DAVID LASKEYTo study food and wine festivals - Ireland, U.K., Italy, France, USA
My Churchill Fellowship in 2002 was one of the highpoints during almost a decade long career in festival and events.
Having worked on the Taste of Tasmania for some 4 years as the event director I was in need of inspiration and ideas to take it to the next phase in its evolution.
Through my fellowship I was able to visit a unique range of events that each had different origins and resource issues. The Bantry Mussel Faire in Ireland was a great example of a small locally driven festival but based around just one product…. beautiful mussels. Free to eat in this stunning west coast town throughout the event.
The Taste of Chicago was almost the opposite. A huge event with a multi-million dollar budget where the volumes of food were truly staggering and the crowds enormous.
These and other events I visited opened the door to a new way of viewing how one creates and manages events, and the opportunity to sometimes look beyond budgets and to garner synergies and relationships for harnessing new resources.
Following my travels viewing events in Ireland, England, France, Italy and the USA I returned bursting with ideas and models for new events many of which were low on resource requirements but high on building partnerships with other stakeholders.
FELLOWSHIP CONCLUSIONS & OUTCOMES
Programs for the Taste of Tasmania, Hobart Summer Festival and Antarctic Midwinter Festival in the following 5 years were significantly enhanced by the people, places and events I was able to interact with through my fellowship.
Since my last festival in 2007 I still take an active interest in events and am a keen observer of the evolution of The Taste however I prefer to turn up and enjoy the fruits of its progressions these days. I now work for the Tasmanian Government and have been delighted at the way our events industry has evolved since I first became involved in 1999.
For our small size and modest population I think we enjoy one of the best events programs in the country.
I also have more time now for my passions of bushwalking, cycling and kayaking where this state provides endless opportunity.