The Kimberley and District Chamber of Commerce is looking at life after KIOTAC and don’t much like the view.
While Chamber President Darren Close says it was perhaps inevitable that the venerable festival would eventually end just given demographics, it was still a shock to see it end so abruptly.
“I appreciate and understand why they withdrew,” Close said. “But it was hugely important for businesses and it leaves a big hole.”’
It’s a hole that has to be filled in some way, Close says, though what the solution may be hasn’t been entirely thought out yet.
One thing the Chamber believes could be a help is a City-sponsored Event Coordinator.
“Our business leaders have voiced a need for a City of Kimberley Event Coordinator, an expert of the festival and event process,” Close wrote in a letter to Kimberley City Council. “Festivals bring not only economic growth to our city but awareness of the vast amenities Kimberley has to offer. The Chamber membership would be keen to support an Event coordinator.”
Close is hopeful the City will consider the request. He also hopes the City would be willing to work with the Chamber on coming up with something to replace KIOTAC, though he grants it may never be possible to duplicate its success.
“We don’t necessarily think we can replace KIOTAC but maybe we could grow it into a music festival that includes a KIOTAC component, maybe blues or jazz, a multi-genre event.”
Key to this would be KITAC volunteers and board members being willing to mentor a new festival.
“The have knowledge and skill,” Close said. “They could be mentors for what happens next. “This could be an opportunity for KIOTAC to evolve.
“We want to do the best we can to fill the hole KIOTAC leaves.”