Arts & Entertainment

Inner West Council to invest in local music and film festival

The Freetones. Photo: Kris Egan

By Patrick McKenzie

Inner West Council has voted unanimously to invest in a raft of new COVID-safe outdoor community events, in a bid to provide more support to the local arts and culture sector.

The vote came during a Council meeting on Tuesday evening, where Labor Councillor Chloe Smith moved a motion to build on the success of the St.Anmore Festival Of Music by expanding it to five separate festivals across the entire LGA.

“We’ve all been in and out of lockdown – some of it self-imposed – for two years now and people are desperate to get back out there and mix and mingle with their neighbours and friends, but in a COVID-safe way,” she said.

St.Anmore Festival Of Music is a community music festival in Stanmore which was supported by Inner West Council and first held in 2019.

“[The] Inner West is home to the largest number of artists and musicians in Sydney, and this sector has suffered horrendously from lost revenue and employment,” Cr Smith said.

“Council has already kickstarted support for outdoor dining and live performance to help local businesses recover from COVID-19 impacts so it makes sense that we look at increasing our outdoor events as much as possible as well.”

Last week, Mayor Darcy Byrne called on the NSW Government to provide financial support to Sydney councils beyond the CBD, in light of the release of a Committee for Sydney report that recommended measures such as free transport zones and 24-hour markets in the city.

“The fixation of policy makers and the NSW government on throwing money at activating the CBD while failing to invest in main street activation, the arts and culture across the rest of Sydney must end,” Cr Byrne said at the time.

Council voted unanimously to support several measures including funding and expanding the St.Anmore festival, planning a 2022 iteration and budgeting for an Inner West Film Festival and a series of outdoor film screenings across the LGA.

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