar and the rising costs,” Ms Wise said.

A weak Australian dollar dictates the number of international acts the festival can attract.

Ms Wise said the cocktail party would be the only fundraising event for the festival, with money raised primarily from the $65 cost of the tickets.

“Essentially, money will be raised from ticket sales and we have some sponsors for the event,” she said.

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