Stronger Together Major Festival Local Council Grants

Multicultural NSW’s Local Council Grants Program aims to support multicultural festivals, events, and projects across NSW.

We’re looking for partners over a two-year period and will provide funding up to $500,000 per year over two years to a total of $1,000,000. Major Festival grant funding is available for festivals within NSW’s Six-Cities Regions that enhance social cohesion, promote community harmony.  

Grants are available for major festivals delivered between:

  • 1 January 2023 – 31 December 2023 for year 1 (total $500,000)
  • 1 January 2024 – 31 December 2024 for year 2 (total $500,000)

Successful applicants will demonstrate how the major festival will build community social cohesion, benefit the local economy and how it will drive tourism for the area.

Applications closed at 3pm on Friday, 7 October 2022. No extensions to this deadline will be permitted.

Grant Criteria and Exclusions

Multicultural NSW supports Festivals and Events that celebrate and embrace our state’s vibrant cultural diversity.

The grants will fund local councils within the Six-Cities Regions to support the celebration of multicultural and multifaith community groups through Major Festival activity.

Major Festival Local Council Grants of up to $1,000,000 are available for local councils delivering major festivals within the Six-Cities Regions.

Funding is available for Major Festivals delivered between 1 January 2023 – 31 December 2023 and 1 January 2024 – 31 December 2024.

Major Festival grant funding of up to $500,000 per year over 2 years is available for activity that enhances social cohesion, promotes community harmony, and showcases our diversity. Applications that seek to split the $500,000 funding over more than one festival to be held each year will also be considered.  Please note when making this request:

  • The maximum funding available over the two years will be $1,000,000 ($500,000 per year).
  • The details of the request for multi-festivals are to be submitted in one application (that is, multiple applications from the same council will not be accepted).

Covering two years, the festival would seek to build improvements from the first event in 2023 that will further support the delivery of the second event in 2024. Successful applicants will demonstrate how the major festival will build community social cohesion, benefit the local economy and how it will drive tourism for the area.

Selection criteria

Applications must address how the Major Festival will:

  • Demonstrate how the festival showcases and shares the community’s cultures and traditions
  • Build community resilience and social cohesion
  • Deliver local community economic benefit
  • Be inclusive and accessible
  • Reach and engage with the broader community
  • Be delivered in a compliant and safe way
  • Demonstrate value for money, including demonstrating value-match
  • Where appropriate develop in-language festival communications and print materials

Applicants must also agree to:

  • The terms detailed in the Partnering with Multicultural NSWPartnership Principles section of this Guideline
  • participate in periodic planning milestone updates with the Multicultural NSW team.

Eligibility & Exclusions

To be eligible for a Stronger Together Local Council Major Festival Grant, applicants must:

  • be a local council in the Six-Cities region (details below)
  • be located within NSW
  • if building on an existing festivals success, confirm past and current funding sources for the past three years
  • have acquitted all prior grants from Multicultural NSW
  • demonstrate how the festival aligns with Multicultural NSW’s strategic plan (details below)
  • demonstrate how the festival will measure outcomes
  • demonstrate that the festival is cost effective and viable with an accurate budget
  • have all appropriate insurances, licences and permits
  • apply online through the Multicultural NSW approved SmartyGrants portal before the closing date with all aspects of the application form completed
  • deliver the festival(s) twice over the 2 delivery periods:
    • Year 1, 1 January 2023 – 31 December 2023
    • Year 2, 1 January 2024 – 31 December 2024
  • promote the NSW Government funded project as per partnership terms outlined in the grant agreement
  • commit to delivering the festival in line with NSW health guidelines and COVID-19 regulations
  • clearly demonstrate festival value match and show co-contributions towards the festival. The festival will not be funded if there is no co-contribution. A minimum of 25% cash co-contribution is required. In-kind contributions must be itemised.
  • confirm other funding sources that are contributing to the total festival budget
  • commit to spending a minimum of 10% of the advertising budget for the festival across multicultural media outlets to ensure the event is accessible by multicultural communities.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

Local Councils within the Six-Cities regions and Western Sydney Councils include:

  • Lower Hunter and Greater Newcastle City
  • Central Coast City
  • Illawarra-Shoalhaven City
  • Western Parkland City
  • Central River City
  • Eastern Harbour City

Not sure if your council is located within the Six-Cities? A list of eligible councils is available in the Grant Guidelines document.

What items cannot be funded?

The following activities are excluded from receiving grant funding:

  • party political activities
  • applications that seek support for supplementing, increasing, or continuing ongoing service delivery or for funding the core business of the organisation commercial or fundraising activities
  • capital expenses, including but not limited to building works (including maintenance) and equipment purchases

Grant funding will not be awarded to any local council that:

  • does not demonstrate a commitment to multicultural principles
  • has Redress sanctions as described in the National Redress Scheme
  • is subject to a winding up order or has an appointed administrator
  • is bankrupt
  • has no sound financial management and governance
  • is located outside of the Six-Cities Regions

Project Budgets and Use of Funding

A detailed budget is required to be submitted with the grant application.

The budget will additionally require progress updating for key project planning milestones in the format provided by Multicultural NSW. Key planning updates are required 6 months, 3 months and 1 month from the event date.

Applicants are required to value match the funding amount being requested. Applicants must contribute a minimum of 25% cash towards the Major Festival and in-kind contributions must be itemised in the budget. Other funding sources such as sponsorships and other grant funding must be identified in the income section. Projects that do not demonstrate the required value match will not be funded.

Eligible applicants can apply for grant funding of up to $500,000 per year over 2 years to a total of $1 million.

Covering 2 years, the festival would seek to build improvements from the first event in 2023 that will further support the delivery of the second event in 2024. Successful applicants will demonstrate how the major festival will build community social cohesion, benefit the local economy and how it will drive tourism for the area.

Applications that seek to split the $500,000 funding over more than one festival to be held each year will be considered.  Please note when making this request:

  • The maximum funding available over the two years will be $1,000,000 ($500,000 per year).
  • The details of the request for multi-festivals are to be submitted in one application (that is, multiple applications from the same council will not be accepted).

A minimum of 10% of the advertising budget for the festival must be used to advertise across multicultural media outlets to ensure the event is accessible by multicultural communities. 

Funding restrictions, minimum contributions or obligations apply for the following items:

  • Value Match. Applicants must value match the funding amount sought. This includes:
    • A minimum 25% cash contribution
    • Itemised In-Kind contribution
    • Detail of other income sources such as sponsorships or other grant funding
  • No more than 10% of the budget can be used for catering.
  • No more than 20% of the budget can be used for council administrative costs related to the grant funded project delivery. Administration costs do not include event delivery staffing such as security, casual event crew or supplier costs.
  • No portion of the grant funding can be used towards insurance costs. Including, but not limited to, Public Liability Insurance, Workers Compensation Insurance and Volunteers Insurance
  • Capital Expenditure or Purchases. No portion of the grant funding can be used towards capital expenditure or purchase costs. Including, but not limited to, building costs or maintenance and equipment purchase.
  • Cash Prizes or Gifts. No portion of the grant funding can be used towards cash Prizes or gifts, including gift vouchers.
  • Independent Audit Fees. No portion of the grant funding can be used towards financial independent audit fees.
  • Multicultural Media Advertising. 10% of the advertising budget for the festival must be used to advertise across multicultural media outlets.

Partnering with Multicultural NSW

The Stronger Together Local Council Major Festival grant funding is a partnership with the NSW Government. The partnership requirements will be managed by Multicultural NSW.

Partnership Principles to note for this grant:

Value Match. Applicants must value match the funding amount sought. This includes:

    • A minimum 25% cash contribution
    • Itemised In-Kind contribution
    • Detail of other income sources such as sponsorships or other grant funding

Multicultural NSW (MNSW) oversight and input on planning milestones

      • Key progress meetings and information to be delivered in MNSW required format for:
        • Phase 1 – 6-month scoping
        • Phase 2 – 3-month defined plans drafted signage
        • Phase 3 – 1-month finalised detail
        • Phase 4 - 6- 8 weeks post event
      • Planning information may be requested and required to be provided outside of the above timings.

Information Sharing and Analytics

    • Exclusive use of MNSW supplied QR code for attendee survey feedback at the festival
      • Event staff should be included in festival operational budget to engage attendees with QR code for festival feedback
      • Incentivising engagement with the survey is encouraged, such as giveaway competitions for local vendors

Outcomes Measures and Reporting to be shared with MNSW:

    • Web based platforms impressions, reach and audience demographics
    • Expected and actual attendance measurement
      • The event budget should include detail on how this will be achieved people counters or technology solutions
    • Attendance demographics
    • Multicultural Media Advertising. 10% of the advertising budget for the festival must be used to advertise across multicultural media outlets.

Multicultural NSW (MNSW) participation at the festival

    • Applicant to supply stall location and infrastructure for MNSW at the festivals cost
    • Signage and event materials include Multicultural NSW logo
    • Nominated NSW Government delegate attendance and speaking engagement where appropriate

Funding Recognition

    • The major festival is required to recognise the grant funding support as detailed by the terms and conditions of the grant agreement

Accessibility

    • The major festival must demonstrate consideration for accessibility. Attendee needs for each festival will be unique. Consideration for the following items should be demonstrated in the festival planning and budget. If an accessibility item is not required for your festival, reasoning should be included in your application response.
      • Accessible communications. How are materials accessible in language where appropriate, are materials accessible for vision and/or hearing-impaired persons
      • Accessible festival sites and facilities. Has the festival site considered the following where appropriate:
        • Access ramps and correct width cable trays for wheelchairs and prams
        • Adult change and disabled bathroom facilities
      • Has the event considered:
        • Translators and AUSLAN interpreters

Alignment with Multicultural NSW Stronger Together Strategic Priorities

The Stronger Together Local Council Major Festival applications must address how the project will link to Multicultural NSW’s 2021-2025 Strategic Priorities:

Sector Capability

    • Developing programs and services to meet the needs of culturally diverse communities.
    • Building resources that enhance leadership, engagement, communications, service delivery and planning capability for culturally diverse communities.

Community Resilience

    • Building and maintaining networks across the community that can solve respond to problems and actively support social cohesion.

Settlement

    • Establishing programs that help new arrivals to thrive in new locations

A Shared Sense of Value

    • Building programs with strong intercultural and interfaith networks.

Partnering with other local councils within the council delivery area

Partnering with neighbouring local councils is permitted where applicants can demonstrate an increased ability to deliver as a result of the partnership.

Application Process

Multicultural NSW uses the online program SmartyGrants for all grants submissions, accessible through a portal on the Grants page on the Multicultural NSW website.

Applicants are required to register with SmartyGrants through the Multicultural NSW portal to access the online application form. If the organisation has previously used SmartyGrants to apply for a grant with Multicultural NSW, then they will already be registered.

Attachments will be uploaded through the online application form.

The online application form includes an application checklist to help ensure all the required information is provided.

Multicultural NSW will not accept applications unless they are submitted online through the SmartyGrants portal.

Incomplete applications will not be progressed for assessment.

Assessment criteria – what are we looking for?

Applications must address how the Major Festival will:

  • Build community resilience & social cohesion
  • Deliver local community economic benefit
  • Be inclusive and accessible
  • Reach and engage with the broader community
  • Be delivered in a compliant and safe way
  • Demonstrate value for money, including demonstrating value-match

The following criteria and considerations are applied in the assessment of grant applications.

Application meets eligibility criteria and is not an excluded activity

Applications from ineligible organisations or excluded activities will not be considered.

Application form is complete and submitted on time

Applications that are not submitted online through the Multicultural NSW approved SmartyGrants portal before the closing date with all aspects of the application form completed (including all required supporting documentation, financial statements, insurances etc) will not be considered.

Application is appropriate to the Stronger Together Grants Program

Successful applications will clearly and convincingly demonstrate how funded major festival will support the grant criteria.

Application demonstrates capacity to successfully deliver the Major Festival

Successful applications will clearly demonstrate the organisation’s capacity to deliver the major festival once per year over the 2-year funding period and within budget.

Applications should clearly identify resources that will be committed to ensure the major festival is a success. An event delivery plan and risk mitigation strategy must be included with all applications.

Application presents value for money

Successful applications will clearly demonstrate value for money and value match with a well-considered, proportionate, clearly itemised budget.

Stronger Together Grants will be awarded for major festivals that support a diverse range of community celebration or need, and for a diverse range of approaches.

Applications are assessed against all other applications in terms of locality, cultural focus, and type of activity or approach.

Multiple applications

Eligible local councils can submit one application only. Multiple applications will not be considered.

Available funding pool

Multicultural NSW always receives more funding applications than the available total amount of funding. Therefore, successful applications will be of a high standard based on the criteria and considerations outlined above. The limited funding pool and competitive assessment process also means that sometimes even strong applications will be unsuccessful.

Funding agreements

Terms and Conditions will apply to the grant funding agreement. Successful organisations are required to review the Terms and Conditions and declare that they have read and understand them. They will acknowledge that an agreement based on those Terms and Conditions will apply to the grant. If a grant is awarded, they will agree to comply with these Terms and Conditions in acquitting the grant.

Acquittal for this grant requires independent audit of the grant financial statements and information. Grant funding cannot be used for the independent audit. The applying organisation should consider this cost in their budgeting and other funding sources required to complete the mandatory reporting.

Release of funds. Funding will not be released until all requested documentation has been provided to Multicultural NSW. Year 2 funding will not be released until after the Year 1 event has successfully acquitted the grant. Acquitting the grant includes providing appropriate financial statements and completing project reporting in the templates provided by Multicultural NSW.

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