Mundaring Truffle Festival moves to Curtin
Mundaring’s iconic Truffle Festival looks to be forever lost to the Perth Hills following news this week that Curtin University would host the event at its Bentley campus from 2014.
The two-day festival, which regularly drew more than 15,000 visitors to the Hills town, was cancelled in 2013 after the Shire of Mundaring declined to sign a funding contract with the State Government’s Eventscorp – the event’s principal sponsor – claiming a new legal clause in the contract would expose it to unacceptable levels of financial risk that could not be justified.
The clause has since been amended to a form acceptable to both parties, but the Shire decided against hosting another festival anyway, citing the following reasons:
– the risks and challenges the Shire identified for the 2013 festival were at least as significant, or more significant, for 2014; and
– there was some evidence of “saturation” appearing with the festival. Sponsors were increasingly difficult to secure, as were new and innovative stallholders and festival experiences.
The Shire said although it could not commit to a 2015 festival, it hoped the event could be revived if it amalgamated with the City of Swan.
However, the festival’s founders decided they could not wait and the university quickly stepped in to “adopt” the event.
Curtin University’s Ian Callahan said the Truffle Festival was “a great fit” with Curtin’s push to be more community focussed.
“Our campus is a perfect setting for a major event like this. We have so many beautiful, open green spaces and lush shaded areas,” he said.
He said the relaunched festival would include truffle, wine and food tastings, gourmet products, children’s activities and more.
A date for the festival would be announced early in the year. The first Mundaring Truffle Festival was held in 2007 and in 2012 was named as one of the top five truffle festivals in the world.