THE Australian Government is providing $100,000 to support this year’s Laura Dance Festival, Australia’s oldest Indigenous dance festival and a significant event highlighting the culture, language, song, dance, art and stories of the people of Cape York.
Federal MP Warren Entsch said the event, which takes place from today until Sunday, is a celebration of local culture involving generations of people, from elders to the very young.
“Many practise at home in their communities for weeks to bring their best performances to the event,” Mr Entsch said.
“The festival also provides people with an opportunity to showcase their businesses and products through their own stalls.
“The Laura Dance festival involves up to 500 traditional performers and is a major tourist attraction for the small community, drawing in more than 5000 people.”
The Government’s investment through the Indigenous Advancement Strategy will help cover the costs of this year’s festival.
“It is an important event culturally for Indigenous, non-Indigenous and locals alike,” Mr Entsch said. “This is the 34th Laura Dance Festival and the three-day event is growing bigger all the time.
“The festival is a great example of cultural pride and preservation on display.
“I want to acknowledge and congratulate the organisers, the host community of Laura, the participants and the sponsors for putting together a great festival.”
The event is being delivered in collaboration between the Cape York Laura Dance Festival Aboriginal Corporation and the Balkanu Cape York Development Corporation.