Thursday, 6 September 2018


Get in early to get a great campsite with your friends. We are pleased to now open bookings for next years Canowindra Balloon Challenge. Caravan and Motorhome clubs are really welcome  as are individuals, couples  and families.  Just book through the website

Festival Director Position Vacant

Position Vacant

            Festival Director

Contract Type 
8 month contract position commencing October 2018
Canowindra NSW
Reporting to       
Canowindra Challenge Inc Board 
Reply To               


About the Festival

The  Canowindra International Balloon Challenge  is held annually in the 2nd week of the NSW April school holidays. The festival has grown over the years into a significant regional festival. The management of the festival is undertaken by Canowindra Challenge Inc  executive, who are elected annually at an annual general meeting.. The Festival Director will be an appointed ex officio member of the committee. 

The ideal candidate

The committee seeks a qualified and experienced person with a vision to develop and raise the profile of this event into an exciting sustainable major Australian Festival. The successful candidate will be passionate about our program and events and will grow, develop and embrace our festival as it continues to develop into a sustainable annual event. 

The Festival Director will engage professionally with festival sponsors, partners, friends, performers volunteers and the general public. The ideal candidate will be experienced in the management of major events, with the ability to deliver outcomes in a timely manner and within set budgets. The Festival Director will program Festival sub events  in consultation with local community, cultural groups and The Canowindra Challenge Inc. executive.

The Festival Director will have the creative skills and ability to constructively assist the committee in further development of our vision for the future.  In particular the future aim of the committee is to ensure that the festival become self-sustaining.

The initial position is for eight months, up to May 31st 2019. This initial engagement will enable the successful candidate to be part of the 2019 Canowindra International Balloon Challenge and provide an opportunity to become familiarized with the event as it currently stands.  Upon successful completion and review of this contract, and subject to funding, the committee may offer a further 12 month contract to June 2020, with a view to 2 more years after that.

Key Responsibilities and Duties

         In conjunction with the committee, to oversee the general programming, planning and vision of the 2019 festival
         Provide leadership and championing for performers, sponsors, partners and friends as part of the 2019 program
         Actively seek opportunities for festival programming including 3 new ticketed events for 2019.
         Report development and progress of the festival program at regular festival committee meetings
         Maintain and establish contact with people and organisations that can assist in delivering innovative and exciting program events and marketing these events.
         Develop and implement valid and credible statistical criteria for the measurement of various festival events
         To involve and utilise local community groups and resources for creative development and skills where possible.
         To work within the guidelines of Canowindra Challenge Inc (CCI) strategic plan goals and objectives.
         Develop an Event Operations Manual
         Co ordinate and liase with event sub contractors eg. Market organisers.
         Liase with the Volunteer Manager.
         Review other major regional events to gain insights into improvements for Canowindra International Balloon Challenge

The 3 KPI’s for this role are
1.       The successful applicant will be expected to increase the overall revenue for 2019 by at least $50,000
2.       Enhance the program to have more mid week events including 3 new ticketed events
3.       Develop the Event Operations  Manual

Skill Requirements and Selection Criteria

         Demonstrated experience in programming and the ability to generate creative ideas that lead to successful outcomes and experiences for festival attendees
         Experience in event planning and management of events and programs
         Comprehensive knowledge of the grants environment for potential funding and experience in writing and acquitting grant applications
          Excellent communication skills
         Ability to investigate and identify how to make this role and the festival self-sustaining 
         Financial experience in the management of a $200k plus event budget
         Ability to Implement reliable evaluation and measurement methodologies appropriate to events and functions – with particular emphasis on the requirements of grants bodies 
         Experience in liaising with sponsors and other event and community stakeholders.
         Demonstrated experience in engagement with various community and cultural groups, local authorities, regional tourism groups and other relevant stakeholders and communities including managing and working with festival volunteers.
         An understanding of statutory issues such WHS, planning requirements, and council permit requirements, associated with public events.
         Be able to visualise the big picture whilst not losing sight of the small details

Conditions of Contract 

         This is a fixed term eight month contract position commencing immediately after confirmation of the success of the grant application which is expected by end of October 2018.
         The position is a contract position  and is regarded as the probationary period for consideration of a further contract for the 2019/2020 financial year
         The possibility of two further years from July 2020 is envisaged, depending upon funding.
         The director is responsible to the CCI committee, through the committee chairperson.
         The director will work closely with the committee treasurer in all budgetary matters 
         The contract position will be reviewed after 3 months (January 2019) against the set KPI’s.
         The director will be remunerated by invoice to the committee at agreed intervals (minimum of monthly)
         The director will work his/her from own home/office, and is expected to have an ABN, and to supply his/her own mobile phone, transport, office facilities, Public Liability insurance and Worker’s compensation and if appropriate be GST registered.
         The Director will be available to commence work around October 2018
         The Director will be expected to attend regular face to face meetings with the executive. These will be fortnightly until mid January thence weekly.

Application Process

Applications for the position are to be submitted in one Word document, headed Canowindra Challenge Festival Director, via email to : 

Canowindra Challenge Inc.

Any questions regarding the position may be directed Jan on her email above. Phone queries should be directed to Graham Kerr. on 0427441819

Applications should include a cover letter, CV and response to selection criteria as follows:
      Cover letter  o Full name, address, and contact details (mob. phone, email, other applicable) o A short explanation of what you bring to the role, and what you hope to achieve in the role.
      CV (3 pages maximum) o All relevant employment experience with dates o All relevant educational qualifications and training
o     Details of two referees (will only be contacted with your approval)
      Response to Key Selection Criteria o Responses should provide examples of experience from your work history.
o     If the commencement date is unsuitable, please advise in this response

Tuesday, 3 July 2018


Breaking News.....We have just been announced as a Finalist in the Events and Festivals category of the Regional Tourism Awards., Country and Outback region. The Gala presentation night is in Orange on Saturday 28th July. at the Greehouse.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Canowindra Features on Sydney Weekender!

Did you tune in and watch the Sydney Weekender's feature on Canowindra on Sunday evening? If you missed it, take a look at it here!

Tuesday, 4 April 2017


With only 2 weeks till lift off for Canowindra International Balloon Challenge things are buzzing. As the excitement builds the committee are pleased to announce that the Hummingbird from the Balloon Capital of the World ….. Albuquerque …… is coming to the Balloon Capital of Australia …. Canowindra
This spectacular special shape balloon will not only hum across our skies but will light up at the Cabonne Country Balloon Glow on Saturday 22nd April. “It is indeed a great thrill for us to have the Hummingbird coming” said Jan Kerr.
The number of volunteers is growing daily. A group of wonderful students, all in the Duke of Edinburgh scheme, along with teacher Andrew Phelan from Canowindra High School have volunteered to be one of the Target Teams for the balloon competition. “This service to our community organisation shows what a truly responsible group of students we have here in town” said Chairman of Canowindra Challenge Inc, Graham Kerr.
The program is now printed and as well as being on as a flipbook on the website   it is available at Visitor Information Centres and selected outlets around the Central West.
Finally, please purchase your tickets to the Balloon Glow through the website and for Canowindra residents please pre purchase tickets from the Age of Fishes Museum for $15. This offer is only available from the Museum until Wednesday 19th April.

Come and enjoy the spectacle and “Share Our Air” 18th to 25th April.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Official Program is now hot off the press

Check out the 2017 Canowindra International Balloon Challenge Program hot off the press. Entitled “Share Our Air”, the program embodies the essence of the event which will draw visitors from far and wide and locals out and about for a huge week of balloon chasing fun from 18th to 25th April.

Welcome to The Riches of the Region
The program kicks off with an official welcome from Graham Kerr, Canowindra Balloon Challenge Inc Chair, and Ian Gosper, Mayor of Cabonne. 

Visitors and locals alike are invited to enjoy the abundant pleasures including local food, wine and hospitality. We encourage you to experience all that is on offer including a smorgasbord of culture, art, nature and fun.

Plan Your Balloon Challenge Right Now
The perfect tool to successfully plan your visit to the Canowindra Balloon Challenge, the program provides a full list of ballooning events, spectator events and the entire line-up for the Balloon Glow evening on the Saturday.

Click through to the program page on the website and flip through to see the full program of events. 

Click through and then flip through to see what's on for the week.

Saturday, 11 February 2017


Gun pilots will be jockeying for position to snatch a prize worth approximately $6,500 officially announced for the Kavanagh Balloon Grab at the Canowindra Balloon Challenge this year.

One of the Most Spectacular Events

The major piece of ballooning equipment will be up for grabs in what is arguably one of the most spectacular events in the program line-up which will run from April 18th to 25th.

In the competition, balloons launch from a site of their choosing (at a minimum distance away) as declared by the flight director according to wind conditions on the day.

The aim is to fly in and try to pluck a large key from the top of a flagpole. The key represents the major prize for the first one to get it.

Not to Be Missed

Spectators gather outside a safety exclusion zone around the flagpole to watch the fleet approach and cheer the pilots on. This is not part of the weekly point score but is a separate ‘not to be missed’ event.