27 November 2023

Victorian Government opens Tiny Towns grants and lifts curtain on regional performing arts tours

| Andrew McLaughlin
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Small and regional towns in Victoria will soon be able to apply for project grants, and will have greater access to the performing arts. Photo: VIC Tourism.

If you live in a town of fewer than 5000 people in rural Victoria and have an idea for a project that would benefit the community, you may soon have a way to fund that project.

The Victorian Government has announced a grants program for tiny towns in Victoria to deliver local projects that would benefit those towns and their communities.

Minister for Regional Development Gayle Tierney officially launched the first round of the Tiny Towns Fund during a visit to the Talbot Arts and Historical Museum, which received a grant in 2022 to renovate the museum and create a new community space.

Ms Tierney said the grants opened on Monday, 27 November, and would close in February 2024. She encouraged local community groups to bring to the table their best ideas to develop projects to benefit locals and attract visitors.

“Whether it’s renovating a much-loved attraction, creating a new hiking trail or adding a splash park, our investment will support local businesses and jobs and attract more visitors to our tiny towns,” Ms Tierney said.

“There are vibrant tiny towns dotted right across regional Victoria and we’re pleased to support them through this exciting new fund.”

The fund will offer grants of between $5000 and $50,000 to deliver community infrastructure, facilities and capability-building projects such as playgrounds, community hall and library upgrades, and public art.

More information on the funding and how to apply can be found here.

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The Government also announced that Victorian regional and outer-metropolitan communities would soon see performances, exhibitions and masterclasses of art that would tour the state.

Minister for Creative Industries Colin Brooks announced the investment through the Touring Victoria grants program, which he said would boost accessibility and opportunity for Victorians.

The touring artists include the Koorie Heritage Trust with its JXSH MVIR: FOREVER I LIVE exhibition, and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Melbourne Chamber Orchestra with performances, school workshops and collaborative rehearsals in regional centres.

Other artists include the Neurokin program, which will bring entertaining and accessible storytelling, design and craft sessions, and professional development sessions, to autistic and neurodiverse children and young people; the Flying Fruit Flies, which will present a new musical circus show for children and families; and theatre company Alternative Facts, which will tour a new production introducing the magic of teaching Shakespeare to school students.

Mr Brooks said: “Victoria is the creative state – a place where people of all ages have the chance to experience world-class creative events and activities no matter where they live.

“We’re proud to back Victorian creative companies as they share their work to more people across the state in more local venues, while opening up professional development opportunities for regional and suburban creatives.”

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