Ilfracombe Victorian Week was once one of the cultural highlights of the town, with hundreds of local people dressing up in costume to learn about and celebrate the Victorian heritage of the town and to encourage visitors to do the same.
Sadly over the last years the event has fallen victim to funding crises and dwindling local support. The committee is a small handful of dedicated people determined to breathe new life into the event. They have decided to engage the services of an Artistic Director and with his help are developing a new approach to the event for 2016.
The plan includes encouraging local people to become involved once again in particular by engaging the schools and, via them, the young people of the town to participate actively in the event. Historically the infant school has always attended one day at the event with all the children dressing up for the day and parading through the town to attend a performance on the seafront. It is hoped that the other schools will also take part in similar fashion this year.
In addition, the second weekend of the Festival is to be a Victorian Gala Weekend with a parade, firework 'Last night at the Seafront' event and other open air attractions on the seafront. The fireworks has always attracted thousands of local people to the finale. This year we hope to expand this event into a full weekend of programmed attractions and it is for this weekend for which funds are needed. If the final weekend of the event is a success then it will sow the seed for the following years in the minds of local people that the event is worth supporting. Sponsorship for the fireworks has already been secured, along with some funds from the local council and hard-earned funds from many smaller-scale fundraising efforts by the committee. We now need your help to build the event around the last night into a weekend of joy, fun and Victorian revelry for the whole town with shows and street theatre that everyone can enjoy.
This year's Celebration will include a Steampunk gathering at that weekend. This began in its infancy last year and was so well received that we are looking to increase the footfall to the event by adding some specific Steampunk features to the Gala Weekend programme. This will include tea duelling, a best dressed Steampunk competition and an Steampunk art competition to involve some of the local schools and colleges.
In return for your pledges of support, we can offer exciting and worthwhile rewards in the form of special VIP tickets for some of the events and some great souvenirs of your help.
Risks and challenges
The event is going to happen whatever. The committee has worked long and hard to develop a programme of activities, but we really need to bring in some professional performances into the Gala Weekend to make it memorable. We want it to be an unqualified, wholehearted success which, with your support, it will be.
We have a range of acts and shows pencilled and if the project is successful then we will be able to confirm their attendance.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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