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Event Development Funding

The Ballarat Heritage Festival was established in 2007, born form the desire to highlight Ballarat’s rich and diverse history, hosted against the backdrop of the city’s enviable architecture. The festival is a heritage themed event, that unravels the unique stories of our cities past. Delivered in collaboration with the community, the event showcases a wide range of event offerings and experiences that highlight all eras of Ballarat’s diverse history.

In 2024, the festival will be delivered over a 10-day period, commencing mid-May. The festival will remain decentralised, with event programming covering the entire municipality – with a focus on the central business district, delivered in partnership with local business/community groups.

To assist in improvement of event offerings, the City of Ballarat has created the Ballarat Heritage Festival Event Development Fund. The program has been designed to develop events delivered during the festival to further enhance tourist and locals experience.

Expressions of Interest (EOI) are sought from businesses, venues, event organisers, creatives, producers and community groups, who are proposing unique and authentic.

If successful, the City of Ballarat will provide funds of up to $5,000 to assist in the production of the event.

We are seeking events and or offerings that showcase the stories of Ballarat’s unique and authentic heritage – that has a link to festivals curation pillars which are:

  • People & Places
  • Cultural & Creative
  • Culinary Artisans

We strongly encourage applications looking to deliver first time events. For returning events we are seeking evidence of how you are planning to amplify your event to attract an increase of visitors or how you intend to further develop and enhance your event experience.


  • Storytelling and Shows
  • Curated Tours
  • Educational Talks
  • Exhibitions
  • Interactive Performance  
  • Workshops
  • Food & Beverage Offerings

Primary – Mature Tastes
More often mature (40+), and with no kids, this audience seek out good food and wine, and enjoy taking it easy for a few nights in pleasant surroundings. Their visits are centered around townships, not nature, and they will often make planned dining arrangements and seek out produce.

Secondary – Active Regional Explorers
Metro-based families with preschool and young primary aged children seek out enriching experiences and are more likely to engage with art, culture and history. Educated, curious and enthusiastic, this audience spends the most per night and spends more nights away than any other segment.

Locals/visiting friends and relatives (VFR) 
Historically, this audience accounts for around 60% of the BHF’s attendance and makes up the majority of the family audience. They play a major role in enticing visitation by friends and family.  

Applications are open to anyone/any business with a registered ABN or equivalent. In addition, the applicant must:

  • Produce event content within the City of Ballarat region.
  • Cater for a minimum of 50 people.
  • Be able to source all relevant permits (if required)
  • Deliver an event linked to the Ballarat Heritage Festival curation pillars and theme.


  1. Advise event information:
    – Name of event offering
    – Concept
    – Location
    – When (time and day/s)
  2. Demonstrate how your event offering aligns with the festival pillars and theme for 2024.
    – Pillars: People & Places, Cultural & Creative, Culinary Artisans
    – Theme: Stories of Ballarat
  3. Demonstrate how your event offering highlights Ballarat’s unique and authentic Heritage.
  4. Demonstrate how your event offering aligns with festivals target audience.
  5. Demonstrate consideration for accessibility needs.
  6. Demonstrated your ability or the businesses’ ability to be able to appropriately resource and project manage the event from end-to-end.
  7. Detail proposed funding request amount, along with an operating budget, detailing breakdown of proposed funding expenditure
    Note: applicants are encouraged to request only the funding they require. Unsubstantiated funding requests will be deemed ineligible as will incomplete submission

EOI closes – Sunday 4 February 2024
Submissions reviewed by COB officer – Wednesday 7 February 2024
Submissions awarded to successful applicants – Friday February 2024
Ballarat Heritage Festival event dates – Friday 17 – Sunday 26 May 2024

Submissions should be sent to by no later than Sunday 4 February 2024.

The content of all submissions remains confidential, we adhere to the City of Ballarat Privacy Policy.

All submissions received will be assessed by an internal panel of Council Officers and all applicants will be notified of the outcome by Wednesday 7 February 2024.

For further enquiries regarding this process, you are invited to contact:

City of Ballarat Events Unit
P: 5340 5500

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Phoenix Building
25 Armstrong Street South, Ballarat Central VIC 3350

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