Plan to expand Vivid to Parramatta to even up tourism funding shortfall


Parramatta Council has enthusiastically backed a plan to extend the hugely successful Vivid festival to western Sydney.

The Council wants to lobby the NSW government for funding to bring the light and culture show to Parramatta.

Parramatta’s PHIVE building, which houses the library and council offices at Parramatta Square, has previously been lit up for occasions.

Parramatta Lord Mayor Sameer Pandey said Western Sydney historically received a smaller share of tourism funding than eastern Sydney, with Destination NSW funding 354 events in eastern Sydney between 2015-2022, and only 137 in the west during the same period.

“Western Sydney continues to receive a smaller proportion of Destination NSW funding for tourism and events, including international sports, cultural, creative and arts events,” Pandey told The Sydney Morning Herald.

“One way to address the imbalance in funding festivals and events across Greater Sydney is for the NSW government to invest in a Vivid Parramatta program.”

Minister for the Arts and Tourism John Graham conceded they needed to do more to support arts and culture in the west but preferred to see Western Sydney come up with its own ideas.

“I want to see the events calendar across Western Sydney expanded, but I don’t want to see ideas imported from the east,” he said.