Playing Australia Multi-Year Investment

The Regional Performing Arts Touring program (Playing Australia) supports performing arts to reach regional and remote communities across Australia.

The Regional Performing Arts Touring program (Playing Australia) supports performing arts to reach regional and remote communities across Australia. Playing Australia Multi-Year Investment is offered to support the net touring and other designated costs associated with three years of touring activity (2023 – 2025).

Organisations may apply for up to $350,000 per annum for three years.

Three organisations will receive Playing Australia Multi-Year Investment to be awarded through a peer assessed process.

Based on the proposed audience engagement plans, regional and remote presenters, proposed locations for touring may be either:

  • The same locations for each year of touring
  • A different itinerary for each year

Recipients of Playing Australia Multi-Year Investment will not be eligible to submit applications to Playing Australia Project Investment for tours that take place between 2023 – 2025.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to speak to a member of the Artists Services team before applying.

Please read our updated FAQs at the bottom of this page before commencing your application.

Who can apply

We accept applications from organisations.

Who can’t apply

You can’t apply for a grant if:

  • you receive investment through the National Performing Arts Partnership Framework
  • you received a grant, or administered a grant, from the Australia Council in the past and that grant has not been satisfactorily acquitted
  • you owe money to the Australia Council.

What you can apply for

You can apply for:

  • inter-state touring costs, including freight, transport, accommodation and travel allowances
  • a contribution towards tour coordination, at a set rate per venue
  • costs associated with reducing the environmental impact of touring
  • costs associated with supporting the wellbeing of the touring company
  • a portion of costs associated with re-mounting a work
  • where COVID-19 conditions prevail, costs associated with COVIDSafe delivery of touring.

The Australia Council will continue to take account of the impacts of COVID-19 on touring, including adjusting eligible costs and the possible extension of temporary adjustments depending on the current COVID-19 conditions.

What you can’t apply for

You can’t apply for the following activity:

  • projects for which the performers and artistic personnel are not paid at award rates
  • projects to tour an international production
  • touring projects that only include capital city or metropolitan presentations
  • touring projects that only include presentations in schools
  • tour dates that have already taken place
  • projects with a budget in surplus
  • activities engaging with First Nations content, artists and communities that do not adhere to the Australia Council First Nations Cultural & Intellectual Property Protocols.

Your application must comply with the following Protocols. We may contact you to request further information during the assessment process, or if successful, as a condition of your funding.

Protocols for using First Nations Cultural and Intellectual Property in the Arts

All applications involving First Nations artists, communities or subject matter must adhere to these Protocols, provide evidence of this in their application and support material. More information on the First Nations Protocols is available here.

Commonwealth Child Safe Framework

All successful applicants are required to comply with all Australian law relating to employing or engaging people who work or volunteer with children, including working with children checks and mandatory reporting. Successful organisations who provide services directly to children, or whose funded activities involve contact with children, will additionally be required to implement the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations.

Your application will be assessed by a panel of peers. The peers will be representative of a range of areas relevant to performing arts touring, including:

  • regional audience engagement and presentation
  • performing arts production
  • tour coordination and management.

Peers will assess your application against the following four criteria.

You should consider COVID-19 in your application where relevant conditions prevail.

Region

  • The regional and remote coverage proposed by the itinerary for the first year of investment. For the 2nd and 3rd years of investment this may be evidenced through existing partnerships and partnerships in development
  • the regional and remote coverage proposed by the itinerary and the flexibility to respond to COVID-19 conditions.

Quality

  • The national touring track record of the applicant
  • the selection rationale for determining which productions are most appropriate for the touring program.
  • the calibre of the organisation, including demonstrated evidence of good planning, governance and management.

If known:

  • the artists and the arts workers involved in the project/s
  • the quality of proposed work/s

Engagement

  • Experiences offered to regional and remote communities – including audience attendance and where appropriate other participation activities, such as workshops and master classes, digital offerings
  • how partnerships will be developed and maintained with presenters and regional communities throughout the three year period.
  • appropriate levels of engagement and partnerships developed with presenters to achieve audience goals within COVID-19 conditions.

Viability

  • Evidence of a realistic and well-planned budget (for 2023 touring)
  • evidence of home state of applicant
  • the proposed itinerary is the most efficient and logical trajectory for the tour and accounts for potentially changing COVID-19 restrictions in each state and territory
  • the itinerary considers the overall wellbeing of the touring party whilst on tour
  • appropriate level of support from other sources
  • capacity to deliver the proposed activity
  • appropriate COVIDSafe protocols in place for touring party, venues and audiences
  • appropriate mitigation strategies if the touring environment changes due to restrictions for COVID-19 within state or territory jurisdictions.

ESSENTIAL:

1. Playing Australia Budget (2023 touring only)

This must be submitted in Excel format only. Download the template in the ‘Budget’ section of the application form. Submit the completed form as support material titled ‘2023 Budget’.

 

OPTIONAL:

1. Production excerpt

You may submit a video of up to five minutes of a production you plan to tour. For companies proposing to tour works yet to be produced, a video of a past example of the company’s work should be submitted. For music works, a sound recording is acceptable. Files must be provided as one URL link.

2. Letters of Support

Individuals, groups or organisations can write letters in support of your project. Presenters and venues may also wish to provide letters of support reflecting their commitment to the tour. A support letter should explain to the assessment panel how the project or activity will benefit the applicant or the broader community (and if applicable, how the project or activity will benefit community participants).

If relevant to your activity, letters of support must provide evidence of appropriate permissions and support from First Nations organisations, communities, and Elders. Please refer to the First Nations Protocols for more information.

You can include up to five letters of support, with each letter not exceeding one A4 page. Maximum 5 pages may be submitted as one PDF.

3. Reviews relating to the production (if applicable)

Maximum 3 pages may be submitted as one PDF.

4. Brief biographical information on principal personnel (if applicable)

Maximum 3 pages as one PDF.

Whilst this material is not compulsory, you are advised to consider providing any relevant items, to support the overall competitiveness of your application.

Please note: you are not required to supply Presenter Confirmations as essential support material but should consider supplying letters of support from selected presenters/communities to support your application.

Additional information

Once you submit your application, we will send you an email acknowledging receipt of your application.

After you submit your application, we first check it meets the eligibility criteria for the grant or opportunity to which you are applying.

Applications to the Australia Council Grant Programs are assessed by arts practice peer panels against the published assessment criteria for the relevant grant program.

We aim to notify you of the outcome of your application no later than 12 weeks after the published closing date for the applicable grant round.

Once all applications have been assessed, you will be contacted about the outcome of your application. If you have been successful, you will also be sent a funding agreement. This outlines the conditions of funding, how you will be paid and your grant reporting requirements. The following accordion items outline these stages in more detail.

If your application is successful, you will receive an email advising you a grant is offered. You must then agree to the conditions of your grant, which represents the Australia Council’s contract with you – this can be done online, by email or by letter. Payment of a grant will not be made until the grant conditions have been agreed and accepted by all the relevant parties.

You should not start a project that depends on a grant until all relevant parties have agreed and accepted the grant conditions and we have evidence of such acceptance on file.

Standard grant conditions require you to, among other things:

  • seek prior approval for making a change to a funded project (for example, changes in the activity budget; changes to key creative personnel; or changes to start or end dates)
  • respond to requests for information about the project or grant
  • satisfactorily account for how the grant is spent (if you do not you will be required to return all monies for which you cannot satisfactorily account)
  • comply with all applicable laws
  • acknowledge the Australia Council’s support in all promotional material associated with the project; this includes use of the Australia Council’s logo and a standard text of acknowledgement.
  • provide artistic and financial acquittal reports at the end of the project
  • return any unspent grant funds at the completion of your project or on notice from us to return such unspent funds.

Grant agreements must be signed by a legal entity – either a legally constituted organisation or an individual. For unincorporated groups, see the section on administered grants

All individual or organisation grant applicants based in Australia must have an ABN. Individual applicants without an ABN may have their grant administered by an individual or organisation with an ABN. Organisations operating outside of Australia do not need an ABN to apply. Individuals based outside of Australia may not need an ABN to apply, depending on their circumstances (please check with your accountant or tax advisor).

The name of the applicant must match the name of the ABN and the name of the bank account into which we pay the funds. There are no exceptions to this rule. If applicants cannot provide an ABN and bank account that are in the same name as the applicant’s name, they will need to nominate an administrator for their grant.

Groups/ensembles/collectives, unincorporated associations/ unincorporated entities and other bodies with no legal status do not need an administrator if they have an active Australian Business Number (ABN) and bank account in their name. If they are unable to provide an active ABN and bank account that matches the name of the applicant, they must nominate an administrator. The name of the administrator must match the name of the ABN and bank account into which funds are paid if the application is successful.

If we approve your application you will need accept the conditions of the grant in a funding agreement.

After you accept your funding agreement online, we will automatically generate a payment for the grant on your behalf. You do not need to send us an invoice.

We will pay grant funds directly into your nominated bank account within two weeks after acceptance of the funding agreement. Grant payments cannot be postponed.

If you do not wish to have the grant funds paid directly into your bank account you can choose to have your grant administered by another individual or legally constituted organisation (Doesn’t apply to Arts Projects – Organisations).

When you apply, you will be asked to provide an active Australian Business Number or ‘ABN’. The ABN that you provide must correspond to the name of the applicant (or the administering body, if one has been nominated). When you accept your funding agreement, you will be asked to enter the details of the bank account you wish the grant to be paid into. The name associated with that bank account must correspond to the name in which the ABN has been registered.

Download the Australia Council for the Arts logo guidelines here.

Download the Major Festivals Initiative logo guidelines here.

Grant reports are required on completion of your project. Acquitting a grant means accurately reporting on the funded activities and the expenditure of Australia Council funding.

Please read your funding agreement to check details of the grant acquittal material you should provide.

The grant acquittal report is where you tell us:

  • how you spent your grant
  • what the artistic outcomes of your funded activity were.

If you do not provide a satisfactory grant report at the times and in the manner detailed in your funding agreement, the Australia Council will not make any further payments that may be due to you, and you will not be eligible  to apply for further grants.

If you do not provide a satisfactory grant report, the Australia Council may ask you to pay back all or part of the funding provided to you.

Grant reports are used by the Australia Council to fulfil obligations of accountability to the Australian Government. They are also essential to the development work of the Australia Council. The reports help us evaluate the achievements of funded activities, monitor the effectiveness of grant categories and ensure our policy development is consistent with the experience of artists in the field.

Reporting for Multi-year Funded Organisations

Organisations in receipt of multi-year funding are required to submit financial, statistical, and artistic reporting on an annual basis.

All reporting is submitted online via the Australia Council’s arts organisations reporting system.

If you are not sure what reporting you need to submit as part of your annual reporting, or what information to provide, please get in touch with your Australia Council contact.

All recipients must acknowledge that the Australia Council provided funding for their activities. When you acquit your grant, we will ask you how you acknowledged the Australia Council.

For printed or online material use our logo and this phrase:

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body OR The (company name) is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

Logos for download and guidelines for the use of our logos.

Where projects do not have a public outcome, or do not produce any printed or online material, you will need to think about how best to acknowledge the Australia Council funding.

Playing Australia Multi-Year Investment FAQ’s

Under this fund a national tour is three or more locations outside of your home state. A break in the middle of a consecutive schedule of locations is possible if there is a compelling reason and the impact on the funding request is minimal. 

A professional production is one where the performers and artistic personnel are paid at the appropriate recognised industry level.

To be eligible for this investment, the work/s needs to be produced by an Australian company or produced by an artist or collective of artists who are Australian citizens or have permanent resident status in Australia. The content of the work, the writer, composer or choreographer are not required to be Australian. An eligible work could also include a percentage of international performers as part of an Australian co-production.

We welcome national touring applications from all forms of professionally produced live performance across theatre, dance and music.

The Australia Council also offers the Contemporary Music Touring Program. If you are interested in touring music nationally please contact an Artists Services Officer to determine which category is most suitable for your tour.

This Australia Council, as do many government departments and agencies, uses the ARIA (Accessibility Remoteness Index of Australia) to determine the regional and remote classification for each town. The ARIA considers a range of factors, including distance to services, to group all locations in Australia into 5 ARIA Code areas. To find out if your project meets the eligible criteria (i.e. inclusion of venues with an ARIA rating of 1-4) and search for the relevant ARIA codes, please download this form.

Yes, provided you meet the eligibility requirement of including regional and or remote locations in your itinerary. Please note there is no quota or ratio required for regional and remote versus metropolitan locations. However, applicants must note that the purpose of the program is to support regional and remote access.

Yes, your itinerary can include activities that offer additional opportunities for the community to engage with the performers or art, which reflect the engagement strategy provided in your application. As the focus of this fund is performances, additional activities should be scheduled in an efficient way within the itinerary.

Depending on prevailing COVID-19 conditions  engagement strategies should consider COVIDSafe delivery requirements.

  • interstate net touring costs and tour coordination fees. Applicants should research the net touring costs based on current prices and add a reasonable contingency to each item
  • budgets may include a portion of costs associated with a remount of an existing production. In your application and budget please ensure you clearly outline the costs involved, ensuring they are eligible.
  • Where appropriate, please show how presenter fees have been reduced to provide them with relief on this expense. Be sure to show what costs the presenter will be liable for (this could include venue costs, marketing, a proportion of wages for the touring party, and any in-kind costs).
  • carbon offsets or other similar programs to reduce carbon emissions, or other activity which reduces the environmental impact of the tour
  • wellbeing programs (i.e. Employment Assistance Programs) or other activity which provides support for the company whilst on tour.

Depending on prevailing COVID-19 conditions applicants may request a contribution towards for costs associated with CovidSafe delivery of touring:

  • additional cleaning costs
  • touring costs for understudies or additional crew in the touring party (travel, accommodation, allowances) to mitigate against risk of illness within the touring party
  • costs for Personal Protective Equipment or other safety equipment.
  • accommodation, travel fares and transport costs for the touring party
  • relevant industrial award rates for travel allowances for the touring party
  • freight costs for the set and production elements.

The ‘touring party’ is defined as the performers, crew and other personnel required to stage the show.  In the application outline the members of your touring party.

This fund provides support to cover travel allowances at the rate set by the appropriate industry award plus contingency for scheduled increases. Productions that pay above the award rate or have their own certified agreement will need to find alternative sources to cover the difference.

The tour coordination fees support the cost of managing the tour logistics and travel bookings, providing a contribution towards those costs at a set rate of $550 per venue. The rate is automatically provided in the budget form and applicants are eligible to receive the tour coordination fee for venues outside of their home state.

You are required to provide a budget and itinerary for the first year of touring (2023). If you are successful in receiving Playing Australia Multi Year Investment you will be required to submit annually, a budget and itinerary for the following year (for 2024 – 2025). This material will be reviewed for eligibility based on the published guidelines and criteria, before the next instalment of investment is paid.

You may carry forward unspent funds into 2024 and 2025, though at the conclusion of the project and following the final acquittal, you will be required to return any unspent funds.

Some projects might have performers based in various states or perhaps the tour is managed by a tour coordinator from a different state or territory. For the purposes of this fund one ‘home state’ needs to be nominated to calculate the interstate versus intrastate costs. Generally, the ‘home state’ will be the street address of the production company. However, all applicants with different state or territory involvement should discuss with an Artists Services Officer to confirm the appropriate ‘home’ base for their application.

Depending on prevailing COVID-19 conditions, shorter tours which target a particular state or region are appropriate. In your application you should address the overall rationale of your tour itinerary in the context of COVID-19. Tours must still include 3 or more venues, including locations outside of metropolitan areas.

We will continue to work with clients whose touring activity is impacted by COVID-19 on an individual basis.