With the introduction of Stage 4 restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne and Stage 3 restrictions in regional Victoria, we know there are many questions about what the new measures mean across the creative industries. We’re seeking clarification on a number of points and will continue to update this page as new information and questions are received.
Further information about the current restriction levels and next steps can be found on the Department of Health and Human Services website.
Public health measures
A State of Disaster has been declared in Victoria from 6pm on Sunday 2 August 2020. This is part of new measures to step-up the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and gives police additional powers to ensure people are complying with public health directions.
From 6pm on Sunday 2 August 2020, Stage 4 restrictions are in place for metropolitan Melbourne.
From 11:59pm, 5 August 2020 Stage 3 restrictions apply in regional Victoria.
As this is a dynamic and fast-moving situation, the best source of reliable, up to date information regarding current measures, restrictions and health advice is www.vic.gov.au/coronavirus.
Funding and support
Creative Victoria is working closely with the Minister for Creative Industries on a range of support measures to help the sector through the challenges posed by coronavirus (COVID-19). This includes rolling out the Victorian Government’s dedicated creative industries support.
To date, the Victorian Government has announced a total of $90 million to help the state’s creative sector through the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, in addition to broader programs and support.
This dedicated funding will help maintain creative jobs and activity, help individuals, organisations and businesses to regenerate income, develop new work and provide new opportunities for creative community participation during the current shutdown and beyond.
- $48 million to ensure our State-owned creative and cultural institutions survive the impacts of the pandemic and protect their workers.
- $13 million to support almost 100 non-government arts and cultural organisations state-wide.
- $4.7 million in quick response grants for independent creatives and micro-businesses across the state through the new Sustaining Creative Workers initiative.
- $19 million for the music industry, including support for live music venues ($15 million), music workers and businesses, and for key events and online initiatives.
- $2 million to commission new works by local artists through the RISING Festival.
- $1.6 million in grants through Creative Victoria’s programs focusing on activities that can be undertaken in the current climate, such as the research and development of new creative works, professional development activities and new ways of reaching audiences.
- $1.1 million to support the urgent needs of key creative organisations and facilities, benefiting many hundreds of individual artists and small businesses.
- $700,000 to commission original creative content for the Victoria Together online platform.
Given the extraordinary circumstances, Creative Victoria is also being as flexible as possible with reporting requirements for previously funded activity and with changes to projects, programs and timelines.
Visit the Financial Support page of the COVID-19 section of our website for information on support available through Creative Victoria, other government programs, and creative industries grants and opportunities.
We have compiled a summary of available programs on the Financial Support page of the COVID-19 section of our website however we recommend that you contact Business Victoria (13 22 15 or business.vic.gov.au) for current advice and assistance.
For more information and to apply visit Business Victoria.
There are a number of measures and programs in place to provide support for live music venues across the state.
The $15 million Victorian Live Music Venues program has been launched to provide dedicated support to live music venues with a capacity of 50-1,200 people that have been impacted by the pandemic. This program is delivered through Creative Victoria.
Other support measures include the waiving of liquor licencing fees and payroll tax, the Commercial Tenancies Relief Scheme and the Business Support Fund. For more information on these contact the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15.
Metropolitan Melbourne - Stage 4 business restrictions
No. Under Stage 4 restrictions arts, cultural and entertainment venues, studios and other creative industry workplaces are not permitted to open, including for livestreaming and recording performances and content.
You can continue to livestream from home, but no one from outside your household is permitted to be there.
Find more information on Stage 4 restrictions in Melbourne.
Under Stage 4 restrictions feature film, television and documentary projects (excluding television commercials, student and corporate productions) that are already in physical production and operating as a closed set, and related post-production, are permitted to continue.
Screen productions of this nature can remain operational with a COVIDSafe plan in place and in accordance with the Permitted Worker Permit Scheme Directions.
Guidance, FAQs and a template for a COVIDSafe plan is available via the Business Victoria website.
Information about the Permitted Worker Scheme is available on the Victorian Government’s coronavirus website.
For more details and further Q&As relating to the screen industry, visit Film Victoria.
Regional Victoria - Stage 3 business restrictions
Yes. Livestreaming from venues can continue under Stage 3 restrictions.
Find more information on Stage 3 restrictions in regional Victoria.
Professional screen productions are classified as workplaces under the Stage 3 restrictions and are permitted to operate in line with the public health measures, whether indoors or outside.
If a venue or residence has been hired by a production company and the crew and talent are being paid to be on site, the site is classified as a workplace.
Creative Victoria is open to assist you, with staff working remotely. Creative Victoria has a Business Continuity Plan in place to ensure that we can continue to support and communicate with the sector through this situation, deliver programs, and make payments.
Creative Victoria’s funding programs have continued with some modifications where possible in the circumstances, especially in relation to support for international travel and public gatherings. We note that some projects may need to change given the current public health measures. We will accept changes to deliverables, KPIs and delivery platforms. Please contact program staff to discuss your project.
The VicArts Grants program is currently open to Victorian artists or organisations looking for support for a creative project or program. Applications will be accepted for requests between $5,000 and $60,000, and will close at 5pm on Thursday, 3 September 2020. We have also introduced new programs to support the sector through the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19), including:
- Sustaining Creative Workers
- Organisations Strategic Investment Fund
- Victorian Live Music Venues program
Further opportunities focused on the music sector are in the pipeline and will be announced soon.
We will continue to publish information on future funding rounds and new opportunities on our website and via our digital channels, please keep in touch by subscribing to our eNews and following us on social media.
See our Grants and Support page for information on our suite of grants programs.
Organisations funded through the Organisations Investment, Regional Partnerships and Major Performing Arts programs will continue to receive their funding, regardless of any changes and disruptions to their activities. This funding is secure through to June 2021, December 2021 or June 2022 depending on the agreements. The funding agreements for organisations that receive operational funding as special initiatives will also be honoured.
Note: we will accept changes to deliverables, KPIs and delivery platforms. Please speak with your Client Manager about your needs.
Non-government arts and cultural organisations that receive multi-year operational funding through Creative Victoria, are eligible for additional support through the new Strategic Investment Fund. Organisations should contact their Creative Victoria Client Manager to find out more.
Given these extraordinary circumstances we will be as flexible as possible with reporting and acquittals, please contact program staff to discuss your needs.
For organisations that receive funding through the Organisations Investment Program, outcomes reporting for 2020 has been suspended.
The world has changed dramatically, and rapidly, since we undertook consultation last year for Victoria’s next creative industries strategy. Right now, we are focused on assessing the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19) and ensuring that Victorian creative institutions, organisations, events and individuals are supported.
The Creative State strategy is being reconsidered in light of the impacts of the current crisis.
Legal and business support
We are unable to anticipate or provide advice on future restriction levels, these are subject to the directions of Victoria’s Chief Health Officer. When planning an event, exercise caution in any financial obligations. For example, be aware of cancellation fees and insurances. Business Victoria can assist businesses in developing contingency plans and accessing advice about the implications of changes or cancellations.
You can call the Business Victoria coronavirus hotline on 13 22 15 or submit a query online.
It is best to contact your insurance provider or legal adviser to discuss what compensation you may be eligible for.
Business Victoria can assist businesses in developing contingency plans and accessing advice about the implications of changes or cancellations. Call the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15 or visit the website at business.vic.gov.au.
Information on current restrictions is available on the Victorian Government's coronavirus website.
If you are unsure or have any questions about your business’s ability to open or operate you can contact the Business Victoria coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline on 13 22 15 or by using the Business Victoria Contact us form.
The current Stage 4 for restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne and Stage 3 restrictions in regional Victoria are in place until at least Sunday 13 September. We can’t anticipate or provide advice on what may happen after that period and continue to follow the directions of the Chief Health Officer.
For latest information on Victoria's restriction levels, visit the Department of Health and Human Services website.
If your business is affected, call the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 1 or visit business.vic.gov.au for the latest information about available support.
Business Victoria and its dedicated coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline caters for all businesses, including not-for-profits and those planning to start a business or apply for an ABN. This includes creative businesses and individual sole traders.
The hotline number is 13 22 15. Business Victoria’s information is also available online at business.vic.gov.au.
We have also compiled some useful legal and business support resources.