Community Festivals

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Celebrate the rich traditions of your community’s culture

The Immigration Museum collaborates with Victoria’s diverse multicultural communities to present a variety of community festivals each year.

Community festivals are developed through a process of community engagement and collaboration, steered by a Festival Planning Committee made up of museum staff and volunteer community representatives.

The festivals showcase cultural activities that continue to be practised or are viewed as having significant cultural meaning and value. These activities include, but are not limited to, music, dance, crafts and food.  Ideally, these activities reflect both traditional and contemporary elements of culture.

In the past, the museum has created festivals with a large number of specific ethnic or cultural communities, including German, Indonesian, Brazilian, Sudanese, and Lebanese.  Other festivals have brought together a variety of nationalities and ethnicities, such as the West African Festival and the Pacific Islander Festival. 

More recently, intercultural festivals have been developed based on a theme.  For example, the Sweets Festival was a collaboration between the museum and representatives from the Turkish, Mauritian, Italian, Indian, and Japanese communities of Victoria.  The extremely popular Melt Chocolate Festival involved Belgian, Mexican, and Portuguese-speaking communities.  In 2013, representatives of Victoria’s diverse Muslim communities came together to create the Islamic Arts Festival.

How do we select communities and themes to create a festival?

Festivals are selected and developed through a variety of means. They may stem from an exhibition at one of Museum Victoria’s museums, they may come from a proposal submitted by a community group, or they may be initiated by the museum to mark a significant anniversary or event.

The Immigration Museum will also consider factors such as representation of established and emerging migrant communities, whether the community has previously had an opportunity to present a festival, potential community benefit.

We recommend you browse through our Past Festivals to get a sense of the kinds of events we have held in the past. If you or your community are interested to propose a festival at the Immigration Museum, please submit an expression of your interest to our Discovery Centre in the first instance.

Festival Planning Committee

All aspects of the festival are planned and delivered by the Festival Planning Committee.  The committee is comprised of volunteer representatives from the relevant community, including representatives of community societies and organisations, individuals, elders, young people, and others, working alongside representatives from the Immigration Museum’s Education and Community Programs team.

Planning commences approximately 12 months before presenting the festival. 

The Participants – Performers and Demonstrators

The committee recommends suitable participants for the festival, for example, dance groups or crafts people. Where possible, all details of the participants are forwarded to the Programs Manager so that the recommended participant can be invited and sent a Letter of Engagement. Each participant will be paid a nominal fee. To receive the payment each participant must invoice the Museum by an agreed date. Total nominal fees (this amount includes preparation and participation in the entire day):

  • $80 – Craft demonstration, individual performer
  • $150 – Music, dance or other group

The Festival – Facilities and Services

Festivals are one-day events that occur generally on a Sunday from 11am – 4pm. Staff and volunteers from the Immigration Museum assist on the day. Generally, a marquee will be installed in the Festivals Courtyard to accommodate a range of activities and events.

There are a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces in the museum which can be used for talks, workshops, children’s activities, performances, food stalls, and more.  The museum also provides equipment such as tables, chairs, pinboards, bollards, signs, as well as a variety of essential safety gear.

Publicity for the festival

The Publicity Officer for the Immigration Museum will work with the Festival Planning Committee to find out what newspapers, radio stations or other organisations are the best promotional contacts for the community. The Publicity Officer will also write a media release for the festival and arrange for photographs to be taken for promotion if necessary. Ideally, community members will also provide photographs for use in media and promotion.

Marketing for the festival

The Marketing Manager of the Immigration Museum will also work with the Festival Planning Committee to determine the best ways to promote the festival. The Marketing Manager will help produce any paper and/or digital marketing assets (such as paper flyers, posters, or e-flyers) as well as produce any paid advertising (such as Facebook ads).

Insurance

As community festival participants are not professionals, their participation in the festival is covered by the Museum’s public liability insurance.

Evaluation

The festivals are evaluated through a variety of methods. The Festival Planning Committee are also asked that after the festival they write a short evaluation of their experience and participate in a debrief session with the Education and Community Programs team.