13 September 2016
Thanks to emergency financial support from Truro City Council and Totally Truro BID, Truro City of Lights parade will now take place as usual on November 23rd from 7pm using the same route as last year. There will not be an installation in Victoria Gardens this year.
The decision to move to Victoria Gardens was made for several reasons: to reduce the crowd and potential safety risks and to improve the quality of the experience, to try out something new artistically and to attempt to increase the donations from the public. This was met with a mixed reaction; some positive and excited by the prospect of something new. Others sad that things are changing. Others have been beyond negative.
City of Lights is run by a small Community Interest Company, with a group of Trustees who each year give their time and energy to secure funds, create, plan and deliver the event which, in recent years has grown massively in scale. Whilst safety and regulatory demands have increased, budgets haven’t.
City of Lights Artistic Director Tony Crosby, said, “Twenty years ago we set out to create a new and special tradition for Truro. It seems we have! Each year we create something unique and beautiful from scratch. And each year more and more people want to come and see it. This is wonderful but it has increased our costs beyond measure and our current business model is no longer sustainable”
This emergency funding has been granted on the understanding that new ways of financing the event are found. Key to this are businesses in Truro and donations from the general public.
Amanda Harris, City of Lights Trustee said, “Last year with an audience of 30,000 people we collected just £1,500 – this is less than 5p per person and is shameful. If people love this event, they must contribute to it or it will not continue. That is the stark reality. The responses to the proposed changes have been mixed – some have been beyond negative – but we have listened and, thanks to the support from Truro City Council and Totally Truro BID, we have been able to secure this much-loved event for this year”
A series of initiatives such as Crowdfunder, sponsorship and collecting on the night will be launched for this year. Donations can be made on the City of Lights website www.cityoflights.org.uk . If you would like to volunteer to collect money or even to run a coffee morning to raise funds for the event please contact email@example.com
“This is one of the most popular nights in Truro’s calendar, which brings the community out into town on a dark wintry evening with a sense of awe and pride. In order for it to be sustained for the next twenty years, it needs the people of Truro and the visitors to better support it through giving more. If we collaborate together we can continue to create and enjoy one of the biggest spectacles outside of the big cities.” Neil Scott, BID Manager.