In 2014, as part of our ongoing program of evaluation, we commissioned an independent evaluation of the two program categories that fall under the Regional Development banner – our Regional Partnerships and Touring Victoria programs.  

The Regional Partnerships program was introduced in 2005-06 under the name 'Local Partnerships' and was renamed 'Regional Partnerships' in 2010.  It delivers funding to local government authorities to support the programming and management of the art galleries and performing arts centres that they own and operate.

The Touring Victoria program, which was established in 1995, provides grants to arts and cultural organisations, artists and presenters to support tours of quality performances, exhibitions and programs to outer metropolitan and regional Victoria. 

The evaluation found that overall, the Regional Development program has delivered the following program outcomes:

  • improved programming across both the gallery and performing arts centre networks;
  • increases in the quality, quantity and diversity of programs offered at venues;
  • greater viability of tours and willingness of producer companies to undertake regional touring at supported venues; 
  • increased professionalism in facility management across the sector;
  • improved marketing of programs and venue promotion; and
  • more support for good collection management and conservation at galleries;

The evaluation found that ability of the program to deliver high quality arts and cultural experiences for regional Victorians has in turn made a significant contribution, socially and economically, to Victorian communities and the arts industry in the following ways:

  • increased employment in regional venues;
  • increased community participation, engagement and connection;
  • expanded local businesses, due to increased patronage and regional tourism; 
  • improved liveability in regional communities, enhancing their capacity to retain and attract residents; and
  • increased employment in arts companies from extending the life of product through touring. 

Through the Regional Partnerships program, Creative Victoria contributes 9% of total operating income of regional venues.  This is seen as vital to ensuring continued investment from local government which contributes 48%, as the Creative Victoria funding serves as a 'quality mark' that supports fundraising through other sources.

Further findings and details of the methodology can be found in the report.