Applications are now open for venues around Australia to share in $100,000, with the return of the Mardi Gras Parade Viewing Grants, which are being offered by Meta and the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

Last year, the grants generated over $300,000 in revenue across 30 grant recipients, and supported events which recorded over 7000 attendees. More than 220 staff were employed to run the Mardi Gras Parade viewing events, and over 200 performers and artists were employed as a result of the grants.

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras CEO Albert Kruger said: “We’re proud to unite with Meta once more to deliver much needed support to our LGBQTIA+ venues and artists after what has been another year of disruption for them. The Parade Viewing Events also give us the opportunity to bring Mardi Gras celebrations to regional and interstate communities during a time when traveling to Sydney may not be an option for everyone.”

These grants also allow people from all over Australia to celebrate the queer community together, especially if they’re still unable to travel to Sydney to participate in Mardi Gras.

Mia Garlick, Director of Policy, Meta Australia said: “We’ve witnessed the disastrous impact that two years of the pandemic has brought to entertainment venues, live performers, and queer events. We’re proud to announce the return of these grants to support the arts and entertainment sectors, while also enabling people all over Australia to celebrate Mardi Gras at live, COVID-safe events. It is vital that community empowerment and uplifting queer voices sits at the heart of our work with Mardi Gras, as it has for 10 years of partnership.”

Last year’s successful venues ranged from Cairns to Broken Hill, and allowed the LGBTQ+ community and their allies to come together at regional and metropolitan events across the country.

2021 Grant recipient Esther LaRovere, Managing Director of The Palace Hotel Broken Hill  said: “The return of these grants will be so helpful for our entertainers, hospitality and event venues that are coming out of a very crippling experience with COVID over the last two years.

“Receiving a grant last year helped us run a fantastic Mardi Gras Parade viewing event in Broken Hill. Events like this remind the regional LGBTIQA+ community that they are not forgotten in these often city-centric celebrations and that community is everywhere.”

For the 2022 Mardi Gras season, the grants program returns to support venues across the country who share their plans to host a COVID-safe viewing event for the 2022 Mardi Gras Parade and support and employ queer performers or artists as part of their event.

Member for Sydney, Alex Greenwich said: “Each year the magic of Mardi Gras is brought to life by venues, performers and events, and it’s more critical than ever to support their economic prosperity. These grants from Meta and Mardi Gras allow businesses in Sydney and all across Australia to bring the Mardi Gras experience to a diverse audience, while also supporting community connection and economic resilience.”

Applications are open to small businesses and hospitality venues across Australia.

Submissions are now open and will close 11:59pm Sunday 30 January. To apply for an individual grant of up to $3,350 head to:

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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