Introducing our successful Grants in the City recipients

As of 1 January 2018, the management of the City Centre Marketing and Improvements Levy transferred from In The City Canberra to the City Renewal Authority. Views expressed in these articles may not reflect the views of the Authority.

In the City Canberra’s Grants in the City program was launched in June 2016. The programs goal is to strengthen Canberra’s national reputation and grow pride in the CBD as a place to be.

There are three tiers of Grants available for up to $50,000. To be eligible, a concept needs to be based in the City and bring cultural, civic, social, environmental and importantly economic benefits.

Ideas can range from local music events, interactive art installations, festivals, to tourism campaigns – you decide what your city does! The first  and second round of grants have now closed and we are thrilled to announce the successful recipients. The next round over $2000 to $50,000 closes on 5 December.

Do you have a wonderful idea for the City and Braddon? The next round of grants applications for over $2000 closes on 5 December. Apply now!

Design Canberra Festival

27 October to 25 November 2016
Grant $9,950

Putting you in touch with Canberra’s creative excellence, Design Canberra Festival is back for its third year. With the Open Studio – Citizens of Craft, living rooms, Australian Institute of Architects Bus Tours, a Remembering Robert Foster Luminary exhibition, as well as international guests, this year’s program has something for everyone.

Drawing more than 24,000 visitors each year Design Canberra Festival has quickly become the biggest event on the Canberra Design Calendar. Connect, Create and Collaborate this October and November.

Six Wiluna – Furniture Exhibition
November 2016
Grant: $1,999 

The activity coincides with the Canberra Design Festival as an exhibition of a collection of furniture that has been designed and manufactured by the residents of the shared workshop, ‘Six Wiluna’. The exhibitors will be Elliot Bastianon, Rolf Barfoed, Pete Bollington, Andrew Carvolth and Nicholas Harper, all of whom have active individual craft and design practices.

Lull Gallery and Workshop
November and December 2016
Grant: $1,900

Lull Gallery and Workshop is a space upstairs from King O’Malleys dedicated to supporting local Designers, Artists and Businesses. It’s about further cultivating a connection between our creatives, business’s and growing community that we have in Canberra. Rachel Byron is opening the space on approximately 10 November for a month or two.

Impact Comics Festival
19 November 2016
Grant $7,000

The Impact Comics Festival stands as Canberra’s open air market and cosplay event. With free entry, cosplay, and prizes to be won, it takes over Garema place. There will be podcasts and live music, as well as the opportunity to purchase a copy of comics direct from the creators themselves.

City Skin
December 2016 (to be confirmed)
Grant: $10,000 

City Skin is a large scale spectacular art installment. This is the first part of a two part project known as “Hands”. The aim of Part One (PO) is to create a large scale visually spectacular series of oversized colourful art fabric installations that transform an otherwise mundane space into a remarkable and pleasing one.

PO will consist of six large scale works of art printed on stabilised wind tolerant material, hung prominently. Hands uses large images of hands as a canvas for aesthetically vibrant and spectacular images and will demonstrate my ability to undertake the much larger Part Two (PT) of the project Hands. The aim of the project is to engage the Canberra community through activation of a dead space within the city.

National Multicultural Festival
February 2017
Grant $20,000

The 2016 National Multicultural Festival was the biggest yet. With next year being the festivals 21st birthday it hopes to only continue growing bigger and better each year. Bringing together stall holders with delicious food from cultures around the globe it has become one of Canberra’s favourite events.

The Big Canberra Bike Ride
March 2017
Grant $7000

The Big Canberra Bike ride was designed to provide the opportunity for cyclists of all ages and abilities to celebrate safety and become a part of cycling in Canberra. There are four different levels of bike rides, activations along the way and also brings together a variety of stalls, kids activities and music in Glebe Park.

This year the ride supported the Amy Gillet Foundation as the official beneficiary charity for 2016 and aims to reduce the incidence of death and injury of bike riders.

Canberra Dance Festival
March 3rd and 4th 2017 (tbc)
Grant: $10,000 

A two day festival based in the CBD across several venues with a focus on educating newcomers of all ages to the history, technology, skills, gender issues and industry surrounding dance music. The event will consist of several discussion panels, a headline party with an interstate DJ, and several smaller dance parties. The tentative date for the event is March 3rd and 4th 2017.

This event will activate areas of the CBD that do not see enough use, namely Garema Court, several small and newly established venues, and Glebe Park. By bringing young people into the spaces and showing other industry figures what can be done by throwing an event in Garema Court, this event will encourage other promoters to think about how to best the city centre for events and create an audience for them. Young people attending the lessons, panels and parties will hopefully be inspired to further their craft, contributing to the growing scene in Canberra.

Canberra Comedy Festival
20-26 March 2017
Grant: $5,000 

Entering our 5th Year in 2017, the Canberra Comedy Festival runs from 20-26 March entirely within the Canberra CBD with a planned 60 Plus shows across 8 Stages at 5 Venues.

  • Canberra Theatre Centre (Main, Playhouse, Courtyard)
  •  The Street Theatre (Street 1, Street 2)
  • Uni Pub
  • The Civic Pub
  • Novotel Canberra

This includes special events such as:

  • Opening Night Galas (Canberra Theatre and Playhouse)
  •  Late Night Festival Club (Free to ticket holders)
  • RAW Comedy ACT state final (winner competes in Melbourne)
  • The Kids Program (for kids 6-12)
  • Class Clowns (High School/College Comedy Competition, winner competes in Melbourne)
  • Proposed New in 2017 – Clean Comedy Gala (a matinee aimed at Families with Teenagers)

The event is expanding slowly year by year and is now 7 days with most venues planned to have 5 days programming.

The Big Bang Liz Lea Dance
29th of April to 6th of May in Garema Place
Grant: $9,900

For 2017 dance week, The Big Bang Liz Lea Dance will bring together three ACT based hip-hop groups, up to 60 dances, up to 50 drummers and two professional choreographers. This event will be held in Garema place and the theme is inspired by gravitational waves.

You Are Here Festival
5 to 9 April 2017

In The City Canberra (ITCC) has generously sponsored festival from 2011 to 2016, providing $50,000 per year between 2011 and 2014 and $10,000 per year between 2015-2016. ITCC has also provided valuable in-kind assistance in liaising with CBD property owners in order for YAH to secure shopfront venues for our festival hub space.

In 2017 You Are Here will present a primarily free 5-day program of approximately 50 high quality arts and culture events that celebrate and promote the diversity and uniqueness of the ACT creative community. These events will be created by over 200 artists and take place in more than 15 venues both traditional and unexpected across the CBD and the Lonsdale St precinct. The festival program will be experienced by over 10,000 people, 90% of festival venues will be in CBD and Lonsdale St locations and 70% of the audience will be visiting the CBD to experience the festival. Capitalising on the location, the program will continue to feature site-specific work that challenges audiences’ preconceptions of the CBD and enlivens urban spaces. You Are Here will also continue to present participatory work, in which audiences can experience a positive interaction with the arts by defining its creation.

Winter Festival in the City
June and July 2017
Grant: $60,000

In The City Canberra has agreed to support Popcorn X deliver Canberra’s Winter Festival in the City. They are also delivering winter events in Brisbane, Sydney, Perth and Melbourne. The national exposure and potential sponsors is far greater than what they be organised by a Canberra based business. Their first involvement in Canberra was last year – iceskating rink, bobsled and snow slide.

The Village Festival
21-24 September 2017

The Village Festival will present a four-day festival of music, theatre, art, food and more in Canberra’s Garema Place. The festival will be co-created with the Canberra community and several community groups will be involved in its development. For example, a football club will construct a gateway through which festival-goers will enter the site; a primary school will create a series of arcade-stye games out of cardboard and a number of dance schools will work together to create a spectacular performance for the opening event.

The Village Festival will be timed to coincide with Floriade, and will aim to bring both locals and visitors into the Canberra CBD.

At the festival itself there will be:

  •  Main Music Stage: a mix of professional and community musical acts from ACT and
  •  WonderWorld: an interactive theme park in which people can play specially designed games; each game has a one-on-one experience guiding participants, young and old, through games of skill and chance.
  •  World Kitchen: A fun, performative food stage with cooking demonstrations both serious and spurious.
  •  The SunHouse: a theatre performance space that hosts shows including circus, cabaret, “So You Think You Can Interpretive Dance” and more
  • Various art installations that contribute to the distinctive visual design
  • Food and drink from local suppliers

Wicked in the City
Grant $14,488 to be negotiated

Sponsorship delayed to when the organisers are delivering Les Miserables


Environmental Film Festival
October 2016
Grant: $2000

The EFFA or Environmental Film Festival Australia, is more than the average film festival. Film screenings, review panel discussions, and the opportunity to connect with ethical organisations, with direction to act. The event was sponsored because of the Outdoor Cinema on Saturday 8th October

Australian Institute of Landscape Architects Urban Kids in Haig Park
October 2016
Grant: $10,000

Urban Kids in Haig Park will be a major public activation undertaken by AILA as part of the 2016 Festival. The installations in Haig Park will focus on empowering the next generation of thinkers and city-makers – our kids.  The installation will focus on bringing kids to the fore-front of the conversation about our city. It will create a space in which kids feel they are equally important in the future of our cities to professional planners.

Activities included in the event will revolve around conversations in urban living, greener and sustainable cities, and how kids view and use their public space.  The temporary interventions and immersive installations will include parkour workshops, mountain bike pump trails, a greenwall installation, stories in the trees, urban farming workshops, and free play with the use of natural, raw materials, hay bales, shipping ropes, cardboard encouraging kids to build their own spaces and use their imaginations!

Australian Institute of Landscape Architects #backyardexperiment in Garema Place
October 2016
Grant: $10,000

#backyardexperiment is an observational study of public life. With cameras set up to observe and understand how people use public space in three different scenarios. Time lapse cameras will film Garema Place over two weeks; as it is, with the addition of moveable chairs and vibrant elements, and with pop up activations including coffee, gelato stands, an outdoor library and film screening.

This experiment aims to understand how the public reacts and interact with moveable furniture. This experiment aims to provide knowledge into the public life of Canberra and in particular Garema place. It will create positive thinking of how the space is currently used and reflect on how the installation may change the public environment to benefit Canberrans and change the public domain to bring out the best in our city and its people.

Vote 1 Dance by the Australian Dance Party $1000 October 2016

Australian Dance Party, Canberra’s new contemporary dance company led by choreographer Alison Plevey creates work that provokes thought, opinion and connection through humour, skill and great dance. Vote 1 Dance was a 20-minute dance performance that gave social and political relevance to the arts, culture and dance at the corner of Bunda Street and Garema Place.

Queanbeyan Art Society Spring Art Show

October 2016
Grant $1,000

The Art Society is a non for profit organisation which holds art exhibitions, competitions and classes. The Queanbeyan Art Society Spring Art Show is their 9th charity art show and this year they are supporting the Ricky Stuart Foundation. This foundation helps raise awareness of autism in our society. Last year the event was a huge success and with the help of sponsors they have the opportunity to stage such a successful charity event.

Floriade shuttle bus
September and October 2016
Grant: $15,000

Floriade is known as one of Canberra’s biggest events. This year there will be a free shuttle bus to help the Canberra public get there with no hassle and more efficiently. Sponsored by Mercure hotel and Events ACT, over the month Floriade runs the shuttle transports approximately 26,000 passengers. Departing from Canberra City and with 45 minute rotations between 9am and 5pm 7 days a week, the free shuttle makes visiting your favourite floral festival simple.

Chinese Moon Festival, Latin America Plaza
10 September 2016
Grant: $6,805

  • The Chinese Moon Festival is one of the most important dates in the Chinese Calendar.
  • The organisers will be organising in the Garema Place chess pit Kung Fu demonstrations, traditional Chinese dancing, Chinese Dragon’s dancing and traditional Chinese music with percussion band.
  • On a condition of receiving the grant In The City will encourage them to return to the city next year.

With the grant they will be purchasing assets

Minecraft building a model of Garema Place and surrounds
Grant: $1950 Ongoing School Holiday Activity

Two Pop Up Art exhibitions in an empty shop near the Merry-Go-Round
Grant: $1910 each