NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell announced on Tuesday that the Sydney Festival will receive $1.7m supplementary funding.

The $1.7m includes $500,000 specifically for a program of events in Western Sydney, enabling the Sydney Festival to work collaboratively with Parramatta City Council on a 10-day festival of free and ticketed events.

O’Farrell said the funding boost was part of the Government’s pledge to deliver more events in Western Sydney.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for Western Sydney families to attend and enjoy festival events in their region. To be able to enjoy a concert or stage performance without having to travel into the city will be great for families and seniors,” he said.

The remaining $1.2m will be directed towards the overall program of events. Festival director Lindy Hume responded enthusiastically to the news.

“The additional funding for the Parramatta program will enable us to truly celebrate Sydney — a city which has not one but two CBDs,” she said.

“We plan to reflect Parramatta’s dynamism and cultural diversity with a program that not only welcomes local audiences but will also have city audiences jumping on trains and Rivercats to Parramatta to be where the action is in 2012.

“Our plans include a free opening celebration focusing on the Parramatta River, a week of dynamic performances — including a Festival Bar — in Riverside Theatres and the return of Festival Inside Out to Parramatta Park, featuring free performances by two of Australia’s premier performing arts companies.”

The Sydney Festival will run January 78 – 29 2012, with the 10-day festival in Western Sydney within these dates.

INFO: www.sydneyfestival.org.au

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