Building capability and conditions for growth
Creative practitioners and organisations, particularly small and independent players, operate in a complex system involving a multitude of people, institutions and places. To flourish they require access to a suite of interconnected resources and capabilities.
This creative ecosystem has different parts – education and skills, entrepreneurship, research, infrastructure and finance. It encompasses both highly commercialised sectors, including music, digital games, television production, architecture and design and those more culturally focused. But its strength relies on how well the parts interact.
Local firms produce quality products and services and would benefit from stronger export capability. Many creative practitioners need greater understanding of regulation, legal issues and business practice to transform an idea into an enterprise. Lack of affordable space to work is commonly experienced.
A strong ecosystem will create a dynamic interplay between different parts of the creative industries and with the broader economy. It will support organisations to be innovative and will ensure a continual pipeline of activity to create jobs, infrastructure, cultural vibrancy and growth.
There are areas where the Victorian Government is already taking action to support businesses, including in the creative industries. LaunchVic will work in partnership with entrepreneurs, industry, businesses, the community and our educational institutions to strengthen Victoria's startup and entrepreneurial ecosystem. For independent operators and small businesses, there are Small Business Workshops, Small Business Mentoring and Grow Your Business to help business owners make strategic decisions, improve management skills and develop businesses.
Film Victoria programs invest in organisational creativity, capability and continuity, as does Creative Victoria's reformed Organisations Investment Program. The Victorian Government invests in major infrastructure and institutions which provide spaces and will be required to deliver increased opportunities for creative practice and collaboration to the broader sector as part of the substantial government investment in their operations.
Under Creative State, we are delivering new actions, totaling $57.35 million over four years, that address critical parts of the creative industries ecosystem, complementing and enhancing existing initiatives. This will accelerate the development of creative businesses and organisations, unlock opportunities for collaboration and drive employment opportunities for sustainable creative practice.
Learn about the progress of Creative State Actions 6-14 to see how we are strengthening Victoria's creative industries ecosystem through business development, innovation and collaboration, as well as targeted actions in the screen sector.
Targeted action to assist the establishment and growth of entrepreneurial creative enterprises. It will stimulate business growth among ambitious organisations through access to business, management, technical, legal, marketing and governance support. It will create new partnerships, help exploit new technologies and explore different forms of funding, financing and investment from government and private sources. Wherever possible, it will partner with LaunchVic and leverage existing models such as the Melbourne Accelerator Program.
This action was considered at the February 2017 meeting of the Creative State Advisory Board (CSAB). It is being developed in conjunction with Action 4: Talent development to take advantage of the complementary nature of these actions.
A targeted program is being developed in consultation with CSAB with the objective of putting creative individuals and enterprises on a clear path to sustainability and growth. A service provider will be engaged in the second half of 2017 to refine and deliver the program. The program will be open for applications in 2018.
A program to activate co-working spaces and hubs across the state. It will leverage partnerships with councils, property owners, philanthropic supporters and other stakeholders to identify and unlock creative spaces in metropolitan and regional areas. Using a mix of capital, infrastructure and operational grants, it will build on recent groundbreaking initiatives such as ACMI X, Testing Grounds and the Collingwood Arts Precinct.
Creative Victoria has been working behind the scenes with a range of government and other partners to improve the conditions for creative spaces to emerge and succeed. This includes exploring potential changes to current policy and regulation, developing better information for those wishing to start creative spaces, and better understanding the needs, the types of spaces sought and the current barriers. Work is also being undertaken on regional models to revitalise areas and open up space for local creatives.
Further investment has been made in innovative models for providing space for creative organisations and practitioners, including:
- The Collingwood Arts Precinct which is transforming long-abandoned former school buildings into a co-working hub for small to medium creative organisations. Victorian government funding, announced in July 2016, has leveraged major philanthropic support for this social enterprise development, and work is underway.
- The Guild, delivered in partnership with the City of Melbourne, opened in February 2016, providing a mix of commercial and subsidised spaces for art practice and exhibition.
- The experimental space, Testing Grounds, situated on a vacant block of government-owned land in the Southbank Arts Precinct, was supported to upgrade its infrastructure, expand its programming and provide studio space for creative practice. In 2017 Testing Grounds is partnering with Footscray Community Arts Centre, Next Wave Festival and Yirramboi First Nations Arts Festival to offer studio residencies for the first time.
- The $38.5 million redevelopment of the Geelong Performing Arts Centre includes provision for a creative industries co-working floor.
- Creative Spaces: Guild offers new working space for the arts
- Abbotsford Convent receives Heritage funding for new arts space
- Call for anchor tenants for the Collingwood Arts Precinct
- Next phase of Collingwood Arts Precinct underway
- Interview with Katrina Sedgwick ACMIx
- Co-working and Collaboration
ACMI X is a 60 seat co-working space dedicated to the creative industries. Designed by award-winning architects, Six Degrees. Photo: Andrew McColl
Access offered to the government's media buying contract to small, medium and major arts organisations supported under the Organisations Investment Program. This will deliver significantly reduced advertising rates for these organisations.
The Victorian Government's media buying contract has been opened to arts and cultural organisations supported through Creative Victoria's Organisation Investment Program and other organisations that receive multi-year operational support. This opportunity is being taken up and has allowed organisations such as Melbourne Festival and Melbourne International Film Festival to more effectively allocate their advertising spend.
Designs for the additional module at State Library Victoria's collections storage facility in Ballarat.
Plans have been developed for the expansion of State Library Victoria's collections storage facility at Federation University in Ballarat, which will double capacity. As part of this project the original storage module will also be upgraded to improve fire protection and environmental conditions.
Site investigations and design work have been completed and construction is expected to start in mid-2017 and be completed by mid-2018.
The facility will house books, journals, photographs, artworks, manuscripts and other items of significance to Victoria's heritage.
A new dedicated stream of funding, as part of the Organisations Investment Program, to underpin innovation, collaboration and growth in the small to medium arts sector. It will enable organisations to implement innovative strategies to build audiences, respond to new business and market challenges and increase return on investment.
The Victorian Government has allocated an additional $7.25 million to Creative Victoria's Organisations Investment Program (OIP) over four years.
In 2016, $6 million was streamed through the OIP open funding round, enabling a total of $28 million per annum (or $113 million over the four year term) to be allocated to 90 small, medium and large independent arts and cultural organisations. Of these, seven organisations were new to the OIP portfolio, increasing the diversity and regional impact of the program:
- Shepparton's Indigenous art organisation Gallery Kaiela
- Indigenous opera company Short Black Opera
- Newport's dynamic multi-art venue The Substation
- Multicultural youth arts organisation, Outer Urban Projects
- The Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka in Ballarat
- Lakes Entrance's Indigenous art organisation Wurinbeena
- Melbourne Chamber Orchestra.
The funded organisations reach a broad cross-section of the Victorian community, including children and youth, people with a disability, and culturally and linguistically diverse artists and audiences. Many tour extensively and have national and international reputations for creative excellence.
The remaining $1.25 million will be allocated in 2018 and will support OIP organisations to build business capacity, sustainability and entrepreneurship.
Extension of a pilot program to enable small to medium creative industry organisations, from all creative sectors, to undertake innovative marketing projects to grow their audiences or markets in new ways.
The Marketing Innovation Fund has been introduced as an ongoing program, open for applications annually. Focused on small to medium organisations in all creative sectors, the fund encourages and supports new approaches to marketing.
It provides one-off funding for new marketing projects that explore different ways of engaging audiences, building brand awareness, reaching new markets and increasing income.
In 2016, the Marketing Innovation Fund supported projects at seven organisations, including:
- Gallery Kaiela, Shepparton ($20,000) to employ Aboriginal comedians to develop comedy performances and online content to promote the programs, artists and activities at this Shepparton-based Aboriginal art space.
- Melbourne Fringe ($20,000) to develop an online fortune-telling platform, complemented by an engaging live fortune teller, to help audiences wade through Fringe's 400+ events and plan their festival experience.
- Regional Arts Victoria ($13,000) for a mentoring project that paired respected arts industry marketers with presenters in regional Victoria to enhance their marketing activities and grow their audiences.
Lessons learnt from these projects are now helping to inform the organisations' future marketing activities and are being consolidated by Creative Victoria to apply more broadly across the creative industries. The 2017 funding round is underway.
An annual summit, supported by a year-round program of events with leading thinkers and practitioners from across the cultural and creative landscape. This will enable industry networking, expansion of business practice, new partnerships and new ideas.
The first Creative State Summit was held on 29 and 30 June 2017, providing an opportunity for people working across Victoria's creative industries to come together to share ideas, forge new collaborations and connections.
The program featured over 100 local and international experts across a range of keynote addresses, panel discussions and activities designed to inspire participants, spark conversations and build sector capacity.
Creative Victoria worked with REMIX Summits and an industry advisory group to develop the program and deliver the event.
Over 350 people participated in the two-day event, coming from all corners of Victoria's creative industries – from those working in large institutions, small to medium companies and businesses to independent practitioners at different career stages.
Program information is available at: http://creativestatesummit.com/
A new program that will build long term capability and strengthen the sector. It will support screen businesses looking to expand their operations by creating new business streams and market relationships.
Film Victoria introduced three new screen business programs in July 2016 which support Victorian screen companies to review their business strategies and set clear goals and objectives for future growth:
- Business Matters: a partnership with Small Business Victoria to support Victorian film, television and games companies to develop a formal business plan. The first round of workshops were held in October 2016.
Business Matters participant Kirsten Mallyon (pictured above), Writer & Director at Intafusion Films, said the program provided clarity, "It allowed us to make specific goals which are measurable. It was focused time spent on the important parts of our business that we're usually far too busy to focus on."
- Planning for Growth: provides funding to film, television and games companies of up to $10,000 to undertake a strategic review of their business and develop strategies for growth. Eleven companies received funding through this program.
- Screen Business Ventures: provides growth capital for leading screen businesses. Funding of $100,00 - $150,000 or $400,000 - 500,000 over a two year period to help companies implement well-developed plans for expansion.
Renewed funding to support Victoria's screen businesses and practitioners, including:
- for the production of high quality, diverse and engaging film, television and online content for Australian and international audiences
- to attract footloose film and television projects to the state
- for games companies to create and market a diverse range of games for any distribution platform with an emphasis on the creation of intellectual property and long-term benefits for their business
- for the Melbourne International Film Festival Premiere Fund to provide co-financing to new Australian feature films that will have their international premiere at MIFF
- for key film festivals and to retain major screen business conferences in Victoria.
This expands the support available through Film Victoria's core programs and has enabled investment in additional screen projects, activities and events.
Funding has supported the production of a range of locally made features, successful returning TV series, biopics, documentaries and animated content for children.
It has also helped attract several large productions to Victoria including:
- The reimagining of Picnic at Hanging Rock as a six part television series aimed at the international market.
- Winchester, a thriller from Australian directors Peter and Michael Spierig (Predestination), starring Oscar winning actress Helen Mirren. Winchester filmed at Docklands Studios Melbourne and other iconic Victorian locations in early 2017.
- The sci-fi thriller Stem which brought writer and director Leigh Whannell (co-creator of the Insidious and the Saw franchises) back to his hometown of Melbourne.
A range of mobile games projects have been funded including The American Dream, a satirical virtual reality journey through 1950s America; The Beat, a glam-noir detective adventure set in contemporary Melbourne and inspired by true events; and Into Affliction a poignant story of a mother searching an alien planet for a cure for her son's illness.
A number of key industry events have been secured for Victoria, including:
- Screen Producers Australia's Screen Forever conference, from 2017-2019.
- The Australian International Documentary Conference, Australia's premier event for documentary, factual and unscripted screen content, from 2018-2020.
- Series Mania Melbourne 2017, the first foray of the Paris-based international festival of television into the Southern Hemisphere.
A diverse array of Victorian film festivals have also been supported, including:
- Indian Film Festival of Melbourne
- St Kilda Film Festival
- Human Rights Arts and Film Festival
- Melbourne Queer Film Festival.
- Bringing up Emo
- New funding for Australia's longest running short film festival
- Indian Film Festival of Melbourne lives on
- Flagship screen conferences call Victoria home
- Production boom at Docklands studios Melbourne
Neil Triffett's Emo (The Musical) received production funding through Film Victoria's Assigned Production Investment program and debuted at the 2016 Melbourne International Film Festival with support through the MIFF Premiere Fund.