Mayor's Wellington Column 31 October 2018

“Congratulations”, “hats off”, “well done”, “bravo”, “great work”, and “top marks” are all the words I would like to use to thank the highly creative and energetic crew of Wellington Arts who organised the Fong Lee Lane Festival last Friday night.

By all reports, the festival was a massive success! It has added to the vibrancy of the main street, shown off some local artistic talent, engaged inmates from the correctional centre (for artistic work), attracted visitors to Wellington while at the same time gave locals a fantastic night of festivities.

I particularly like the Fong Lee Lane concept. On one hand it celebrates a harmonious multicultural society while on the other, it also pays tribute to Wellington’s rich and proud history.

As Mayor, I am very keen to work with Wellington Arts to permanently improve Fong Lee Lane and boost the festival.  Think about the possibilities. We know that Wellington needs more energy and vibrancy in our main street. There are too many vacant shops and the area needs more foot traffic.

An annual festival at a revitalises Fong Lee Lane would not only attract interest during the actual festival, but will also value add to the CBD as the lane has the potential to be radically improved into a living outdoor museum in the old Chinese style.  The talking points for locals and visitors alike would be economically enormous for Wellington.

One of the things that particularly makes this festival attractive and well attended is the drive of Lisa Thomas and Wellington Arts. The success of a festival like Fong Lee Lane is usually only possible due to a dedicated and energetic volunteer organisation like Wellington Arts.

That’s why on behalf of Council, and the wider community I give a huge thanks to Wellington Arts and continue to try and think of even more words like “bravo” and “congratulations” in order to give praise to these dedicated volunteers.

Last Edited: 31 Oct 2018

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