Festival review looking to the future

Cowra Council recently announced that consultants, The Stafford Group, have been appointed to undertake a review of the Festival of International Understanding this year.

Council moved at their last Ordinary Meeting to endorse the engagement of The Stafford Group to undertake a review to assess whether the Festival can be enhanced, as well as reviewing its cost effectiveness and overall benefits.

"The Cowra Festival of International Understanding is a unique community event that we wish to foster and develop," Cowra Mayor, Councillor Bill West said.

"It is appropriate from time-to-time to assess any Council event or activity and identify ways to improve on it in the future. The engagement of The Stafford Group to review the Festival will deliver a strategic assessment and set of recommendations for the future direction the Festival that we can build upon," Cr West continued.

The Stafford Group are specialists in a number of fields, including tourism and leisure, the cultural sector, economic development, marketing and local government and have undertaken a number of reviews of various events and festivals in regional areas throughout NSW and Queensland.

"The success of this Festival is obvious as seen in its longevity but, like all marketing initiatives, there may well be opportunities to enhance the Festival in a variety of ways to bring it closer to what the community might be looking for and, similarly, as a more significant driver for the local Cowra visitor economy," Principal of The Stafford Group, Albert Stafford said.

The Stafford Group will be holding discussions with relevant community groups and Festival participants over the coming weeks in the lead-up to and during the Festival to gain a solid understanding of community support as well as related issues and opportunities.

The 2017 Festival of International Understanding will be held from March 24–April 2 with the guest nation this year, Belarus.