The National, Tuesday, June 7th 2011
FUNDRAISING efforts in East New Britain for the 2011 Warwagira and 17th Mask Festival is receiving overwhelming community support.
With the organisation of the two major festivals to be hosted sourced out to the private sector, the Warwagira and National Mask Festivals on July 1 are expected to be bigger and better.
A recent dinner hosted by the Kokopo Beach Bungalows, which combined with sponsorship support and successful auction bids, the new and revitalised advisory committee raised K96,728.
The provincial government last month paid half of what is owed to service providers from past years to enable those service providers to get back on board.
It is understood K113,000 in debt had been accumulated from previous years, with K53,000 by the Warwagira and K60,000 from the national mask festival.
As part of the provincial government’s focus on public-private partnerships, the newly-formed committee invited members of the local business community and outsourced aspects of the event organisation to boost the momentum and build a strong management foundation.
The National Cultural Commission has welcomed the step forward.
Warwagira and Mask Festival advisory committee chairman, John Robin said although key major sponsors such as Trukai Industries, the Tourism Promotion Authority, Nivani Ltd, Rabaul Shipping and SP Brewery had been financially valuable, “it has been the combined efforts of smaller local businesses which has mounted the progress this year”.