Cultural diversity festival

Minutes of meeting held 24.1.07 at the Leas Club




John Barber & Barbara Witham (Town Centre Management) Chris Kirkham (Discover Folkestone), Neil Anthony (Crabble Mill), Pat Clarke & David Webb (Folkestone & District National Dance Group), Angi Pendreich & Steve Barrett (Les Batons, French & Breton dance group), Renata Wilcoxon & Elzbiete Mazur (Polish Club in Folkestone), Shane Record & Leigh Mulley (local artists).



JB welcomed everyone present, and explained the reasoning for having the festival, and hoped everyone present would want to be involved. This is the first year, but we hope it will become an annual event.



BW explained that although the original dates had thought to be 7-10th June, it was now thought to have the event 1 week later 14 17th June 2007 inclusive (Thursday to Sunday).



A list of ideas already made was passed around, and SR also explained he was already looking at a sandcastle competition on Sunny Sands, probably on Saturday or Sunday, which could be promoted alongside the festival. NA had done some artwork for a poster/promotion, but was happy for others to improve/expand on this idea. This could also be used for the cover of the programme.

We also have Chaucer College Japanese students who wish to perform and display on the Friday, The Ghurka Regiment from Shorncliffe Barracks, the Nepalese Community who have all confirmed their interest, and we are in touch with the Muslim community, Asian community, French and Moroccan residents. We have also had individual offers from people of different nationalities.

We will also be speaking to local restaurants with regard to promoting their national dishes.



CK explained that promotion would be done on Discover Folkestone web site which has about 100,000 hits every month, and is now linked to Kent Tourism Alliance, and Visit Britain. He would also promote it on the local radio, and would send out press releases to newspapers, TV and radio in the area. A Programme would also be produced to cover the event, and would be available locally.

Other ideas could be posters on East Kent buses, at train stations and banners in the town centre.



It had been thought that each group involved could nominate a charity who would benefit from any profits made during the festival, however there was some concern about sales of goods, and preferred charities, and this may not be the best way forward. Further thought and discussion needs to be given to this idea.




RW said groups were willing to come from Poland if accommodation could be found, as travel would be sponsored, and they would like to dance, sell beer & sausages, show a film, do a Quiz, A painter would like to exhibit, a fashion show, and some tourism promotion, all for Saturday.


PC & DW would probably be able to get a group to do folk dances from Europe, and DW said there was some money available for international dance costs, and also suggested a choral entry, by speaking to Michael Foad. DW is also a member of the East Kent Morris Men, who we would like to also have in the town.


AP & SB would be able to provide Breton dance group, but also suggested Cajun dancers & musicians, a Hurdy Gurdy, and suggested Tai Chi from a group who meet in Sandgate.


BW explained for Sunday we would like to have a spectacular finale spilling out onto the Leas, and has been in touch with Tradition Arts Projects who will teach workshops, and perform later in the day. It was thought a picnic with dancing music etc would be good.


Other ideas included a beach barbecue pit, with dancing & music one evening, and to create a Festival atmosphere circus skills and street entertainers were important.


Schools could be included by holding a painting competition, and linking schools to shops where their art could be displayed. Maybe worth asking for sponsors for different displays etc.


Everyone present was asked to produce a list of available displays, and when they would like to perform, for BW to start work on a timetable for the 4 days. Also if they have any contacts who may like to join us give email & phone number for BW 01303 850522 barbara_dot_witham_at_gmail_dot_com who will be the co-ordinator for the project.


SR said the Creative Foundation would be interested in getting involved, and JB would arrange a meeting with Peter Bettley. LM is keen to be involved with the art side, and BW has a meeting arranged with Mary Patterson of the Church Street Project, who will benefit from the sand castle competition.



Thursday 15th February 2007 at 5pm at the Leas Club.