• arts & culture
  • music
  • regional
  • performing

11 July 2019

Some of Victoria’s smallest communities can get ready for a big dose of creativity thanks to more than $100,000 in grants to support local groups to bring acts and artists to their towns.

pink puppet with white gloves

Image: Snuff puppets. Photo by Shuttermain

38 shows at 17 locations scattered throughout the state will be supported through the latest round of the Small Regional Presenters Program.

Launched in 2016, the program enables regionally-based community groups, venues and organisations to attract artists and performances to their communities, supporting the costs of presenting shows.

While the latest round includes support for live music performances, theatre productions and even a large-scale puppet show, several performances will also include opportunities for community members, local performers or school students to undertake workshops with the visiting artists.

Small Regional Presenters program – Recipients

Apollo Bay Chamber of Commerce, $15,000
To present acclaimed performance group Snuff Puppets at the 2019 WinterWild Festival in Apollo Bay from 30-31 August 2019. During their stay the Snuff Puppets team will undertake a day-long workshop for local performers, work with the community to develop a parade event, give a performance on the beach, and perform as part of Feastability, the end of festival banquet.

Ararat Live Incorporated $2,623
To present a series of six contemporary music performances at The Red Room, Ararat between July and November. The performances will showcase the talents of Skyscraper Stan, Phil & Trudy Edgley, Shaun Kirk, Mandy Connell, Jimi Hocking and Joel Havea.

Ballarat Mechanics Institute $13,689
For the presentation of a program of five concerts and workshops at the Ballarat Mechanics Institute between August 2019 and March 2020:

  • Solo harpist Mary Doumany
  • Cheryl Durongpisitkul’s contemporary jazz group;
  • solo accordionist Anthony Schulz;
  • Michelle Nicolle Frettet’s jazz group; and
  • Brazilian music group Entre Tango Duo and the Dany Maia Group.

Dunolly Theatre Company Inc $3,000
To present Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus by the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Victoria at the Maryborough Town Hall on 20 July 2019. The performance will also showcase the talents of locals and members of the Dunolly Theatre Company.

G.R.A.I.N. Inc., Nathalia $10,980
For the presentation of the following shows as part of the 2019 G.R.A.I.N. Store program between September and November 2019:

  • The interactive children’s theatre performance Loose Ends by Jens Altheimer
  • The Kutcha Edwards Hour, presented in collaboration with Moira Arts & Culture Inc with support from local Yorta Yorta performer Maddi Colville-Walker;
  • Renowned Australian blues guitarist Geoff Achison in concert, with a guitar workshop for local musicians and music students.

Lighthouse Arts Collective, Point Lonsdale $9,175
For the presentation of four concerts that showcase diverse artists at Point Lonsdale’s New Hall from July to October 2019

  • Ella Thompson, contemporary electronic composition: (26 July)
  • singer-songwriter Jess Ribeiro (9 August)
  • Lamine Sonko, Afro-Jazz and Afro-beat and combining contemporary and traditional music (6 September); and
  • Parvyn Singh, lead singer of The Bombay Royale, and Noriko Tadano, traditional Japanese vocalist and Master of the shamisen (11 October).

As part of the program, some of the featured artists will also undertake workshops with local primary school students.


Lorne Community Arts and Culture Foundation $3,750
To present a special live performance as part of the 2019 Lorne Festival of Performing Arts. The show will be accompanied by a workshop for the Lorne community.


Macedon Ranges Halls Inc trading as Tylden Hall, $2,000
To present The Kutcha Edwards Hour at Tylden Hall, on 19 October. The performance will be accompanied by a singing workshop for musicians and singers from across the community.


Mallacoota Arts Council $4,750
For the presentation of two shows from the 2019 Café Culture series at the Mudbrick Pavilion, Mallacoota:

  • 25 August 2019 - Canyon, an acoustic band inspired by the 1970s radio sound. This performance will include an acoustic singing workshop for community members.
  • 10 November 2019 - Dr Hernández, a band that combines boogaloo and reggae music. This performance will include an Afro-Cuban jam session and workshop for community members and opportunities for local community members to perform.

Mallee Almond Blossom Festival, Robinvale $10,000
To bring children’s entertainer Tony Genovese and his Cool 4 Kids team to Robinvale to perform at the Mallee Almond Blossom Festival on 18 August 2019. Cool 4 Kids will also run workshops at local schools before the festival, with opportunities for children to showcase their new skills on the festival mainstage.

South Gippsland Shire Council $7,000
For the presentation of the Live Music in Small Halls program which will feature performances in five small halls across the region. The program will bring shows to the following locations in the second half of 2019:

  • Kongwak and Hallston: Varietyville, a circus, cabaret and comedy spectacular by Acts of Absurdity. The presentations will include circus skills workshops for community members.
  • Ruby, Tarwin Lower and Toora: Canyon, an acoustic band inspired by the 1970s radio sound. Performances will be accompanied by acoustic singing workshops; and Dr Hernández, a band that combines electro-cumbia, reggae, ska and boogaloo. The performances will include an Afro-Cuban jam session/workshop for the community and opportunities for locals to perform.
  • Upper Kiewa Valley Regional Arts $7,530
    For the presentation of four performances at the Mount Beauty Community Hall from August to October 2019:

    • Red Hot Productions’ Irish drama Swansong
    • The double bill performance Stardust/the Mission accompanied by a brass ensemble from the Mount Beauty community band
    • Lemony S Puppet Theatre’s children’s show Picasso and His Dog, and
    • The Melbourne Chamber Orchestra string quartet’s Salon Session 2: From My Life, music by Smetana and Haydn.

    The program includes performance opportunities for community band members, talks with the presenting artists, and puppetry skills for students and teachers with Lemony S Puppet Theatre.
    Wonthaggi Theatrical Group Inc. $11,190
    Presentation of the cabaret performance The Age of Stephen by Stephen Valeri, as part of Come to the Cabaret, a cabaret festival at The Shed, Wonthaggi which will be held from 4 to 6 October, 2019. Ahead of the festival, cabaret workshops will be held for local and regional acts, and community members.