Alive in the Park, run in collaboration between YASSarts and Yass Valley Council has won Most Innovative Youth Week Program 2022, presented at the Local Government Week Awards in Sydney on Thursday, 4 August.

 The award recognises the level of youth participation at Alive in the Park, the event’s originality and the innovative ways young people were included in the event planning. 

YVC Director of Corporate and Community Lynette Safranek holding the Most Innovative Youth Week Program award

Some 1000 young people and their families attended the free, live music and arts festival held at Riverbank Park on Saturday, 21 May, representing about a quarter of all young people in Yass Valley. 

 Alive in the Park gave nine local and emerging youth bands a platform to showcase their skills and talents on, and three Yass High School students gained work experience in sound and lighting production, event management, media interviews, photography and social media before and during the event.  

 One of the emerging bands that was discovered at Alive in the Park has since gone on to perform professionally. 

 Alive in the Park also saw local Aboriginal woman Tyahn Bell along with elder Aunty Lillian Bell, perform Acknowledgement of Country to the Yass community and showcased the benefits of community organisations and agencies working together. On the day, there were food trucks, markets, roaming performers, emergency service vehicle displays (NSW Police, NSW Rural Fire Service, Fire and Rescue NSW and NSW State Emergency Service), headspace Yass hangout tents, Rotary jumping castle, a moonlight cinema and colouring-in tent. 

Band ‘Archie’ Alive in the Park Yass 2022

 Alive in the Park organiser Keith Rosario said the award gives organisers the confidence to return the event in 2023. 

 “The Alive in the Park festival demonstrated what can be achieved when community and Council come together in a shared vision of bringing fun live events to the young people of the Yass Valley.  Live music and the arts are essential to strengthen and grow the social fabric of our community,” said Mr Rosario. 

Organisers Chad Croker, Al Phemister, Max McGrath, and Keith Rosario (Photo by Charlotte McPherson)

 Yass Valley Council’s Director of Corporate and Community, Lynette Safranek, said the award acknowledges all the hard work that went on behind the scenes by event organisers and volunteers and reinforces the fact Alive in the Park meets the needs of local young people.

 “After a challenging couple of years for young people, we were thrilled to be approached by YASSarts in early 2021 to assist with Alive in the Park,” said Mrs Safranek.

 “The events and activities allowed young people to reconnect with each other and their community after COVID-19. Alive in the Park also provided a safe space for young people to grow and their ideas to flourish – all key objectives of the Council’s social plan. 

 “Council is currently developing a robust youth program that covers all of Yass Valley and will be proud to support a future Alive in the Park.” 

 Alive in the Park is due to return in early 2023.