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The Festival NewsAzra Khan


Edition 12
Thursday 16 February 2017

Hats off to our special Steering Committee

Say hello to the 2017 National Multicultural Festival Steering Committee - leaders and representatives of Canberra’s culturally diverse communities who have been working hard over the past eight months to help guide and shape this year’s event.

2017 National Multicultural Festival Steeing Committee

This morning at 8am, the Steering Committee (pictured) inspected the festival footprint in Civic, viewing the tents and stages that have been constructed over the past few days and making sure all is in place for an amazing weekend of fun, food and friendship.
It was great to see the excitement and commitment of all involved, enjoying what they’ve been working so hard towards helping come to life.

The festival is in good hands with this amazing group of people on the Steering Committee.

In other news today, the hats for volunteers and staff working at the festival this weekend arrived this morning. With the weather set to be sunny and warm, the hats will provide good cover for those out on the footprint.

Team members Akramul and Charles (who is African Village Showcase co-ordinator) enjoyed testing out the hats this morning.

Tearm members Akramul and Charles enjoyed testing out the hats

On a final note, tonight, the festival will formally begin with a special opening concert ‘Treasures of a Nation’ at the ANU School of Music’s Llewellyn Hall, featuring the prestigious Chinese Orchestra and Iranian band Sarv Ensemble.

It will be a fitting prelude to the incredible weekend ahead. Tomorrow, the 2017 National Multicultural Festival begins!

Best wishes,

Azra Khan
Director
2017 National Multicultural Festival

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Edition 11
Wednesday 15 February 2017

It’s all App-ening!

We are so close now to the start of the 2017 National Multicultural Festival as marquees and structures start to emerge on to the street scape. This is a very exciting time.

Today, the festival team has been working hard to finalise the placement of stalls, stages and signage across the festival footprint. It’s really looking great.

If you haven’t had a moment to already, please have a look at our new festival app on Google Play and in the App Store for Apple users.

It’s uploaded with all the latest information you need to have an amazing time at this year’s extravaganza.

The Minister for Multicultural Affairs Ms Rachel Stephen-Smith is delighted with the new app and today issued a media release encouraging members of the public to have a look.

“The app will help people get from A to B quickly with real-time navigation, lists the full performance schedule and allows festival goers the chance to create a ‘My Favourites’ list so they will not miss the performances and stalls they most want to see,” Minister Stephen-Smith said.

“The National Multicultural Festival is already Australia’s most loved celebration of culture and diversity, and the introduction of this digital resource will only enhance that experience.

“People will now be able to plan their day in advance, ensuring that everybody gets the very most out of their festival experience no matter what they are coming along to enjoy.”

Other features of the app, which was developed by Imagine Team Solutions, include:

“With the National Multicultural Festival celebrating its 21st birthday in 2017, this new app will help the people of Canberra and beyond enjoy an even bigger festival,” the Minister said.

Best wishes,

Azra Khan
Director
2017 National Multicultural Festival

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Edition 10
Tuesday 14 February 2017

New-look purple vests for staff and volunteers

I’m delighted to today present to you our 2017 National Multicultural Festival staff and volunteer vests.

The vests - modelled by team members Salar, Salote, Akramul, Jackie and Tareq - are purple and feature the festival mask for easy identification on the footprint throughout the course of the weekend.

Volunteers and staff will be working side-by-side in rostered shifts to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all festival attendees.

If you see one of our team members in the distinctive purple vests during your time at the festival, please be sure to say g’day.

I’d like to also take this opportunity to thank our colleagues at Access Canberra who have kindly supported the festival through funding the design and production of the vests.

It is much appreciated and our staff and volunteers will enjoy wearing them as they help to bring to life the 2017 National Multicultural Festival.

New-look purple vests for staff and volunteers

Best wishes,

Azra Khan
Director
2017 National Multicultural Festival

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Edition 9
Monday 13 February 2017

Hive of activity throughout city centre

Walking through Civic on my way to work this morning I was very excited to see the hive of activity throughout City Walk, Garema Place and Civic Square - festival week is finally upon us!

Over the next few days, you’ll notice more and more tents going up and stages being set for the amazing array of food and entertainment to delight and intrigue festival attendees this weekend.

I snapped some pictures of the progress so far. It’s really all coming together.

As you can see, the colourful sprays of festival bunting already festooning trees and little white tents are popping up en masse.

With only four sleeps until the festival begins, please remember to pick up your copy of this week’s Canberra Weekly for your official program guide or download the festival app in Google Play for android users or the app store for Apple.

Photos of activity throughout city centre

Best wishes,

Azra Khan
Director
2017 National Multicultural Festival

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Edition 8
Friday 10 February 2017

Cake, dancing and fun times at launch event this morning

What an amazingly fun and festive morning with our Minister for Multicultural Affairs Rachel Stephen-Smith hosting the official media launch for the 2017 National Multicultural Festival in Civic Square.

Dozens of people and members of the media enjoyed spectacular sneak peek performances by festival participants Kokoloco (dancers), United Nesian Movement and Island Breeze (dancers), and Groove Warehouse (drummers).

There was a beautiful chocolate cake to mark the 21st birthday of Australia’s best loved celebration of cultural diversity as well as balloons and a lovely party atmosphere.

During the launch, Minister Stephen-Smith spoke of the wonderful anticipation of the festival set to unfold next weekend and the magnificent coming together of communities from all cultural backgrounds to provide three days of food, fun and festivities for all to enjoy.

This launch has really helped to set the mood for what will be a great festival to come.

I’d like to share with you some photos from this morning’s event. I truly wish you all could have enjoyed a piece of the amazing birthday cake!

A 21 Birthday Cake21 Birthday cake for National Multicultural Festival 2017Dancing for 21 birthday National Multicultural Festival 2017

Best wishes,

Azra Khan
Director
2017 National Multicultural Festival

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Edition 7
Thursday 9 February 2017

Hot off the press: our official program guide

I’m delighted to present to you our official program guide for the 2017 National Multicultural Festival.

The guide - which can be found inside this week’s Canberra Weekly magazine located at shopping malls, libraries and business locations across the city - lists all the essential information you’ll need for an amazing time at this year’s extravaganza.Offical Guide

Best wishes,

Azra Khan
Director
2017 National Multicultural Festival

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Edition 6
Wednesday 8 February 2017

More comfort for festival attendees in 2017

We have been working hard to increase the comfort, safety and accessibility of all festival attendees in 2017 by making the footprint larger to include Bunda Street, spreading out the number of stalls and by providing access to sanctuaries for those wishing to take a rest from the rush.

The new sanctuaries - one specifically for children and parents, and the other for Canberrans of all ages and abilities - will offer a quiet space to retreat and a chance to enjoy the festival’s engaging performances and activities.

The areas will provide respite with plenty of seating and shade.

The Children’s Sanctuary is located in Canberra Museum and Gallery near Civic Square, while the Sanctuary for all ages and abilities can be found in Petrie Plaza.

In addition, to help beat the heat and ensure all festival attendees are well hydrated, we have partnered with ACT Smart and ACT Health to install cold water stations and bubblers in the festival footprint.

Don’t forget to bring your recyclable water bottles to refill throughout the weekend.

While the festival is an outside event, for the enjoyment of all festival attendees we have declared the footprint a smoke free zone (except for barbecuing food, of course).

Smokers will be encouraged to move away from the footprint as we would like them, and all festival attendees, to have a great, healthy and comfortable event in 2017.

Best wishes,

Azra Khan
Director
2017 National Multicultural Festival

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Edition 5
Tuesday 7 February 2017

Let us entertain you!

In 2017, the National Multicultural Festival will delight and entertain spectators with spectacular dancing, bands and instrumental performances rich in cultural diversity across our footprint in Civic.

This year, we have 13 showcases and performance areas to give festival spectators an opportunity to delve into the food and traditions of nations across the globe.
Be sure to look out for:

Not long to go now, only 10 more sleeps until the 2017 festival begins. To find out more about showcases and entertainment at the event, visit our website at www.multiculturalfestival.com.au

Azra Khan
Director
2017 National Multicultural Festival

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Edition 4
Monday 6 February 2017

Experience the world, right here in our own backyard

This one line - Experience the World in Canberra - sums up the 2017 National Multicultural Festival.

It is a truly a unique experience and for those attending for the first time, be prepared to be teleported to a place like no other where your senses are alerted to so much variety in food, dress, music and dance.

The first thing that will attract you is the visual experience of vibrant colour in dress and costume followed by an assault on your sense of smell as you walk past stalls packed with delicious food from all parts of the world.

The hardest decision you will have to make is where to start and what not to miss. To prepare yourself, please take the time early to visit the festival website at www.multiculturalfestival.com and download the festival app on Google Play or in the App Store for Iphone users.

These will help you plan your visit and truly Experience the World in Canberra.

Azra Khan
Director
2017 National Multicultural Festival

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Edition 3
3 February 2017

Special partnerships helping to bring this year’s festival to life

There’s an ancient saying it takes a village.

For the 2017 National Multicultural Festival, this old adage couldn’t be more true!

Each year, the festival team in ACT Community Participation Group works diligently with community leaders and organisations, the diplomatic corps, cross-government agencies, suppliers and sponsors to help bring the festival to life.

Without the cooperative nature of our special partnerships, the festival would not be the inclusive, dynamic and successful event we have all come to know and love over the past 21 years.

Of particular note, the financial and in-kind support of our sponsors is to be highlighted as it contributes to the sustainability of the festival each year.

We thank our sponsors and partners in 2017 for their incredible commitment, partnership, support and investment to realise it’s our cultural diversity that makes the nation’s capital truly special.

Sponsors

Azra Khan
Director
2017 National Multicultural Festival

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Edition 2
Thursday 2 February 2017

Meet the face of our festival

We’re very excited to have popular Aussie songstress Kate Ceberano back at the National Multicultural Festival in 2017 as our headline act – and indeed as the face of the festival.

With her soaring voice and Aria award-winning melodies, Kate has been a fixture of the Australian music scene since the 1980s and has entertained crowds at festivals, major concert halls, on TV and in clubs across the nation.

In 2014, Kate - whose cultural heritage includes American, Portuguese and Filipino - was the first Australian woman to be inducted into the Australian Songwriters Association Hall of Fame, a tribute to her more than 35-year music career.

Last June during the Queen’s birthday honours awards, Kate was awarded an Order of Australia for her charitable work and services to the music industry.

We are proud to have her as our headline act and face of the festival for this year’s extravaganza.

We hope you can join us when Kate appears on our Garema Place stage at around 8pm during the free opening concert on Friday 17 February.

In the meanwhile, have a listen to Kate’s long and varied playlist on Youtube

Azra Khan
Director
2017 National Multicultural Festival

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Edition 1
Wednesday 1 February 2017

Let the countdown begin!

Can you believe it - we are now only 16 days from the official start of the 2017 National Multicultural Festival and to say we’re excited would be an understatement.

This year the festival celebrates its 21st birthday!

My team in the ACT Community Participation Group have been busily working hard over the past six months to ensure this year’s festival is a safe, fun, engaging and inclusive event for all attendees.

We have three jam-packed days of fun, music, dance, cultural performances, food and festivities planned for all to enjoy.

In 2017, we have added to the comfort of the festival experience with the inclusion of our new Sanctuary zone in Petrie Plaza which offers an accessible and peaceful space away from the heat and rush.

This is in addition to the special Children’s Sanctuary, which can be found near Canberra Museum and Gallery (CMaG) in Civic Square or indeed by listening out for the giggles and excited sounds of little ones as they enjoy a full range of culturally diverse performances and playtime activities.

This is just a small snapshot of our plans for the 2017 National Multicultural Festival but over the next few weeks, I’ll keep you updated each weekday via The Festival Daily blog.

In the meantime, to find out more about this year’s festival click through our website or download our app from the Apple App Store or on Google Play for android users.

Azra Khan
Director
2017 National Multicultural Festival

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