Council continues to respond to the challenges posed by COVID-19 and has adapted many of our activities to a new online delivery model as a result of the closure of many of our facilities; and Council is promoting across our digital platforms the delivery of these services under the hashtag #openforbusinessbutdifferently. A range of the initiatives being undertaken by Council are summarised below. These activities are helping support the local community with activities and events that can be access and in some instances support local businesses.
Since 23 March 2020 when the Library, Museums, BVIC, BMEC and Art Gallery were shut a range of programs have been delivered differently including;
Bathurst Library: livestreamed story times, craft and other virtual activity, temporary e-memberships and a new call & collect book borrowing service.
Economic Development: 10 week competition to promote the Buy Local gift cards with an opportunity to win gift cards by shopping at participating businesses
Events: Virtual Mother’s Day promotion encouraging locals to shop locally at businesses in the local area which remain open, either physically or online. Events have also co-ordinated a competition across all of Council’s Facebook pages encouraging locals to share their photos from previous events or visits to our cultural facilities using the hashtag #bathursttogether. A series of Buy Local gift cards are being given away as part of the competition, again to help support local businesses. Planning is also well underway on delivering the Bathurst Winter Festival in 2020 in a different format to provide support for local businesses and the entertainment industry.
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery: BRAG has launched OurCity:BRAG Town an online digital exhibition and are providing a range of content relating to gallery programs across digital platforms.
Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre: BMEC hosted the 2020 Bathurst Writers and Readers Festival as a virtual event with all sessions streamed via Facebook live.
Bathurst Visitor Information Centre: is continuing to answer enquiries via phone and email and is filming a series of virtual tours of the city for their website. The first of these has been launched and features the Carillon.
Museums Bathurst: The Museums unit is providing a range of digital content across social media platforms including behind the scenes activities. The Australian Fossil & Mineral Museum has introduced audiences to Dominic the Dinosaur who is sharing not only child-friendly COVID-19 information but also engaging content about the museum.
Bathurst Children’s Services: Both Family Day Care and Scallywags are providing a range of content and information for children who may not be utilising the services currently, or unable to attend playgrounds. The service is using technology to keep in touch with Family Day Care educators and children while craft packs are other materials have also been developed for children at home.
Other initiatives: The 2020 Waste2Art competition is proceeding with entrants creating their artworks at home and submitting photos which will form an online exhibition rather than a physical exhibition.