Community groups seek to launch street festivals in City of Bayswater

The Morley Momentum is proposing to host the Laneway Fiesta on Progress Street, Morley. Picture: Kristie Lim
The Morley Momentum is proposing to host the Laneway Fiesta on Progress Street, Morley. Picture: Kristie Lim

TWO community groups are planning to bring street festivals to Morley and Bayswater for the first time in more than a decade, in a bid to activate the town centres.

Baysie Rollers and The Morley Momentum applied for $20,000 and $15,000 in funding as part of the City of Bayswater’s major town centre events funding.

Baysie Rollers are proposing to host the Bayswater Street and Arts Festival, with plans for Indigenous activities, song-making workshops with school choirs, jukeboxes, a musical event and historical dance.

The Morley Momentum, formed in March, is planning a Laneway Fiesta festival in Progress Street, which will feature food trucks, stalls from surrounding food businesses, entertainment and additional infrastructure.

At the November 13 committee meeting, Bayswater Council unanimously supported Councillor Catherine Ehrhardt’s motion to defer its final decision until the November 27 council meeting, pending information on where extra funding could be provided to the groups.

Officers had recommended approving $10,000 in funding for The Morley Momentum and $13,500 for Baysie Rollers.

Cr Ehrhardt said she wanted to see something happening in the two suburbs.

“I think they are both deserving and I think we need to look at really supporting two great community groups and two centres that desperately need a major event,” she said.Acting chief executive Des Abel said if the council resolved to spend above the available budget amount of $23,500, there would need to be a budget reallocation by council.

Baysie Rollers and The Morley Momentum to seek more funds

Baysie Rollers chair David Lee said if the City reduced funding for the festival, it could have a flow-on effect to Lotterywest funding less than its anticipated $20,000 commitment.

“Street festivals are a unique and special way of involving the entire community, including businesses, residents and local sporting groups, community groups, artists and landowners,” he said.

“Having a festival in the town centre has economical benefits for local businesses and builds the perception that Bayswater is a place to attract further business over time.

“We believe the festival will also be a catalyst, the beginning of an ongoing town centre activation project that can alleviate some of the impact created during that prolonged Metronet construction period.”

He said the group was applying for grants from the Department of Communities, Healthway and Bendigo Bank.

The Morley Momentum president Suzana Russo said the group wanted to attract between 2000 and 10,000 people from culturally diverse backgrounds to gather around car parks and laneways in Morley.

“We are being co-sponsored by Bendigo Bank who have provided us with $5000 towards the event,” she said.

“With a $20,000 budget, we will be able to afford staging, power, lighting, food and drink, vendors, entertainment, furniture, signage, security, management and so on.

“Street festivals are beneficial for all and it is time for Morley to have its own.”