January 19, 2023 | By Bronwen Largier

Canberra’s government has opened expressions of interest for grants of up to $20,000 for event organisers to help support a new winter innovation festival.

After years of delays to its debut as a result of the pandemic, the festival is set to run July 7-16, 2023.

“We’re looking for event organisers to bring forward ideas that enhance Canberra’s reputation as the knowledge capital and as a place that champions ideas and takes the lead,” said ACT’s Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism, Andrew Barr.

“These events and activities should reflect the festival’s aim to support collaboration between creatives, our higher education institutions, researchers and business. They should be uniquely Canberran as well as highlight and support our inclusive values.

“The festival will give Canberrans a reason to celebrate what is special about their city and embrace the winter months. It is also designed to draw visitors to the capital at a traditionally quieter time of year for tourists.”

The territory’s arts minister, Tara Cheyne, said there was a total funding pool of $200,000 available for grants for the event.

“The grants program will prioritise opportunities to showcase artists, creatives and collaborators from across a wide range of disciplines, arts organisations, venues, and spaces.

“This will be a two-stage process with Expressions of Interest due by Sunday 12 February. Selected applicants will then be invited to make a full submission in late February to access a funding pool of $200,000.”

The director of the yet-to-be-named festival is Yolande Norris.

“We’re working hard with a range of stakeholders across Canberra to bring together creative thinkers, innovators and artists to generate and present original, mindful, purposeful and progressive ideas,” she said.

“What is so exciting about now directing the innovation festival is revealing the strengths of this place and the people of this place. Kind of like getting to know Canberra all over again.”

Details and guidelines for the grants are available on the Events Canberra website.