Bowen has been touted as a venue for a potential multicultural festival similar to the Great Australian Bites event staged in Airlie Beach.
Bowen has been touted as a venue for a potential multicultural festival similar to the Great Australian Bites event staged in Airlie Beach.

Hopes rise for a potential multicultural festival

A POTENTIAL multicultural festival is in Bowen's future with Whitsunday Regional Council lodging an application for a $10,000 government grant.

If approved, the festival is set to be a full day and night event which will showcase culture live entertainment, food stalls, interactive art displays, traditional activities and storytelling.

It is proposed that the Whitsunday Multicultural Festival would be held from May 30 to June 7, 2020 (during Queensland Week).

If successfully funded, the festival would be based heavily on the Airlie Beach Great Australian Bites event, which has successfully run on Australia Day since 2016.

On offer during the week would be cultural experiences such as arts and traditional activities, according to council plans laid out at the July 30 ordinary meeting.

It is hoped that the initial funding would come from the Department of Local Government and Multicultural Affairs' Celebrating Multicultural Queensland Events fund.

The funding would be directed towards multicultural events and projects that engage people from culturally diverse backgrounds to contribute to building a harmonious Queensland.

According to Whitsunday Regional Council documents, it is believed that the festival would cost about $25,000.

If the initial $10,000 grant is approved, it is hoped that council will be able to find additional funding to make up the shortfall through more grants and event sponsorship.

A decision will be made in December, if the bid is unsuccessful, as to whether the council will contribute the balance or retract the funding.

Whitsunday Regional Council Community and Environment director Julie Wright said the event would be about celebrating the incredibly diverse culture throughout the region.

"We have an extremely diverse multicultural cross-section in Bowen, especially in the picking and tourist season. We want to celebrate that," Ms Wright said.

"We would hope to have around 1000 people at the event, with the day events being family friendly and all inclusive."