Applications are now open for venues to share in $100,000 to host viewing Mardi Gras parties this March.
This year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade will again be held within the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on March 5. For the first time in years, ABC will also broadcast the Parade that night.
And Mardi Gras and Facebook’s parent company Meta are offering the funds to 30 venues holding Parade viewing parties.
The grants program will go to venues across the country hosting COVID-safe viewing event and support and employ queer performers or artists as part of their event.
The grants come after another horror 12 months for the hospitality industry and queer events due to Covid-19.
Mardi Gras says the grants will allow queer community members and allies nationwide to celebrate together, especially if they’re still unable to travel to Sydney.
Mardi Gras CEO Albert Kruger said, “We’re proud to unite with Meta once more to deliver much needed support to our LGBQTIA+ venues and artists after another year of disruption for them.
“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.”
Broken Hill venue hosted Mardi Gras viewing party last year
Last year’s recipients were both regional and metro venues, located from Cairns to Broken Hill.
In Broken Hill in regional New South Wales, the iconic Palace Hotel hosted a party last year.
Palace Hotel director Esther LaRovere said the grants are “so helpful for our entertainers, hospitality and event venues.”
“[We] are coming out of a very crippling experience with COVID over the last two years,” LaRovere said.
“Receiving a grant last year helped us run a fantastic Mardi Gras Parade viewing event in Broken Hill.
“Events like this remind the regional LGBTIQA+ community that they are not forgotten in these often city-centric celebrations and that community is everywhere.”
Applications are now open to small businesses and hospitality venues across Australia for grants up to $3,350.
Submissions close at 11:59pm on Sunday January 30. To apply visit the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras website here.
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