EVEN God isn’t immune from WA’s economic slump.
After 74 years, Carols by Candlelight at Langley Park has been cancelled due to a lack of sponsors.
Organiser Variety WA is $290,000 short of the $350,000 it needs to hold the event, and on Monday announced the nativity set won’t be coming out this year.
Perth council had agreed to inject $60,000, but other sponsors hadn’t re-committed.
Last year naming rights went to IGA, but the event had to be cancelled due to terrible weather.
Variety WA CEO Tony Hume said they’d negotiated with LotteryWest, the WA Symphony Orchestra and corporate sponsors but realised there’d be a shortfall.
“We understand the current economic climate has forced many businesses to re-examine their giving capacity,” Mr Hume said.
“We had to consider whether we were in a position to underwrite the event, or whether we should instead be directing those funds to help children with needs in WA.
“In the end, we took the very difficult decision that we could not afford to continue to run Carols by Candlelight in its current form and we are very disappointed to have had to make this choice.
“We hope that West Australians will understand that our priority is helping children who are sick, disadvantaged or have special needs, and we need to be able to meet the high demand for our services.
“We need to focus our efforts on things like providing scholarships, wheelchair accessible vehicles, adjustable beds and sensory play equipment to children,”
There may still be a smaller event run with the City of Perth’s money.
Lord mayor Lisa Scaffidi, currently suspended along with the rest of the Perth council, said via Twitter: “The state government & City of Perth should co-sponsor Carols by Candlelight ‘18 in a year of need.
“A family tradition that must not be lost despite corporate sponsorship difficulty. The spirit of Christmas is important for children/families. Just like Skyworks on Australia Day.”