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National Multicultural Festival Grant

2020-2021 Participation (National Multicultural Festival) Grant Program

Disclaimer: In accordance with the provisions of Section 100(1) of the Electoral Act 1992, the ACT will hold a general election for the Legislative Assembly on Saturday, 17 October 2020. The caretaker period begins at 12:00am on 11 September 2020 and ends with the election of the Chief Minister on the first sitting day of the Legislative Assembly following the election. The continuation of the Participation (National Multicultural Festival) Grants following this general election is a decision for an incoming government. As a result, potential Participation (National Multicultural Festival) Grants applicants are advised that it is possible this Grants program may not proceed.


Applications open: Wednesday 26 August 2020 (12pm)
Applications close: Tuesday 6 October 2020 (5pm)

Please read these guidelines carefully before completing your application online

1 Introduction

The ACT has a strong history of valuing and promoting our diverse community and the National Multicultural Festival (the Festival) continues to play a key role in this history. During this time of uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the ACT Government is committed to ensuring the health and safety of all Canberrans continues to be a high priority. Additionally, the Community Services Directorate (CSD) encourage applicants to apply for a grant and to stay informed and up to date by visiting the National Multicultural Festival websiteExternal Link at Festival organisers will endeavor to keep applicants informed on any updates relating to the 2021 National Multicultural Festival.

During the COVID-19 pandemic we encourage applicants to consider flexibility and adaptability as part of their applications.

2 Aim

Fostering community participation at the National Multicultural Festival (the Festival) supports the ACT Government’s priority to strengthen social inclusion in our community. This grant program will provide funding for projects that highlight and promote community participation, cultural diversity, and social inclusion at the annual Festival.

Applicants are encouraged to demonstrate how their activity, event or project/performance will embrace and encourage cultural participation at the National Multicultural Festival while being flexible to participate in a COVID-safe way.

2.1 Funding Aims

The aim of this funding is to:

2.2 Funding categories

Activities under the 2020-2021 Participation (National Multicultural Festival) Grant Program will be considered under the following two categories:

  1. Cultural Activities (including independent performances/activities); and
  2. Projects coordinated specifically by Showcase Leaders, representing eleven Showcases at the National Multicultural Festival, as identified by the National Multicultural Festival organisers, prior to the commencement of the grant round.

3  Available funding

A total of $88,780 (GST exclusive) is available in the 2020-2021 funding round.

It is the intention of this grants program that as many multicultural organisations as possible benefit from the funds available. The grant funding should be relied upon as a contribution and applicants should not rely solely on this funding for the viability of their activity, event or project/performance. Applicants are encouraged to secure other funding sources including partnering with other organisation’s to deliver the activity, event or project/performance.

Recommended applications may not receive the full amount applied for. The assessment panel will review and adjust the level of recommended funding as necessary. However, as a guide, organisations applying under the Cultural Activities category (2.2 (1) above) can expect to receive approximately $300 to $500 or a greater sum depending on the assessment panel’s evaluation of your application, as contribution towards a performance or to run a program, event or activity at the Festival.

Organisations applying under the Showcase category (2.2 (2) above) can expect to receive an amount that reflects the proposed showcase performance template, noting that the current COVID-19 pandemic may affect the availability of time associated with the overall entertainment program i.e. limited stage presence across the footprint in order to comply with social and physical distancing requirements.

The amount granted will be determined based on the draft showcase performance template and will take into account the cost associated with engaging culturally relevant performers (particularly if performers are based interstate) and the length of performance time that the showcase is allocated across the three days.

In the case of interstate performers, any costs associated with COVID-19 restrictions should be noted as part of your application.

Festival organisers acknowledge that as social and physical distancing requirements associated with the COVID-19 pandemic remain in place, these requirements are likely to affect the overall Festival capacity i.e. entertainment program design and other cultural activities for the Festival. Showcase Leaders will therefore be asked to submit a draft showcase performance template that reflects a total of two hours of performance time, see details below (4.3 Showcase category). Once again, during the COVID-19 pandemic we encourage applicants to consider flexibility and adaptability as part of their applications.

4 Eligibility requirements

4.1 Organisation eligibility requirements

To be eligible to apply, organisations must:

4.2 Not-for-Profit organisations

A Not-for-Profit (NFP) organisation does not operate for the profit or gain of its individual members, whether these gains would have been direct or indirect.

A NFP organisation is not an organisation that has not made a profit. A NFP organisation can still make a profit, but this profit must be used to carry out its purposes and must not be distributed to owners, members or other private individuals.

For more information please visit the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit CommissionExternal Link, the Australian Taxation OfficeExternal Link or view the Charities Act 2013External Link.

4.3 Showcase category

Showcases have made a long-standing contribution to the National Multicultural Festival. The role that Showcase Leaders play in coordinating a showcase of cultural heritage and traditions through the development of an entertainment program, is key to the successful participation of the communities they represent.

One application per Showcase can be submitted unless a particular Showcase has been pre-approved to submit more than one application under the Showcase category.

Showcases will be required to provide a draft showscase performance template as part of the application that reflects up to two hours of performance time.

Applicants are requested to complete the template provided to detail the proposed performances. Please access the link below to view the template that will need to be submitted as part of an application under the Showcase category (4.3).

2020-21 NMF Grant - Showcase program template [Excel KB]

This information will assist the assessment process and will enable program planning.

4.4 Who can not apply

Individuals, profit making groups, government entities and registered political parties are not eligible to apply.

As the Festival is a national celebration of cultural diversity, community groups and organisations who reside interstate are also encouraged to apply however due to funding limitations, preference may be given to applicants representing multicultural communities, including new and emerging communities, that reside in the ACT and surrounding region.

Individuals or groups who apply for a grant under the National Multicultural Festival Professional Performer grant stream are not eligible to apply.

4.5 Project eligibility requirements

Eligible activities, events or projects/performances:

4.6 Obligations of auspicing organisation

An auspicing organisation must provide a letter of support with the application stating that it will:

If the auspicing organisation is unable to comply with the above eligibility requirements, your application will not be assessed for funding.

5 COVID-19 safety measures

Applicants are encouraged to stay informed with the current COVID-19 restrictions and as they apply to the ACT. For all information relating to how to stay COVID-safe, please visit the ACT COVID websiteExternal Link at

All performing groups and individuals will be required to observe the four-meter square rule, physical (social) distancing and good hand hygiene at all times during your participation at the National Multicultural Festival.

Please note, given COVID-19 restrictions, stages are limited to a total capacity of 10 performers at any one time.

6 What the funds can be used for?

Applications will be considered for the following:

7 What the funds cannot be used for?

Applications will not be considered for the following:

8 Assessment of applications

An Assessment Panel will review all applications and recommend eligibility and priority to the delegate, the Executive Group Manager, Inclusion and Participation Division. The Assessment Panel will include a Chairperson represented by the Senior Director, National Multicultural Festival and community representatives as members.

The Assessment Panel will assess all eligible grant applications against the following selection criteria.

8.1. Event summary and purpose

The application demonstrates that the activity, event or project/performance aligns with the aim of the grant program and adds cultural value to the National Multicultural Festival whilst observing COVID-safe measures.

8.2 Clear outcomes

The application demonstrates that the activity, event or project/performance:

8.3 Benefit to community

8.4 COVID safety

8.5 Timeframes and budget

The application demonstrates the activity, event or project/performance:

9 Accepting a grant

9.1 Grant requirements

  1. Successful applicants will be required to enter into an Agreement with the
    ACT Government setting out the terms and conditions for which funding will be provided, including acquittal requirements. This Agreement will be in the form of a Letter of Offer.
  2. Funds may only be spent on items and activities specified in the Agreement. Any unspent funds must be returned to the Community Services Directorate.
  3. The names, project descriptions and funding amount of all successful applications will be posted on the Community Services Directorate website following the assessment process. By accepting a grant, you agree to this requirement.
  4. Grant recipients must ensure that the assistance provided by the ACT Government is appropriately acknowledgedExternal Link in any promotional or other materials. The ACT Government’s Branding Guidelines and “Supported By” logo are accessible at
  5. Grant recipients must inform the Community Services Directorate in writing if they have applied for any other financial assistance for the same activity or engaged any external sponsors. A copy of this agreement will be required upon signing the acceptance letter by the recipient.

9.2 Acquittal/reporting requirements

All successful applicants/organisations must expend the funds within the timeframes nominated in the Letter of Offer. For the 2020-2021 Participation (National Multicultural Festival) Grant Program, the successful recipients must submit the completed acquittal and expenditure report within two months of the Festival occurring.

When you have expended the funds, please log on to Smartygrants and complete the Acquittal Report form. Use the same username and password to log in that you used to register with Smartygrants when you applied for the grant.

We require you to keep ALL receipts for related expenditure including evidence of any income paid to performers or artists. Copies of all tax invoices and receipts are required to be provided in your Acquittal Report.

PLEASE NOTE: To be eligible for funding in future grants rounds, applicants must meet all acquittal and reporting requirements.

9.3 Insurance

For many activities, events or projects/performances, the organisation must have a current Public Liability insurance policy with a cover of a minimum of $10 million.

The requirement to have Public Liability insurance cover and the level required is determined by an assessment of the risks and liabilities of the proposal. Usually low risk proposals are not required to have additional insurance.

Applications in support of a showcase must provide evidence of a public liability insurance policy that provides coverage for all the performers identified in the draft showcase program.

Successful applicants will be notified in their Letter of Offer if additional insurance is required.

10 Important information for applicants

10.1 Accessibility

The ACT Government is committed to making its information, services, events and venues accessible to as many people as possible.

If you would like this information in an alternative format – such as large print or audio – please telephone 133 427.

If English is not your first language and you require translating and interpreting services, please telephone 131 450.

If you are deaf or hearing impaired and require the National Relay Service, please telephone 133 677 then ask for 133 427.

10.2 When to submit your application

Late applications will not be accepted.

10.3  How to submit your application

All applications must be submitted via the online Participation (National Multicultural Festival) Grant Program Application Form at

Applications under the Showcase category must also submit their one-page draft showcase performance template.

If you are having difficulty accessing the online application form or if an error occurs, please contact the National Multicultural Festival Team via email at

You will need to create a log in to begin your application and you may begin anywhere in the Application Form. Please ensure you save as you go.

Hardcopy or email applications will not be accepted.

Using the On-line Application Form

Navigating (moving through) the grants application form

On the right-hand side of every screen, there is a box which links directly to every page of the application. Click on any page to jump directly to that page. You can also click 'next page' or 'previous page' on the top or bottom of each page to move forward or backward through the application.

Saving your draft application and returning

You can press 'save' at any point and log out. When you log back in, your draft application will be saved, and you can start where you left off.

Submitting your application

The submit button is on the final page. You will not be able to submit your application until all the questions are completed.

Attachments and support documents

You may wish to upload/submit attachments to support your application. For some categories you will have to include attachments. This is very simple but requires you to have the documents saved on your computer, on a zip drive, or similar. If you are not able to upload a document, please contact the Service Funding Support Unit for support via email at .

Completing an application in a group/team

A number of people can work on an application using the same log in details provided that only one person is working on the application at any given time. Ensure you save as you go.

Once you have completed your application it will be submitted to the Grants Program Officer.

In order to avoid your application being deemed ineligible, ensure you upload all supporting documentation as part of your application.

PLEASE NOTE: The Grants Program Officer is unable to view your application until it is submitted.

10.4 Addendum

Any additional information provided by the Community Services Directorate as part of this grant program will be posted online at, including any updates concerning the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and how the current situation may affect the delivery of this grant program.

In addition, all applicants that have started or submitted an online application form will be notified via email to the address that is registered with Smartygrants.

10.5 Confidentiality

All material submitted to the Community Services Directorate is provided in confidence. However, the ACT Government may promote successful applicants for the mutual benefit of the Grants Program and the applicant. Details of applications will not be made available to third parties without permission.

10.6 Complaints

What you can expect

A complaint is defined as an expression of dissatisfaction in relation to the application process and/or an unsuccessful application for a grant.

You or your representative have the right to raise your concerns. This information supports us to improve services and supports your right to ask questions about the grant application process as well as decisions made in relation to an unsuccessful application.

If you make a complaint, you can expect to:

11 Further information

For more information or to lodge a complaint, please contact the National Multicultural Festival Team via email at

Please visit the Community Services Directorate Multicultural Grants web page for updates at