Festival focuses on the future

Apple and Grape Harvest Festival president Greg Thouard has again encouraged members of the community to consider serving on the 2018 Festival Committee with a view to taking on leadership roles in 2020.

At the Apple and Grape Harvest Festival annual general meeting last week, Mr Thouard and all other current directors were returned unopposed.

However, Mr Thouard said the future of the festival relies heavily on a strong committees to follow the current committee.

“Opportunities existed at the annual general meeting for ‘shadow directors’ to sit alongside current directors through the 2018 festival with the view to becoming a director for 2020. I was
disappointed that no extra community-minded people attended the AGM to accept these roles but I will continue to promote this concept widely as part of succession planning,” he said.

Mr Thouard thanked his 18 volunteer directors, who are looking forward to another fantastic festival in 2018.

The festival committee is focusing on organising and promoting the 2018 festival, to be held from February 23 to March 4.

The festival has been promoted locally at the Stanthorpe Show, Cycle Qld, visitor information
centres and local tourist spots. Brochures were also handed out at the Brisbane Exhibition and the

Carnival of Flowers and in coming weeks 2,000 brochures will be handed out in Granite Belt
promotion sample bags at the Good Food & Wine Show.

Tourism Events Queensland (TEQ) has become strategic partners with the festival and has engaged through an E-12 (Event-12 months out) program which raises ideas and opportunities for the festival to improve and grow.

Another initiative supported by TEQ funding is for better data analysis to be undertaken at the 2018 Festival to gauge attendance and financial benefit to the community and a company has been appointed by TEQ.

Funding by TEQ will also include a business study of the festival to include strategic planning,
succession planning and a risk analysis. The study will be conducted by EarthCheck.
“I have fully supported the business study as I am not convinced the festival can survive in its current format and this committee, as festival and community leaders, are encouraged to commit by engaging with EarthCheck to plan for the festival’s future,” Mr Thouard said.

The Apple and Grape Harvest Festival has received grants from the Gambling Community Benefits Fund for festoon lighting, Tourism & Events Queensland for marketing and business planning, Southern Downs Regional Council for festival operations associated with roads, public spaces and buildings, Stanthorpe Garden Club for the open gardens and Heritage Bank for entertainment zones.

In an effort to offset some of the costs of the festival, admission to the Multicultural Carnival in
Weeroona Park will be $10 per day per person for people aged 18 years and over.

Four Young Ambassadors are currently fundraising for the 2018 festival, sponsored by the
Queensland College of Wine Tourism (Brianna Woods), Jamworks (Charlotte Bush), Rotary Club of Stanthorpe (Bridget Campbell) and the Community Bank (Lateesha Stabile). “I am very proud of these young community leaders and their sponsors for strongly supporting the festival and I encourage the whole community to get involved and assist with their fundraising efforts” Mr Thouard said.

 

The 2018 Apple and Grape Harvest Festival will be held from February 23 to March 4.
The Apple and Grape Harvest Festival Committee is grateful for the support of our major partners: Channel 7, Heritage Bank, Southern Downs Regional Council, Southern Queensland Country, Tourism Events Queensland, The Breeze, Rebel FM and the Stanthorpe Border Post.