A COVID-safe community event and live music fund and more arts recovery grants and fee waivers for traders are just some of the initiatives flowing from savings created by the one-off cancellation of the 2021 St Kilda Festival.
The St Kilda Festival was cancelled in August due to COVID-19 concerns, with the savings held in reserve for a raft of economic and cultural recovery activities.
After considering options, a $1.21 million Economic and Social Package was endorsed at Wednesday night’s Port Phillip Council meeting. A further $488,888 is available to be considered for more projects as part of the next Budget quarterly review in February.
Mayor Louise Crawford said the varied measures would help keep the creative, cultural spirit of the St Kilda Festival alive until it can safely return.
The St Kilda Festival is also an important contributor to Port Phillip’s local economy. “Many of our traders and members of the arts community have been hard-hit by the pandemic so we have made sure the package includes direct ways of supporting traders as well as ensuing our City continues to be known and loved as fun and vibrant destination,” Cr Crawford said.
The package, to be delivered under Council’s Live Love Local program, includes:
- Creating a COVID-safe community event and live music support fund ($200,000) to help organisers, including performers, neighbourhood groups and community organisations, safely hold events
- More Arts Rescue Grants for local artists and creative organisations ($100,000)
- One-off recovery grants to key arts organisations (total cost of $120,000)
- Reduced registration fees for food premises (25 per cent) and health premises, such as beauty parlours (50 per cent), for 2020/21 ($166,412)
- Further six-month waiver of footpath trading fees ($284,000)
- Extended rental waivers for Council tenants most affected by the pandemic (up to $300,000).
About $160,000 has been allocated separately to develop a summer music program to provide opportunities for local musicians to perform.
Council also recently provided a total of $100,000 in Love My Place grants to help bring fun back to many outdoor spaces from now until into next year through unique events and programs including secret laneway concerts, calming sensory rooms and roving circuses.