As part of an ongoing partnership, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and Facebook Australia announce the launch of the Mardi Gras Parade Viewing Events Grants program; a new initiative to support hospitality venues, small businesses, and LGBTQI+ artists and performers around Australia.
“Despite border closures and changing restrictions, it is our intention to continue to support the hospitality and arts and culture sectors and ensure the Mardi Gras Parade is as accessible as possible,” said Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras CEO Albert Kruger.
“We encourage all venues across Australia, particularly those in regional and remote parts of the country, to apply for these grants and celebrate their local LGBTQI+ community. We have plans to announce the full list of participating venues in the coming weeks and I encourage everyone to check out the line-up, support your local venue and LGBTQI+ artist, and enjoy a COVID-safe night out.
“We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with Facebook and Instagram and directly support small businesses and queer artists around Australia,” said Mr Kruger.
The $100,000 grant fund will support venues across the country who share their plans to host a COVID-safe event for the 2021 Mardi Gras Parade and support and employ LGBTQI+ artists as part of their event.
The past year has been especially tough on small businesses and the arts, the Mardi Gras and Facebook Australia are launching these grants specifically to support these sectors while enabling people all over Australia to celebrate Mardi Gras at live, COVID-safe events.
“The past year has been exceptionally hard for live performers and artists, along with the hospitality venues and small businesses they call home,” said Mia Garlick, Director of Policy, Facebook Australia. “Our new grants program will directly support these communities, and uplift the queer voices and businesses that rely on Mardi Gras each year.”
“Facebook Australia has been a major partner of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras for many years, and this grants program will be a new way in which our partnership empowers the LGBTQ+ community around Australia.”
“Sydney Mardi Gras is all about bringing our community together, supporting each other, and celebrating Sydney,” said Member for Sydney, Alex Greenwich. “This grant programme helps us share our world famous parade with venues across Sydney, throughout NSW, and the entire country.”
Glenn Hansen, Promotions and Marketing Manager for Sydney’s iconic LGBTQI+ venue Stonewall said, “The LGBTQIA+ venues, Performers and DJ’s were all heavily impacted by the global pandemic,” he said. “During the first lockdown we had to say goodbye to not only our staff but our entertainers and this was incredibly hard as they are such a special part of Stonewall Hotel.”
“The grant for the Mardi Gras Viewing Events would be extremely helpful and an opportunity to showcase our performers so we can make this night fabulous after such a difficult 12 months,” said Mr Hansen.
The Digital Tools in Crisis and Recovery report by Deloitte (October 2020) found 43% of Australian SMBs surveyed reported they had ceased operating at some point since the outbreak of COVID-19. However, business owners are optimistic, and Australian consumers are also seeking ways to support their local businesses and communities.
Applications are open to small businesses and hospitality venues in regional and metropolitan areas across Australia. Submissions are now open and close 11:59pm Sunday 31 January 2021. For more information and to apply for an individual grant (up to $3,350), visit: www.mardigras.org.au for details.
Image: Glenn Hansen, Alex Greenwich, Performer (unknown), Mia Garlick and Albert Kruger outside Stonewall on Oxford Street (supplied)