The Age ran a terrific story yesterday, speaking to organisers and Castlemaine locals about their 10-day arts festival featuring opera, theatre, cabaret, music, dance, local food and visual arts starting tomorrow.
About 35,000 people are expected at the festival and the cost of running the festival carbon neutral is about 1% of its total budget.
The festival’s artistic director Caroline Stacey with The Mt Alexander Sustainability Group worked together to present a festival which is aimed to “dawn as an agent of good in the fight against global warming.”
To fight global warming, patrons have been urged to:
As well as the festival venues, local businesses have agreed to switch to green power energy for the festival duration and teams of students will wash dishes instead of using paper plates on the festival’s final day.
The local push to fight global warming was originally the idea of the founder of the Mt Alexander Sustainability Group, retired businesswoman, Heather Barrett.
About 18 months ago, Heather, her husband, Neil and others with money behind them formed a sustainability group that is:
But it wasn’t a cinch to convince members of the local Rotary Club, which contributes $7500 to the festival to support the festival’s carbon neutral stance.
“We just needed someone to come and explain to us what carbon neutral is all about,” Rotary Club president Paul Malherbe told The Age in explaining their hesitation.
“Seventy per cent of our members are over 55 or 60 years old and many don’t know what it’s about.”
Local businesses are getting in on the carbon neutral act, even if only for the festival’s duration. Local butcher, Mark Kemp told The Age he can’t afford the premium for green power through the hear but is going with it during the festival because it’s “good to get on board”.
89 year-old festival founder and timber miller, Berek Segan supports the festival’s new focus on global warming.
Encouragingly, he told The Age that reducing greenhouse output is now “hugely on the agenda in Castlemaine”.