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Local bands, artists and entertainers not getting a ‘fair go’ at Enlighten

Local bands, artists and entertainers not getting a ‘fair go’ at Enlighten

Comment by Tim Benson, Publisher, B2B Magazine

I recently received the statistics and dollar figure spend on Canberra based bands, artists and entertainers compared to those from interstate and overseas for Canberra’s Enlighten.

They are not good. In fact, they are worse than I imagined:

  • Of the $113,000 of ACT tax payers’ money spent on bands, artists and entertainers at Canberra’s Enlighten, only $2750 was spent on bands from the ACT.
  • Less than 2.5 per cent of the total figure of $113,000 was spent on Canberra bands.

If this wasn’t bad enough:

  • Of the $57,000 spent on installations, $0.00 was spent on Canberra artists.
  • Of the $25,000 spent on roving entertainment, $0.00 was spent on Canberra entertainers.

Four of the 12 bands engaged at Canberra’s Enlighten were from Canberra. Those four Canberra bands received a combined figure of $2750.

The eight other non-Canberra bands received a total of $31,050.

This means:

  • Canberra bands were paid an average of almost $690 per band.
  • Non-Canberra bands were paid an average of a little more than $3880 each.
  • Non-Canberra bands were paid more than five times more than Canberra bands.
  • Of the $33,800 spent on bands at Canberra’s Enlighten, 8.1 per cent of this money was spent on Canberra bands.

I also requested dollar figures and percentages for Canberra v non-Canberra for other services engaged by the ACT Government for Canberra’s Enlighten and got the following response:

‘100% of the companies used for cleaning, waste, first aid services, production (lighting and sound), generators and power hire equipment, scaffolding and projection infrastructure, and food and beverage services (not coordinated as part of the Fairfax Events Night Noodle Markets), were based in Canberra or Queanbeyan.  These companies are engaged through the standard procurement processes applying in the ACT Government.’

This is a good thing and should continue (I was not provided with any dollar figures or overall spend on these services).

For a Government that is promoting us as, CBR: Confident, Bold and Ready. They have failed the test as far as our local bands, artists and entertainers are concerned.

As, I said in my first article, I do not believe that all entertainment and artistic works need to come from Canberra, just a fair share.

I also want to use these revelations to achieve something positive. So, I would ask the ACT Government and those responsible to do the following:

  1. Ensure that at least 50 per cent of bands engaged at major events in Canberra, are from Canberra and that at least 50 per cent of the money is spent on bands from Canberra.
  2. Ensure that at least 50 per cent of artists and entertainers, engaged at major events in Canberra, are from Canberra and that at least 50 per cent of the money is spent on artists and entertainers from Canberra.
  3. Actively, educate, promote and advertise the processes and times when Canberra’s local musicians, artists and entertainers can apply to participate in major events in Canberra.

I will continue to ask for these figures from major public events in Canberra. It’s about time our local Canberra bands artists and entertainers got a fair go.

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  1. deb

    Thanks so much for doing this research Tim – a very important light to be shone on how we are not investing in our local artists.

  2. Pingback: ACT Government Voluntarily Opts Out of Quality Recruitment Outcomes.

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