Funding round opens for local festivals and events

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Warrnambool City Council will provide up to $130,000 in funding for festivals and events as part of a revamped grants program.

The Festivals and Events Grants and Sponsorship Program allows small and medium events to apply for grants of up to $5,000 while large festivals and events can apply for up to $10,000 in funding. 

Established, recurring events that are considered part of the fabric of the Warrnambool events calendar can also apply for sponsorship via this program. 

Warrnambool Mayor Cr Debbie Arnott encouraged existing event organisers, as well as anyone with an idea for a new event, to have a look at the program.

“At Council, we recognise the vital role events play in making our city a popular visitor destination, as well as a fun and vibrant place to live,” she said.

“We support, partner, facilitate and deliver about 150 events every year.

“These grants aim to build on what is already a wonderfully diverse events calendar delivered by passionate, talented people and organisations.

“Especially for a smaller event, this grant could potentially cover most of the costs, so if you have a vision and the commitment to bring your event to life, we’re here to help you succeed.”

Warrnambool City Council Acting Director City Growth Luke Coughlan said that funding had been combined from a number of different sources to create a streamlined process that will make planning easier for event organisers.

“The recently introduced Activate Warrnambool Grants are being combined with funding previously allocated for events via the Community Development Fund, with a new category for business events and conferences included for the first time,” he said.

“Having one, larger program makes things more straightforward for event organisers looking for Council funding, and from our perspective, it gives us more clarity on what the city’s events calendar looks like and how it aligns with our overall Events Strategy.”

First introduced as part of Council’s COVID recovery program, Activate Warrnambool Grants provide seed funding for new events that take place outside of the peak tourism season.

“Activate Warrnambool was so well received by the community and led to the birth of some really great events,” Mr Coughlan said.
“We are now enshrining it as an ongoing part of our events funding mix, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the exciting proposals put forward.

“Additionally, we made the decision to introduce a separate category for business events and conferences to try and attract more of these types of events to Warrnambool.

“As well as providing professional development opportunities to people in our region that they would normally have to travel for, business events and conferences are usually held on weekdays and during off-peak times. Attendees usually spend one or more nights in the city, providing an important economic boost during quieter times.”

Applications open Monday, May 22 and close on June 18.