Monday 7 March 2011

Outrage as Council stomps on youth dance gig

Cairns Regional Council has decided to not support the hugely popular Stomp the Nard youth music and dance event, putting it's future in jeopardy.

A city Councillor says an independent assessment team promoted other events instead, and that councillors have "little say in what gets funded."

"It really saddens me to have to do this, but after many months of planning and the many applications I have applied for, Cairns Regional Council has decided to decline Stomp's request for financial support and in-kind support," organiser Angelo Saliba said.

Cairns Regional Council has in the past provided a venue like City Place or the Esplanade skate park, along with fencing and staging as part of their in-kind support.

"In-kind support means that they are providing a venue or equipment that belongs to the Council," Angelo Saliba says. "My application for it this time has been declined alongside my application for some minor financial support for audio, and security. I don’t know why the council is choosing not to support Stomp anymore as it is an event that has always been family-friendly and provided a great opportunity and atmosphere for people of all ages and demographics."

Stomp the Nard has been running since 2005 and has attracted a huge youth following across the region, drawing crowds up to 3,500 patrons.

"You can imagine that I am just as surprised and let down as you are," Angelo Saliba says. "At this stage I dont know when there will be another Stomp as without the Cairns Regional Council’s support, the event will have to change dramatically to be possible."

Councillor Alan Blake, whos division encompasses the central city, was asked to review the decision.

"Unfortunately, we as councillors have little say in what gets funded," Alan Blake said. "The Stomp project is worthwhile, however the independent assessment team promoted other events to the top of the list."

Former youth co-ordinator at Cairns Regional Council, Tanya Brooks-Cooper, who serves on the Cairns Youth Mentoring board, is shocked that there is no support being offered to run the event this year.

"I'm extremely sad to hear that Council isn't supporting Stomp The Nard," Tanya Brooks-Cooper says. "Why won't they get behind Cairns' biggest dance battle this year? Surely this makes no sense."

Woree mother of two teenage sons, who have taken part in Stomp the Nard over recent years, is angry at the lack of support for youth activities by Council.

"My son went to this a few years ago where DJ nino Brown DJ'D at the even as Anthony's youth mentor is his dad," Jenelle Dillon said. "It was certainly a popular event and I can tell you has been something that has stuck in Anthony's mind as a wonderful event. How sad."

She's asked Council to get behind this event so our youth don't lose a great event.


Robert Moron said...

So without a government handout this so-called worthwhile event can't be run? What kind of nonsense is that! Where is the can-do spirit?

I submit if it's worth doing, organizers need to find the funding. It's time everyone realize that there aren't unlimited pots of money from government. The ratepayers have been slugged enough, especially for nonsensical events. And it's "esplanade" morons. No such word as "nard".

Anonymous said...

You're the moron. It's been called the "nard" for over 20 years !

Yes, let's get rid of all subsidies to cultural events, so only trashy, dumbed down, "commercially successful" acts,sponsored by the likes of CocaCola or McDonald's, will see the light of day.

I agree that that the government does not have unlimited pots of money. If they stopped wasting millions on over-paid "consultants" , greedy "project managers" and ill-conceived projects, then there should be plenty of money available for worthwhile cultural events.

So why don't you whinge about government wastage instead...

Cultural Engineer said...

I'd love to talk to Angelo about producing a Stomp the Nard for Cairns Festival in August, as it is a great all -ages gathering for creative young people. The Festival has some support, and could work on the in-kind facilities and equipment he is missing. And the Council gives out funding through RADF, and a few other grant sources available for a future, well-planned Stomp the Nard. I wrote to Angela a few months back to see if he was interested in a Festival date, but haven't heard back. We'll support Stomp the Nard whenever and wherever it happens.

Unknown said...

Robert, you're a fine one to talk, enough of your trashy American spelling, realise has an s and not a z.

PS. Nard is a colloquialism.

Char Paul said...

I don't see how "in-kind" support can be seen as a handout~ that the event brings youth from other areas, not just Cairns, will bring in money to the community.

It is crazy not to support this~ when was the last time the "independent assessment team" had their criteria evaluated?

The council can't step in and make a decision for the benefit of its own community...? Crap. Not good enough Blake et al.

Do we want healthy well adjusted youth? Then the "adults" in Cairns need to walk their talk. This is another way of letting young people know that they have no value in our Cairns culture and "community".

How do I get in contact with Saliba? I have a donation and am putting my hand up for whatever else I can do to be of help.

Leigh Dall'Osto said...

Good on you for running with this story Mike. It's a great event and it needs Council support.

Dj A.N.G said...

Re: Robert Morein's Victims...

The event is 100% funded by sponsors financially. The main support we need from council is "INKIND" support which is stated clearly in my letter.

This basically means we need the skate park carpark for a few hours.

Please read the actual blog post before stating your opinion... its that "can do" attitude that has made the event as successful as it is for over 5 years as a not for profit event.

After my Press Release and Radio interview this morning things look like they may be taking a turn for the better.... i will keep you all posted.

thank you also to the author of this blog... Your support means alot

Dj A.N.G said...

Robert, The event 100% funds itself... what was declined was "INKIND SUPPORT" which is basically the use of the Esplanade Skate Park Car Park for a few hours. you would notice this if you read the blog post correctly. The "Can Do" attitude has kept the event running "non for profit" for over 5 years.