A BACK to basics approach for Orange’s Carols by Candlelight concert, showcasing local performers would be a better option for the council funded event according to a former organiser.
Former Carols by Candlelight Committee member, Annette Brown, said the community group worked well under council’s direction when organising the event in the past but did so with a small budget.
“Council were quite helpful but they only gave us $2000 to $3000 to run the event and almost everything went to lighting and sound,” she said.
“The event needs to be an event on its own, it needs to be simple, the council does not need to spend buckets of money.”
Council called for expressions of interest from businesses and groups willing to organise the event earlier this year.
Canberra-based event management company Milkshake Creative said it would cost up to $50,000 for a “wow factor” entertainer, Christmas lights competition, battle of the bands, children’s craft workshops, and Christmas markets.
Orange Theatre Company (OTC) told council it would not put forward a submission.
OTC president Trevor Carroll said the company did not want to commit to the concert as they feared they would be left with the bill for lighting and sound which could amount to thousands of dollars.
“If we had a definite amount of money [from council] we could rely on we’d take it that next step,” he said.
He said the group may reconsider plans to organise the event now the council has committed more than $26,000.
Mrs Brown said she was shocked council would consider paying outside event organisers to stage the event.
“If council appealed correctly, I’m sure people would volunteer their time,” she said.
She suggested council should take ownership of the event, keep it local, and rename it the Orange City Carols by Candlelight.
“We have a huge pool of talent in Orange and they love being involved in this event,” she said.
“We don’t need to import performers, I really feel you can still get the wow actor time and time again from local talent.”
Mr Carroll agreed.
Mrs Brown was involved in staging the annual christmas event up until two years ago when council decided to incorporate a street party with the concert, she believes council should make the concert a stand alone event.
“It should be a wonderful family event reflecting the traditions and joy of Christmas,” she said.