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Committee progress report, 28 May 2018

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Progress update from the President: the Winter Magic Festival committee had its regular meeting last night and decided it is a good time to answer a few questions about how the Winter Magic Festival came to be in hiatus in 2018, and explain what the association and the committee do.

One of the amazing achievements of the Winter Magic Festival is that it has always been organised by community members – volunteers. It is a not-for-profit incorporated association, led by an elected committee, and it runs on good will, dedication, and very, very hard work, often by a surprisingly small number of people. Producing that day of wonder every solstice takes thousands of unpaid hours over the course of the preceding year. It's quite something that the Winter Magic Festival has been able to do this for nearly 25 years and has become such a major event for Katoomba, the Blue Mountains, and beyond.
The success and growth of the Winter Magic Festival, along with the increasing pressure of government regulation in this state, meant that every year committee members had to jump through more and more hoops and deal with rapidly increasing costs. Late last year the committee, with great sadness, reached the decision that it was not possible to stage the festival in 2018, and that it was time to take a year out to refresh the festival and consider new ways of dealing with the regulatory and other requirements of a festival of this scale. Over summer the majority of members of that committee stood down and on 26 March 2018 the association met and elected a new committee to take the festival forward. 
The committee of the Winter Magic Festival Association has one (big) job, which is to do the things that make the festival happen – it organises stalls and performers, does the planning, meets the requirements of regulatory bodies. However, if a critical issue comes up, such as the future of the festival, the association will be called on to decide it in a general meeting. 
I would like to reiterate that members of the association and interested members of the public are invited to observe our committee meetings and last night I was delighted to see so many new and prospective association members in the room. As a general rule, committee members do the talking during meetings, but the chair/president will occasionally seek input from association members and there will always be time for questions and discussion at the end.
To become a member of the Winter Magic Festival Association, or to confirm your membership, please email our secretary, Ian Dudley-Bestow, on stating you would like to join, and he will tell you how to deposit the funds necessary to secure your membership – it's the princely sum of $2.

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