Balaclava Boogie, Carlisle Street, 2023


The arts are an essential part of the cultural diversity, creativity and prosperity of our communities.

The Cultural Development Fund (CDF) grants program has been developed by Council to support artists, arts and cultural organisations and creative community projects in the City of Port Phillip.

Projects should contribute to the Council Plan strategic directions to guide our program priorities for the future. Projects will be evaluated according to how well they meet these priorities:

  • Vibrant: with a flourishing economy, where our community and local business thrive, and we maintain and enhance our reputation as one of Melbourne’s cultural and creative hubs.
  • Inclusive: a place for all members of our community, where people feel supported and comfortable being themselves and expressing their identities.

CDF-Festivals and Events program objectives:

  • Leverage and support events that drive economic growth by increasing visitation and tourism to the City, enhancing its reputation as a destination.
  • Support organisations to develop and manage vibrant festivals and events in the City of Port Phillip that showcase our places and spaces, meeting community and industry needs.
  • Support capacity building, mentoring, partnerships or collaborative development.
  • Support and engage diverse communities of all ages and backgrounds, by developing events that engage with the wider Port Phillip community, introducing new experiences and connections.

Grant value

CDF-Festivals and Events is a two-tiered funding stream for incorporated, not for profit arts, cultural or community organisations to deliver festivals and events.

  • Tier One - $5,000- $10,0000
  • Tier Two – $10,001 to $20,000.

The CDF-Festivals and Events grant has been developed by the City of Port Phillip to support arts, cultural, trader and community organisations to develop festivals and events in the City of Port Phillip that engage our community, foster social connectivity and/or drive visitation and support local economic benefit.

This fund is intended for seed and development funding and applicants are encouraged to seek out other sources of sponsorship and in-kind contributions to complement the support of council.

Applications can include events that occur in public space, venues and may have some online event component (but not fully online).

Applicants to the CDF-Festivals and Events grants may apply for up to $20,000 per event with funding allocated according to tier categories.

Key dates

In 2024 there will be one round of CDF - Festivals and Events grants.

Applications open: 9 am, Tuesday 27 February 2024

Applications close: midnight, Thursday 4 April 2024

Applicants will be notified in August 2024

Funding is available for events occurring between January and December 2025

View the full CDF grants timeline.

Join our Grant Writing for Creatives workshop and information session

Applicants who wish to access extra guidance and support are welcome to attend a free online grant writing training and information session between 6 to 8.30 pm on Monday 18 March 2024.

Please book early as spaces are limited.

Interpreters for Auslan and languages other than English are available upon request. If you have any access or support requirements to enable equitable participation in these sessions, please contact the Grants and Funding Officer, on phone: 03 9209 6777 or email


Who can apply

To be eligible to apply, applicants must be:

  • Incorporated not for profit arts, cultural or community organisations. Organisations from outside City of Port Phillip may apply if the festival or event is held in the City of Port Phillip and engages significantly with Port Phillip participants and community
  • Have organisational Public Liability Insurance to the value of $20 Million
  • Able to provide an ABN
  • Funded events must be based in the City of Port Phillip.

How to apply

Please read the Guidelines and criteria carefully before beginning your application.

All City of Port Phillip grants use the SmartyGrants online application system.

To find out how to log in and set up a password, read the Smartygrants applicant help guide (PDF 2.2 MB).

Click on the Apply button when you are ready to begin.

Making your event accessible

We are committed to equitable participation in events, programs and activities in our community. The Accessibility and Disability Inclusion Fact Sheet for Arts Grants Applicants contains resources you can explore when applying for a grant to help include the people with disability when organising, planning and budgeting for your event or program of activities:

Accessibility and Disability Inclusion Fact Sheet for Grant Applicants (PDF 158 KB)

Accessibility and Disability Inclusion Fact Sheet for Grant Applicants (DOCX 129 KB)

Access and support information

For general Council information about the National Relay Service, language translation and Auslan interpreter services, visit accessibility and disability inclusion.

For Access support contact, contact ASSIST.

Planning for your event

If you are organising an event in an open space, discuss your event with Council’s Events Team before applying for your event.

Applicants planning events in outdoor public space will be required to apply for a City of Port Phillip Event permit.

For information and contacts refer to City of Port Phillip Events Application page.

Contact Us 

Applicants are encouraged to speak to the Fund officer before submitting their application.

For all enquiries, please contact us via ASSIST on 03 9209 6777 or send a service request online.