Following a recent Council resolution, and subsequent allocation of funds to the project, extensive work has been taking place towards establishing a large, sustainable festival for George. The Steering Committee which was constituted on 15 March 2016, at its first formal meeting last week, elected a number of office bearers that will now constitute a Working Committee.
Local businessman and President of the George Business Chamber, Dr. Willie Cilliers, accepted nomination as Chairperson of the Steering and Working Committees. He will be supported by Mr. Leroy Ferreira, Business Development Manager at Fancourt as Deputy Chairperson. Additional members to the Working Committee are Ms. Philda Benkenstein (Outeniqua Tourism Association), Ms. Linda Anderson (Eden Lions) and Mr. Theo Adams (Herold Meander).
First reports named the event the “Garden Festival”, but it has become clear that this name could cause some challenges if the aim is to attract outside visitors to George. The Steering Committee unanimously decided on the George Heritage Festival (George Erfenis Fees) and that the festival will take place during the October school holidays.
Chief Whip Cllr. De Swardt, who initiated the project said: “Our idea is to create something sustainable that will benefit the local economy, as we are in the Garden Route and Eden, the first ideas were to build it around this theme. I am very excited about the George Heritage Festival and the response of the community has already been overwhelming. City Council and the Steering Committee agree fully that this event must benefit every community in George”.
Dr. Cilliers has made himself available to spearhead the initiative in its first year, building on the great work done by the Business Chamber when hosting the AHi National Congress in October 2015. “The George Heritage Festival has the potential to support tourism and help our local businesses, it is all about business and building a sense of cohesion between everyone in George” said Dr. Cilliers. Work is continuing on setting up appropriate governance structures and ensuring that all future expenditure will be in line with relevant financial legislation.
An advert for a potential event organiser (individual or company) has already been placed, and those who expressed interest will shortly be asked to do presentations on ideas and budgets to the Steering Committee. Opportunities will be created for local events to apply for support and align themselves with the broader Festival Programme. The public will be kept up to date through the local publications and the municipal website. Any enquiries can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.orgLast published 14 April 2016