Summer Festival wins national award

Published on Thursday 11 May 2017

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The City of West Torrens' annual Summer Festival event has been named as a category winner in the 2017 National Awards for Local Government.

It is now in the running for the overall 2017 National Award for Excellence in Local Government, which will be announced on 20 June 2017 in Canberra.

The Summer Festival event has been honoured to win the national award in the Multicultural Australia - Strength in Diversity category.

This year Council introduced a new multicultural event to its Summer Festival program, 'All Together Now', which focussed on entertainment, food and music from a variety of local cultures that make up West Torrens.

With performances from Greece, Italy, Africa, China, India, Spain, Liberia and Afghanistan, the event gave the community an opportunity to showcase traditions that have long been part of various cultures.

City of West Torrens' Mayor John Trainer OAM was ecstatic about the award and said that the win recognised an event that was now creating its own tradition.

"Summer Festival started from quite humble beginnings almost a decade ago with simply some music in the park," Mayor Trainer said.

"It was really a big picnic where we provided entertainment and invited people to come to our Memorial Gardens, bring their own food, relax with the family and listen to some live music.

"The success of those first few events really showed that our local community was keen for more, so during the next few years we expanded our program to include movies and much more entertainment for children."

Mayor Trainer said that since those first few years the Summer Festival had built up a large following, with people attending from all areas of South Australia, not just West Torrens.

"In the past two years we've really scoped how we can progress this festival and ensure that people have an opportunity to be involved, so in 2015 we introduced a huge food event - Fork on the Road - and that attracts thousands," Mayor Trainer added.

Mr Trainer said the idea to include a specific multicultural event in this year's program was 'par for the course' as so many cultures were already represented throughout the festival program.

He added that Council had worked closely with the Australian Refugee Association during the past couple of years and had included fund-raising cabaret style events as part of the festival.

Summer Festival is held during January and February each year and offers family entertainment that is low cost and, in many cases, free of charge for those looking for something relaxing to do after the rush of Christmas and New Year.

"2018 will be our 10th year so we'll have some big plans in the pipeline for that," Mayor Trainer added.

"So … keep your diaries free during January and February if you want some first-class, free entertainment for the family."

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