Bringing big entertainment to a small town near you

The Royal High JinxAudiences across regional Victoria will get an exciting mix of entertainment in 2020 thanks to the latest round of funding from the Victorian Government.

Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley has announced grants from the Small Regional Presenters program totalling almost $150,000 for 21 community groups and local shires to enable them to attract top-quality arts and music events to their regions.

“Victoria is the creative state and the Small Regional Presenters program is one way we are ensuring that all Victorians can experience a range of creative experiences in their home town,” said Minister Foley. “This latest round will again help regional venues and groups attract a wide range of arts, music and theatre performances to enrich and support their towns.”

64 performances across 29 different locations will take to the stage in some of Victoria’s smallest communities – from Bena and Mirboo North in South Gippsland to Birchip and Leitchville in the Mallee region, and Yarck in the northeast.

The latest round will support Upper Kiewa Valley Regional Arts and Red Rock Regional Theatre and Gallery in Cororooke to present The Sapphires, while Indigo Shire Council will showcase a program of family shows, including Trash Test Dummies in Yackandandah, The Ukulele Show at Chiltern and Trinket at Rutherglen.

Damien Callinan’s The Merger, a one-man show about a struggling country footy club will be presented in Clunes, Charlton, and Birregurra while Mama Kin Spender’s Sound of Your Town, a large-scale outdoor performance with local choirs will visit Newham and the Gannawarra Shire.

Audiences in South and East Gippsland and Murtoa can expect live music and theatre performances, while the 2020 Café Culture Series will bring contemporary world music to the communities of Wangaratta, Charlton, Mallacoota, Bena and Orbost.

Several performances will be accompanied by activities like workshops, discussions and masterclasses designed for local performers, community members or school students.

“Music and entertainment make up the social fabric of small towns, bringing people together and celebrating everything that’s good about country Victoria – and we’re proud to support this program to continue,” said Minister for Regional Development, Jaclyn Symes.

Launched in 2016, the Small Regional Presenters program enables regional community groups, venues and organisations to offer audiences a diversity of performing arts in their communities. For more information, and the full list of grant recipients, visit: for details.

Image: The Royal High Jinx – courtesy of the Artists