Applications are now open for venues around Australia to share in $100,000 in grants for their 2022 Mardi Gras Parade viewing parties.
Social media giant Meta and the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras have partnered to offer 30 Mardi Gras Parade Viewing Event Grants.
Last year, the grants generated over $300,000 in revenue for 30 grant recipients, supporting events totalling over 7,000 attendees.
More than 220 staff and over 200 performers and artists were employed.
This year, the program returns to support venues to host a COVID-safe viewing event for the Mardi Gras Parade and employ queer performers or artists.
Last year’s successful venues ranged from Cairns to Broken Hill, allowing the LGBTIQA+ community and friends to come together at regional and metropolitan events across the country.
Applications are open to small businesses and hospitality venues across Australia.
“We’re proud to unite with Meta once more to deliver much needed support to our LGBTIQA+ venues and artists after what has been another year of disruption for them,” said Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras CEO Albert Kruger.
“The parade viewing events also give us the opportunity to bring Mardi Gras celebrations to regional and interstate communities during a time when traveling to Sydney may not be an option for everyone.”
Member for Sydney, Alex Greenwich said that this year will be “more critical than ever” to support queer venues and performers.
“These grants from Meta and Mardi Gras allow businesses in Sydney and all across Australia to bring the Mardi Gras experience to a diverse audience, while also supporting community connection and economic resilience,” said Greenwich.
Esther LaRovere, Managing Director of The Palace Hotel in Broken Hill, was a grant recipient last year.
“Receiving a grant last year helped us run a fantastic Mardi Gras Parade viewing event in Broken Hill,” said LaRovere.
“Events like this remind the regional LGBTIQA+ community that they are not forgotten in these often city-centric celebrations and that community is everywhere.”
Mia Garlick, Director of Policy at Meta Australia, said the organisation was proud to announce the return of the grants program to support arts and entertainment and let people all over Australia celebrate Mardi Gras at live, COVID-safe events.
“It is vital that community empowerment and uplifting queer voices sits at the heart of our work with Mardi Gras, as it has for ten years of partnership,” said Garlick.
Applications for grants are open now and close on Sunday 30 January.