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 has been developed in conjunction with Action 4: Talent development with the objective of putting creative individuals and enterprises on a clear path to sustainability and growth.
The resulting program, Foundry658, led by State Library Victoria and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, was launched in June 2018.
Foundry658 is designed to help creative entrepreneurs, organisations and collectives turn their creative ideas into successful businesses.
The program provides free business development expertise and advice to build the capacity of creatives working across all fields – including arts and culture, film and television, media, publishing, fashion, digital games and design.
The program comprises a regional roadshow, boot camps to support up to 50 creative entrepreneurs and artists to develop their business idea, and an intensive three-month Accelerator program supporting high potential creative start-ups to turn their ideas into sustainable businesses.
Accelerator teams each receive $20,000 in seed funding and mentoring support from leading creative entrepreneurs.
Roadshow sessions were held across the state in 2018 with 523 people attending, representing an array of creative ideas, businesses and practice. Bootcamps took place in November 2018 and February 2019.
Eight teams successfully completed the first Accelerator program and launched their creative enterprises at the first Foundry658 Demo Night in July 2019.
More information about Foundry658 can be found at State Library Victoria
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.
In March 2018, the Victorian Government introduced an amendment and new planning control to the Melbourne Arts Precinct, designed to protect and enhance the creative and cultural character of the area. This will encourage the provision of creative space, such as studios, workshops, galleries, performance and events spaces, as part of the first four floors of any new development. Creative Victoria is also engaging with relevant developers to discuss potential creative uses.
Creative Victoria investment has also supported projects including:
- Creative Spaces: Guild, delivered in partnership with the City of Melbourne, which has transformed 1000m2 of retail space in Southbank into arts spaces (including the new home of Melbourne Fringe).
- The Collingwood Arts Precinct site which is transforming long-abandoned former school buildings into a co-working hub for small to medium creative organisations. The redevelopment is in its design phase and the site is being activated through events, creative activity and as interim accommodation for a design practice.
- The $38.5 million redevelopment of the Geelong Performing Arts Centre which will include creative industries co-working spaces.
- WXYZ Studios, an innovative partnership between Lucy Guerin Inc and philanthropist Dr Terry Wu, which will provide a secure home for the internationally renowned contemporary dance company, as well as a hub for Victoria’s independent dance sector including dance studios, co-working spaces, hot desks and other facilities.
- Melbourne Fringe Artist Hub at Trades Hall which, in addition to serving as the festival's headquarters and hub, will offer affordable spaces for creative use and operate as a year-round venue.
- Renew Geelong, an initiative to connect privately owned underutilised spaces with local creatives.
- The Creative Geelong Makers Hub which has transformed a disused mall in the city into active creative spaces for creative start-ups.
- Ballarat Evolve which is turning unoccupied commercial tenancies into creative spaces.
- Melbourne Fringe Festival gets a new home
- Protecting and revitalising the Melbourne Arts Precinct
- New hub to strengthen Victorian's dance sector
- 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.
Work is well progressed on 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 is also being upgraded to improve fire protection and environmental conditions.
The facility will house books, journals, photographs, artworks, manuscripts and other items of significance to Victoria's heritage.
The new building is expected to be complete in late 2019.
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. A number of new organisations were welcomed to the OIP portfolio, increasing the diversity and regional impact of the program, these included:
- 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
- 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.
This action is also supporting OIP organisations to build their capacity in critical areas including First Peoples cultural competency and building safe and respectful workplaces.
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 Innovation in Marketing 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.
The Innovation in Marketing Fund has supported more than 20 projects, across a range of creative organisations, since 2016. Recently supported projects include:
- the online dating-style game ‘Fringr’ which will encourage customers to book tickets for emerging artists at the 2018 Melbourne Fringe Festival;
- the launch of Kaiela Arts’ new linen fabric range through an outdoor theatre performance; and
- an interactive digital installation by Tin Man Games to accompany the release of the new Sony Playstation Virtual Reality game, Table of Tales: The Crooked Crown.
Lessons learnt from the completed 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
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.
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.
The second Summit was held in 14 and 15 June 2018, this time centred on the theme ‘Creativity in a post truth world.’ With a strong line-up of local and international speakers, the event explored how creativity can help influence and shape public debate, the role of artists and creative practitioners as activists and game changers, and how creativity can respond to challenging issues and uncertain times.
In addition to keynote addresses, the program included skills development workshops, a creative enterprise stream, open discussion forums and opportunities to delve deeper with speakers. The sell-out event was also live-streamed.
Planning is underway for the third Creative State Summit which will take place on 30-31 May 2019.
Following a competitive procurement process, Creative Victoria continues to work with with REMIX Summits to deliver these events.
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, supported eight Victorian film, television and games companies to develop a formal business plan. Business Matters participant Kirsten Mallyon (pictured), Writer & Director at Intafusion Films, said the program provided clarity, "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, enabled eleven film, television and games companies to undertake a strategic review of their business and develop strategies for growth, with funding of up to $10,000 provided.
- Screen Business Ventures provides working capital for leading Victorian screen businesses over a two year period. Two games companies and six companies producing film and television content will share in $2.7 million to implement strategies that will increase their output capacity.
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 wide range of locally made features, successful returning TV series, biopics, documentaries, animated content for children and more.
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.
- The fourth season of US television series Preacher which is expected to inject around $50 million into the Victorian economy and generate 740 local job opportunities.
- The screen adaptation of the best-selling novel The Dry, starring Eric Bana.
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. Series Mania returns to Melbourne in 2018 with industry events and free public screenings.
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.
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.