Curtain falls on Coffs eisteddfod
COFFS Harbour’s 38th annual eisteddfod drew to a close yesterday after 22 days and nights of competition.
The C.ex Coffs Harbour and District Eisteddfod saw more than 2000 entries in close to 600 sections; handed out $12,000 in prize money and scholarships, and; spent more than $10,000 on airfares and accommodation for visiting adjudicators.
Eisteddfod treasurer Simon Chladil said he estimated the event was worth about $1 million to the local economy through the visitors it drew into the city and their spend on meals, accommodation and shopping during their visit, with some families staying up to a week.
He said entries came from as far north as the Gold Coast and Brisbane and as far south as Nowra and Sydney as well as from the Northern Tablelands.
Mr Chladil said they had introduced several new concepts this year, including an annual $1000 scholarship to be awarded for a different category of performance each year. This year the scholarship was for Dance.
“We hope to build it up in the years to come,” Mr Chladil said.
“I think we have proved that the cultural diversity in this town is not just sports oriented.” He said one high point for him this year had been seeing the Bellingen High School choir win over the adult choirs, while hearing the Hitunez orchestra performance had given him ‘a choke in my heart.’
Instrumental Section organising secretary Betty Bailey said her section was notable for the excellent standard of performance and enrolments were up.
“There is a lot of good string work being done and some excellent orchestras,” said Mrs Bailey, who has been involved with instrumental music in Coffs Harbour for more than 50 years.
Mrs Bailey said the group instrumental evening session had attracted an audience of 400 people to listen to young performers like the Hitunez orchestra and orchestras from Bellingen High School and Bishop Druitt College. Eisteddfod instrumentalists and singers will give an afternoon recital perform at Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery at 2pm on Sunday.