Funding boost for home-grown Blue Mountains writers’ festival
Saturday, 21 July 2018
Plans for an independent writers’ festival in Macquarie are one step closer, following the announcement that Varuna the National Writers House has received $27,500 in fudning under the Turnbull Government’s Building Better Regions Fund – Community Investment stream.
The Sydney Writers Festival is an annual event which draws together some of Australia’s most iconic literary figures. Located in Katoomba, Varuna, which is Australia’s only national writers’ house, hosts its own festival each year to mirror the Sydney-based one.
Liberal Senator for Western Sydney, Marise Payne said the funding will help Varuna establish its own independent writers festival.
“The Turnbull Government recognises the important role a vibrant arts and cultural sector plays within our communities,” Senator Payne said.
“Funding for Varuna’s very own writers festival will help showcase the diverse, grassroots talent in the Blue Mountains.
“Importantly, as the festival will run over four days, it encourages tourists to stay locally which will be a great economic boost for the many hardworking businesses in the area.
“This announcement is a win-win for the Blue Mountains community, and I look forward to seeing the product of Varuna’s writers going forward.”
Veechi Stuart, Executive Director of Varuna, welcomed the announcement and said that the festival would become a landmark on Australia’s cultural calendar.
“As Australia’s pre-eminent organisation for literature, Varuna is so grateful to receive federal government funding to host an independent Blue Mountains Writers’ Festival. This annual festival will raise the profile of our region’s most talented writers and celebrate the best of Australian literature,” Ms Stuart said.
Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government John McVeigh said the Building Better Regions Fund continues to deliver major benefits for rural, regional and remote communities throughout Australia.
“The Community Investment stream of the Building Better Regions Fund is another part of our plan for regional Australia. It supports community activities from expanded local events and strategic planning to improving leadership and capability,” Dr McVeigh said.
A full list of successful round two projects under the Community Investment stream are available at www.business.gov.au/bbrf