In 2018, Chinese New Year celebrations during the Year of the Dog, may have a brand new look thanks to a partnership Crowdfunding programme set up to help benefit arts, heritage and culture projects in Newcastle.

The Chinese Festivity Group (CFG) have applied to the new “Crowdfund Newcastle Culture” programme for match-funding as they need to raise £10,000 towards developing the celebrations, expanding the reach of the event and to re-instate the performance staged area to allow more people to enjoy the spectacular show.

The CFG has been in existence for over 17-years and it’s a collaboration of six local Chinese voluntary organisations including Newcastle Chinese Healthy Living Centre, South Mountain Chinese Older People’s Association, Newcastle Chinese Students and Scholars Association, North East Chinese Association, UK Choi Lee Fut Edmund Ng Association and Sino-Anglo Cultural Exchange Association.

The New Year celebrations are expected to be seen on a big scale by crowds swelling to around 15,000 people, all enjoying the heritage display by over 200 performers.

For the last three years the cultural event has been lower key due to limited funds available to organise the celebrations.

Crowdfund Newcastle Culture has been made available through the Newcastle Culture Investment Fund, a grants programme run in partnership by Newcastle City Council and the Community Foundation for Tyne & Wear and Northumberland.

Sow Fong Cole, a founder member of the Chinese Festivity Group, said: “For the first time we are looking to revitalise the Chinese New Year celebrations; with the additional funding we are looking to set up a special Chinese New Year Parade and also help develop two new women’s cultural programmes.”

“The Parade will not only involve the Chinese community, as we would like to invite other national groups to take part as well, which will make it unique. We would like to welcome everybody to get involved! Potentially we are looking for the funding to help bring the community together during our annual festivities.”

The New Year Parade will include visually stunning traditional lion, dragon and unicorn dances accompanied by flag wavers, banners, themed floats and inspiring drumming. It will be the first time a female drumming troupe have featured with the breath-taking Dragon Dance in Newcastle’s Chinatown. The drumming and dance content will be provided by the two new women’s programmes. The idea will be to start the parade at Old Eldon Square / Grey’s Monument and work its way to Chinatown.

The Chinese Festivity Group Crowdfunding page goes live on Wednesday August 23rd at 3pm, from which date they have one-month to reach their target amount. Here’s the Crowdfunding page link www.crowdfunder.co.uk/newcastle-chinese-new-year-parade-2018

The Community Foundation has committed £50k towards Crowdfund Newcastle Culture, and is limiting each organisation to a maximum pledge of £5,000 which could make up 50% of their overall target.

There are three easy steps: establish a financial target of up to £10,000; once the project has raised 25% from at least five unique backers you will trigger a 50% pledge against the total target. To be eligible the project must then go on to raise the full target to secure the income.

Councillor Kim McGuinness, Newcastle City Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture and Communities, said: “This partnership scheme will open the doors for a great number of fantastic, creative projects from both individuals and groups in the Newcastle area.

“Opportunities like Crowdfund Newcastle Culture are a good example of how funding opportunities are being developed to allow a hands on approach to project planning, financing and development. The beauty of this scheme is that a wide variety of different arts and culture projects can be submitted for consideration hopefully resulting in more of them achieving their goals. We hope creatives and groups embrace this, and we look forward to seeing more exciting projects delivered in Newcastle.”

Ellie Turner, Principal Advisor Culture at Community Foundation, said:  “Crowdfunding benefits both the giver and the project. Donors and investors do not make an immediate payment but rather pledge to receive a reward. Then, if the project meets their target, payment is taken. To attract givers, organisations offer rewards such as art, events, merchandise or tickets.

“The Community Foundation strives to help create partnership campaigns such as Crowdfund Newcastle Culture with organisations like Newcastle City Council and Crowdfunder as we have great belief in the high level of quality work being produced in the region.”

Jason Nuttall, Funding Manager at Crowdfunder added: “We’re delighted at the opportunity to Crowdfund Newcastle Culture and make available extra funds for arts projects crowdfunding in the City – who could double their money.

“Crowdfunder also has over £2million of other funds to distribute to projects to make their ideas happen. We’d encourage anyone thinking of crowdfunding to take a look at Crowdfunder and explore the opportunities.”

‘Crowdfund Newcastle Culture’ welcomes applications from individuals, groups and organisations from across the City.

For more information visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/newcastle-culture

Please note – groups and projects will only receive their match funding if their Crowdfunding project successfully reaches its target.