Val strings together ukulele plans
MAYOR Val Schier wants Cairns to be the ukulele capital of the world.
A Cairns film festival to rival Cannes, an eclipse festival in 2012 and a shake-up of the popular Crocodile Trophy cycling race are also on the cards.
"There is no ukulele festival in the southern hemisphere," Cr Schier said.
"Because ukuleles are associated with Pacific Islanders, and we have such a big Pacific Island community in Cairns, you just have visions of people in tropical shirts on every corner in Cairns.
"It is a relatively easy instrument to learn."
The unusual bid to gain new internationally-acclaimed events for the region follows criticism that Cairns has missed the boat by not adapting its tourism offerings.
Cr Schier plans to meet Queensland Events boss Michael Denton to nut out a events wishlist and strategy for the region.
Mr Denton has said a lack of planning in Cairns during the past 10 years had other destinations such as the Gold Coast, Townsville and Sunshine Coast far ahead on the event map.
Cr Schier said contacts were already working in Los Angeles to initiate a local film festival like the star-attracting Cannes festival "to put Cairns on the map".
"The film festival one has got legs (and) we've already been having discussions," she said.
Transforming the Crocodile Trophy - a cycling race that now starts at Mareeba and finishes at Cape Tribulation - could include starting and finishing the event in Cairns in future years.
Cr Schier said other ideas to be investigated included more sporting events and working on improving Festival Cairns and Cairns Amateurs.
One event already on the cards for Cairns is the Pacific Island Forum, where 16 Pacific nations will meet in Cairns in August .
"We have all the infrastructure - we just need to handle the events," she said.
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Left field idea: Mayor Val Schier wants Cairns to become the ukulele captial of the world.
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