Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

SHMA’s Christmas in July

Sovereign Hill chief executive Jeremy Johnson with Melinda, Sarah, 7, Joshua, 5, Rebekah, 16, and Rachel Schmidtke, 13. Photo: Luka Kauzlaric.

Jeremy Venosta, Sovereign Hill, Ballarat City Council determine three-year deal, The Courier, 26 June 2017

Ballarat City Council will consider a new three-year deal worth $240,000 with Sovereign Hill.

The goldfields tourist attraction has regularly applied to council for ongoing grants for its events every year.

Now council will decide if that money should be rolled into one fund that is assured for the next three years.

Sovereign Hill chief executive Jeremy Johnson said council was always very supportive of its many events and tourist attractions.

“Our relationship with council is very significant,” he said.

“We look after the collections of Ballarat Historical Society and municipality, the mayoral chains and the heritage Hanson cab.

“We look after those sorts of things in our museum, so we do a whole range of things on behalf of the community which we have done for decades.”

The proposed motion for funding before council’s ordinary meeting on Wednesday night would also ensure all the money is spent in Ballarat.

All events and activities must be in the city, or provide evidence that they benefit a significant amount of people from the municipality.

A council report said continuing to fund Sovereign Hill events on a year-by-year and project-by-project basis was not the most efficient way to offer grants. This includes Winter Festival and Sovereign Hill’s Winter Wonderlights, a joint initiative between council and Sovereign Hill.

Mr Johnson said the Winter Wonderlights brought 95,000 people to the city each year, with 43 per cent of those staying overnight.

“In the last two years council has been very supportive of our Christmas in July Winter Wonderlights campaign,” he said.

“For example the Christmas in July, that investment costs us $1.4 million, so it is a significant component, if we didn’t have that we would not be able to market as heavily in Melbourne and Regional Victoria.”

The festival will run from July 1 to 30 each day at 10am, with the Winter Wonderlights at 5.45pm each evening.

Visitors to Sovereign Hill can enjoy snow on Main Street, Christmas decorated buildings and the smell of Christmas treats and spices during the day.

The festival will be launched on Friday.

See also: http://winterwonderlights.com.au/

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