Victorian arts grants bring big events to small towns

MCF10 Age of StephenSome of Victoria’s smallest towns will share in a big dose of creativity thanks to an injection of more than $100,000 by the Victorian Government to help local groups bring performers to the regions.

Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley has announced that 13 community groups across Victoria had received support through the latest round of the Small Regional Presenters program.

“Victoria is the creative state and the Small Regional Presenters program is one way we are ensuring that creativity thrives right across Victoria, including in our smallest communities,” said Minister Foley. “The program brings a diverse range of performances to regional communities and supports local groups to build on their capacity to manage tours and present performances.”

Collectively the recipients will present 38 shows at 17 locations including Kongwak and Hallston in South Gippsland, Tylden and Dunolly in central Victoria and Nathalia in the north.

This round includes support to the Apollo Bay Chamber of Commerce to bring acclaimed giant puppet company Snuff Puppets to the town as one of the headline acts of the 2019 WinterWild Festival. Nathalia’s GRAIN Store will present a performance by Kutcha Edwards supported by local Yorta Yorta artist Maddi Colville-Walker.

Audiences in Mallacoota, Ararat and Point Lonsdale can expect exciting live music performances while Upper Kiewa Valley Regional Arts will bring a dynamic program of theatre and chamber music to the Mount Beauty Community Hall.

In August, Wonthaggi Theatre group will partner with performer Stephen Valeri for workshops that will help local artists develop shows for the inaugural cabaret festival Come to the Cabaret in October. Valeri will also headline the festival with Age of Stephen – a cabaret paying tribute to the life and music of John Farnham.

Several performances will also include opportunities for community members, local performers or school students to undertake workshops with the visiting artists.

Primary school students in Robinvale and surrounds will take part in workshops with children’s entertainer Tony Genovese ahead of this year’s Mallee Almond Blossom Festival, while community members in Ruby, Tarwin Lower and Toora will be invited to Afro-Cuban and acoustic singing workshops.

Launched in 2016, the Small Regional Presenters program enables regionally-based community groups, venues and organisations to attract performances to their communities and supports the costs of presenting shows. For more information and full list of grant recipients, visit: for details.

Image: Stephen Valeri will present Age of Stephen in Wonthaggi (supplied)