NAFA nominated for Australian Event Awards

Date published: 27 August 2020

Townsville’s own North Australian Festival of Arts (NAFA) is being recognised on the national stage by becoming a finalist in three categories of the prestigious Australian Event Awards.

NAFA has been named as a finalist in the Best Cultural, Arts or Music Festival category, as well as the Best New Event and Best Community Event categories.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said this was a great achievement for NAFA and the Townsville City Council team behind it.

“NAFA is an events calendar highlight, and to have its impact recognised by the Australian Event Awards is a spectacular accomplishment for everyone involved in the inaugural offering of the festival,” Cr Hill said.

“Past winners of the Australian Event Awards include Vivid Sydney, Adelaide Fringe Festival, Invictus Games and Splendour in the Grass, so NAFA is among great company by being named as a three-time finalist.”

Cr Hill said creating NAFA was part of the push to cement Townsville as the arts hub of Northern Australia.

“NAFA 2019 brought the best in Australian and international entertainment to Townsville for locals and visitors to enjoy across five huge weeks. The Council team behind NAFA should be very proud of delivering this ground-breaking festival,” she said.

“More than 23,000 people attended ticketed events during last year’s festival, with thousands more visiting free events across the city. The influx of visitors who travelled to get a glimpse of the festival drove hotel stays up, which was great for our tourism and hospitality industries which were still hurting from the 2019 monsoon.

“And when visitors left, I have no doubt they told family and friends about what a great time they had visiting Townsville.”

Australian Event Awards’ Judging Panel co-chair, Brenda LaPorte, said “the entries put forward for judging on average scored significantly higher than last year”.

“This is an incredible result knowing what the industry has been through in 2020. It clearly reflects the high quality of the events delivered across Australia and what we have to look forward to when our industry makes its comeback,” Ms LaPorte said.

And now the festival is back for a special NAFA COVID Safe edition, kicking off on 18 September.

Community and Cultural Development Committee chairperson, Councillor Ann-Maree Greaney, said it was great that Council was still able to deliver the festival this year.

“The COVID-19 pandemic definitely threw a spanner in the works for a lot of planned events across Townsville, but we’ve managed to go ahead with our three big drawcards: the Horn v Tszyu fight, the V8 Supercars, and NAFA COVID Safe,” Cr Greaney said.

“This offering of NAFA COVID Safe will have a focus on keeping the community as safe as possible, with COVID safe plans in place for all events.

“I have no doubt that NAFA COVID Safe will help bring visitors from across the state into our city to enjoy the best arts and culture from across the country and overseas right here in Townsville.”

Winners of the Australian Event Awards will be announced on 21 October.

Visit the NAFA website for more information about the North Australian Festival of Arts.