A controversial motion to relinquish control of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade and Fairday to the City of Sydney Council will be put to Mardi Gras Members at the Annual General Meeting in August.
The proposed motion by former Mardi Gras Chair, David Imrie and Mardi Gras Member, Josh Keech is designed to be “purposely controversial” and comes following the recent news that Mardi Gras is expected to post a loss of more than $177,000 on the 2014 Festival.
The proponents state: “Mardi Gras has been slowly dying for at least four years. This is not the fault of any individual or group of directors, staff or volunteers, but is a reality of the model that we use to make a profit.”
“We were told at the last General Meeting that Mardi Gras could run for two more years at a loss. Based on the previous years, it would be unlikely that we would run at a profit for two consecutive years. Basically we are close to liquidation, whether it be in two years, three years or four.
“These motions are not about losing the intent or objectives of Mardi Gras. Through the wording of the motions we, the members, have the ability to direct the Board to ensure that, regardless of who runs our precious, spectacular show, we can ensure that Mardi Gras remains.”
“The City of Sydney has demonstrated its ability to deliver world-class, high quality and sustainable community events. From New Year’s Eve to the Chinese New Year, it has shown that it has a genuine interest to celebrate diversity in our City and the resources to provide to these events.
However, a spokesperson for the City of Sydney has said: “The future of Mardi Gras is a decision for its Board and Members. The City has not received a formal request from Mardi Gras to take over the festival operations.”
“For many years the City of Sydney has played an important supporting role, providing cash and value in-kind sponsorship assistance to Mardi Gras, and consistently championing the festival. In 2013 and 2014 the City provided $400,000 in cash sponsorship and $252,700 of in-kind support.”
The 2014 Mardi Gras AGM will be held on Saturday 23 August. For more information, visit: www.mardigras.org.au for details.
Image: courtesy of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras