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Changes Proposed For Flower Festival

Christchurch City Council's Festivals and Events Interim Advisory Board has recommended to the Council's Parks and Recreation Committee that the Christchurch Garden City Trust's proposal for a Spring Festival of Flowers be deferred for 12 months.

It has also recommended that its February Festival of Flowers be run as a community-based festival (instead of an international festival) next year as an interim measure.

The most successful events, including the Cathedral floral carpet, the children's fiesta day, the senior citizens' concert and the birthday flowers, and other activities would be retained.

The Festivals Advisory Board believes it is important for Christchurch to have an icon festival celebrating our Garden City identity and has been approached by a number of organisations involved in gardens, flowers and produce, including the Garden City Trust.

In the interim, the Advisory Board believes that it would be in the best interests of the city to maintain the existing February Festival of Flowers at a community level, while working with the Garden City Trust and other parties to develop something that will eventually be better for everyone, by 2002 or 2003.

The Advisory Board will be reviewing the whole calendar of events that receive Council funding in Christchurch in due course. The role of the Advisory Board is to advise the City Council on maximising its return from its investment in festivals and events, and promoting the long-term sustainability of the events sector in Christchurch. It was set up two months ago, and aims to review all core-funded events and make recommendations for future funding by the end of the year.

This year, the Festival of Flowers received funding from the Council of just under $87,000.

Further information: Advisory Board chairman, Dr Paddy Austin. Phone 3519511 or 025 228 3993.

Christchurch City Council http://www.ccc.govt.nz

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