Geraldton’s Funtavia Festival will return after funding boost

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Liam BeattyGeraldton Guardian
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Funtavia chair Rob Jefferies welcomed the grants from the Lotterywest COVID-19 Relief Fund.
Camera IconFuntavia chair Rob Jefferies welcomed the grants from the Lotterywest COVID-19 Relief Fund. Credit: Geoff Vivian/The Geraldton Guardian

Geraldton’s Funtavia Festival will make a return after the State Government pledged more than $160,000 to the festival’s organisers.

Funtavia Chair Rob Jefferies said the future of the popular festival was at risk after it was cancelled on March 13 due to COVID-19 concerns.

“Cancelling the festival midway into its planning was devastating for everyone involved — festival programmers, contractors, artists, sponsors, the lot — and threatened the ongoing viability of Funtavia,” he said.

But today, Agricultural Region MLC Laurie Graham presented the organisers with two grants from the Lotterywest COVID-19 Relief Fund worth $163,568 to support the festival’s recovery.

Presenting the grants, Mr Graham said he was pleased to see the State Government support the work undertaken by organisations like Funtavia.

Funtavia chair Rob Jefferies and MLC Laurie Graham.
Camera IconFuntavia chair Rob Jefferies and MLC Laurie Graham. Credit: Geraldton Guardian

The grants are funded through the $159 million COVID-19 Relief Fund which allocated all profits of Lotterywest to assist COVID-19 community recovery.

The first grant, totalling $39,978, will be used to recover funds lost as a result of cancelling the festival while a second $123,590 grant will go towards funding a range of new local initiatives.

According to Mr Jefferies, the grants will enable Funtavia to continue the festival, explore new forms of delivery and continue to provide work for local performers, artists and musicians.

Agricultural Region MLC Darren West said the diversion of Lotterywest proceeds would ensure community events could continue into the future.

“With this State Government funding I am sure that Funtavia will return bigger, better and even funnier than ever,” he said.

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