Committee recommends Chamber Music funding boost

Date published: 10 July 2019

The Community and Cultural Development Committee has recommended Townsville City Council boost its funding of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music (AFCM) over the next three years.

AFCM applied for around $150,000 cash and in-kind support per year to host the popular event until the 2021/22 financial year.

The existing agreement provided cash support of $100,000 and a hire fee waiver of $41,000 per year.

Community and Cultural Development Committee Chair Cr Colleen Doyle said the festival is a significant event on the calendar.

“The Australian Festival of Chamber Music draws a crowd of 17,000 people and it is now the largest chamber music festival in the southern hemisphere,” Cr Doyle said.

“The festival attracts music lovers to the city, providing a significant boost for motels, restaurants and other businesses.

“Festival visitors spent an estimated $7.2 million dollars in Townsville last year and overnight spending totaled almost $7 million.”

Cr Doyle said the Australian Festival of Chamber Music is increasing Townsville’s profile internationally.

“The festival has secured a broadcast deal with BBC3 and it will start hosting students from Singapore – the key target markets for international development are Singapore and China,” Cr Doyle said.

Cr Doyle said the Australian Festival of Chamber Music is a key feature of Townsville’s calendar.

“Townsville is the events capital of Northern Australia and this year is highlighting how far the city has come,” Cr Doyle said.

“The Australian Festival of Chamber Music is part of the inaugural North Australian Festival of Arts (NAFA) which is taking centre stage this year – NAFA also includes the Northern Fringe Festival, Strand Ephemera and Townsville’s Festival of Stories.

“There has been a steady increase in ticket sales at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music – ticket revenue has grown to over $570,000 each year so we’re happy to keep supporting the event.

“There are great returns on our investment as the festival tags Council on social media posts and they use our logo when it is appropriate.”

The report will go to Full Council on 23 July for final consideration.