6 June 2022

Festival grants on offer to keep the celebrations rolling in Wagga

| Chris Roe
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Lady in park

City Council events officer Sally Manning hopes Wagga can live up to its name as a place of celebration. Photo: Chris Roe.

“Wagga Wagga” derives from a Wiradjuri word for a place of dance and celebration – and it’s a call Wagga City Council events officer Sally Manning hopes the town will answer.

“Council’s really excited to announce [the launch of a] major events festival and film funding program,” she says.

“It gives an opportunity for event organisers to call upon council for financial assistance in running unique and creative events in the city.”

After a tough two years, Wagga is getting back into the festival swing. The Comedy Fest kicks off on 9 June and the new Festival of W will keep the city buzzing through the July school holidays.

READ ALSO Wagga promises a winter of ice skating, live music and castles in the sky

“A few events did sadly dissolve during the pandemic,” Ms Manning explains.

“There was some that just took a couple of years off to rethink their ideas. We’ve had a couple of events organisers that have long-standing events come to us and say ‘we need to revamp this but we need your assistance to do that’.”

Funding amounts between $3000 and $20,000 are available for events organisers to deliver major events that aim to attract more than 1000 people.

There is also money available to filmmakers and producers looking to shoot in the region.

“So if we do get that odd request that comes through for film support or some sort of production we encourage them to make contact with counsel, we can discuss their needs,” Ms Manning says.

READ ALSO Wagga’s Dane Simpson brings his award-winning comedy home

Previous grants supported the production of locally produced film The Merger and events such as Wagga Mardi Gras, Gears and Beers Festival and the Wagga Swap Meet.

Applications will remain open and be assessed periodically until June 2023.

“We’ve developed the sponsorship so it is open all year round,” Ms Manning says.

“There are three streams of funding available for events in their first year of production and those who have been around for three-plus years that just need a little extra support.”

people in rainbow clothing at a mardigras

Wagga Mardi Gras went ahead with support from the council’s grants program. Photo: Wagga Mardi Gras.

Ms Manning says the restrictions imposed by the pandemic have seen local organisers thinking outside the box.

“We’ve also had some new events that have come from some creative ideas – like smaller events on online platforms that run more regularly. There’s been a lot of movement in that space the last few years,” she says.

“We’re excited to see what opportunities are presented to the city through this sponsorship over the next 12 months.”

For more information on the program, visit the City of Wagga Wagga website.

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