A chance for Festival change squandered

I can’t help but think that Cowra has missed an opportunity to re-brand its Festival of International Understanding.

Earlier this year the council surveyed a number of groups and organisations about a possible name change for the Festival.

This followed on from a consultant’s report which cost Cowra ratepayers $20,000.

The consultant’s report came back with a recommendation that the name be changed as it was too long.

As one Cowra Shire councillor, Michael Nobes, pointed out earlier this year, you can’t hashtag Cowra Festival of International Understanding in today’s social media world.

The options for a possible name of Cowra’s Festival were:

• Festival of International Understanding

• Friendship Festival

• Festival of Nations

• FRED Fest – Friendship & Education

Cowra Shire Council sent out 59 survey forms with just 14 being returned by the due date and two being received after that date.

The 16 responses received indicated the following preferences:

- Festival of International Understanding 9 votes. 

- Festival of Nations 5 votes. 

- Friendship Festival 2 votes.

- FRED Fest Friendship and Education 0 votes.

The Cowra Guardian placed a poll on its website and received 66 responses and an entirely different result.

Festival of Nations topped our poll with 29 votes followed by 13 votes for Festival of International Understanding, 10 for Friendship Festival, one for FRED and 13 for None of the Above.

Two surveys with two very different results.

Cowra Shire met on Monday night and voted to retain the name Festival of International Understanding.

While one opportunity has been missed Council still has the chance to revamp the Festival program.

In April this year councillors Bruce Miller, Peter Wright, Ray Walsh and Bill West said the believed more energy should be put into revamping the Festival’s program in preference to changing the name.

The Festival, as it is, may give us a warm and fuzzy feeling but it’s not really doing much for the Cowra economy.

Over to you Cowra Shire Council.

Andrew Fisher