Community stories: 7 February 2024
The Kyabram Development Committee consists of an enthusiastic group of locals who recognised the need to inject some excitement, connection and economic support into their community. In the words of one of their committee members the goal was to ‘get Kyabram back on the map’, referencing the town’s off-the beaten track location between popular tourists’ routes. The Committee observed a large strain on the mental and financial wellbeing of their town’s residents, and were determined to do something about these challenges.
A $5,000 grant from FRRR’s Gardiner Foundation Community Grants program was pooled with the organiser, Kyabram Development Committee’s own fundraising, along with funding from the local Bendigo Bank, Ky Valley Dairies and other sources, to put on the Kyabram Tastes & Tunes street festival.
The Festival was successful in meeting its goal of fostering community connections. The Committee aimed to attract 1,000 people, but exceeded this with a bustling crowd estimated at around 4,000, demonstrating the event’s tremendous success. The Festival not only brought significant financial gains for local businesses, but also allowed Kyabram to highlight its strengths by featuring local products and produce. Positioned in the heart of one of Northern Victoria’s largest dairy and fruit orchard regions, the Festival provided numerous tasting opportunities. Additionally, it underscored why Kyabram is a fantastic place to live.
The FRRR grant funded Festival entertainment, which featured diverse offerings to attract all age groups. For children there were activities like face-painting, Youth Club games, fairy floss, and more. Adults enjoyed live music from both local performers and internationally recognised acts such as The Baker Boys. The town buzzed with people mingling and enjoying good company, delicious food and entertaining performances.
Committee member Tania reported that the night was amazing and it’s been suggested it’s the best family event ever held in Kyabram. This event went a long way towards the Committee’s aim of making it an annual, unmissable opportunity to visit the town.
The Kyabram Tastes and Tunes Festival certainly achieved many of FRRR’s Gardiner Foundation Community Grants program objectives. It effectively contributed to building community resilience, fostering cultural vibrancy, strengthening economic vigour, and importantly, improving community health and social wellbeing. On a final note, the Kyabram Development Committee thanked FRRR and the Gardiner Foundation for their donation, emphasising its vital role in the success of the event.