Woodford Folk Festival a celebration

ARTS Minister Rod Welford has encouraged Queenslanders to visit the Woodford Folk Festival, from this weekend, for a celebration of music, the arts, the environment and culture.

Mr Welford said the Woodford Folk Festival, which runs from 27 December 2008 to 1 January 2009, was one of Australia's most popular and inspiring cultural events.

"The annual Woodford Folk Festival, now in its 23rd year, has grown from grassroots beginnings to become a significant festival of international standing," Mr Welford said.

"The festival receives Bligh Government funding through Arts Queensland's s2m grants program for assist small to medium arts companies.

"Our Government has been a major supporter of the festival for over a decade, providing about $2.6 million for land acquisition, site development and project and operational funding.

"This funding supports the festival's organisers, the Queensland Folk Federation, who play an important role in foste ring community engagement, providing regional access and supporting the professional development and employment of artists and arts workers."

The Woodford Folk Festival is held at 6 Woodrow Rd, Woodford - about one-and-a-half hours drive north of Brisbane, 40 minutes west of Caloundra or an hour south of Noosa.

This year the festival will receive $230,000 in Bligh Government support - $200,000 from Arts Queensland for program development and infrastructure support; $15,000 from the Department of Communities for the festival's multicultural program; and $15,000 in value from Q Fleet for supplying vehicles.

Mr Welford said the Woodford Folk Festival was unique, integrating arts of every kind with social dialogue and debate while cultivating a spirit of community.

"The festival is renowned for its strong focus on showcasing Queensland productions, emerging talent, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and cultures, comprehensive children's p rogramming and a spectacular closing fire ceremony," he said.

"It attracts more than 100,000 people across the six days and buzzes with dance, music, forums, street theatre, film, comedy, craft, cabaret and spontaneous artistic collaboration.

"This year's festival features a stellar line-up including renowned Indigenous performers Tjupurru and William Barton, popular Australian artists Lior, Kate Miller-Heidke and Katie Noonan and cabaret favourites La La Parlour.

"In addition to its cultural importance, the Woodford Folk Festival makes a significant economic contribution to the Queensland economy and to environmental sustainability."

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