The concert hall at Lismore City Hall.
The concert hall at Lismore City Hall. Patrick Gorbunovs

Council-Norpa alliance could be death for community events

LISMORE City Council on Tuesday night approved the nation's first Cultural Alliance between an arts organisation and a council.

However, Lismore Musical Festival Society believes council's partnership with Norpa will put the 104-year-old Lismore Eisteddfod, as well as as other community events, in jeopardy.

Under the agreement, the council would pay the arts professionals to manage Lismore City Hall for 10 years, saving council money.

However, the musical society is concerned under the 10-year agreement it would play second fiddle to Norpa's big acts.

Society president Heather Sidney said: "We used to book year-to-year. Now they struggle to fit us in."

Norpa general manager Patrick Healey replied: "The eisteddfod is unique in that it goes for several weeks. We do our best to accommodate them and we always do."

Until 2014 the council paid for the society's venue hire. For example, it used to pay $19,000 in venue fees on behalf of the eisteddfod.

Mrs Sidney said council would not make up for the shortfall.

"Council has put us on a three-year budget. Last year we get 10,000, $7500 this year and $5000 next year," she said.

Mrs Sidney remained adamant that council favoured Norpa over the wider community.

She said any sponsorship would be most welcome.

Phone secretary Val Axtens on 6621 6015 with sponsorship offers.



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