Economic Activation and Event grants

Events, public programming, activations and local businesses have an important role in shaping the unique experiences and character of places, attracting people to activity centres and creating a vibrant destination for all.

Our Economic Activation and Event Grants program reflects the City of Stonnington's vision to be a vibrant, creative city that enhances its thriving and unique places and delivers positive economic, community and sustainability impacts for our communities.

The Economic Activation and Event Grants program has a pool of $100,000 in 2024-25 and will provide grants of up to $20,000 to support business or community led unique experiences, entertainment, and events to activate commercial precincts in the City of Stonnington.

Full information on the Grants program, including terms and conditions, can be found in the Economic Activation and Event Grants Guidelines 2024-25(PDF, 4MB) 

2023-24 Grant recipients

Learn more about the projects delivered by our 2023-24 grant recipients.

Grant objectives

Objectives

The Economic Activation and Event Grants program supports local businesses, organisations and individuals to deliver innovative, creative and interactive activations and experiences and test new ideas in our outdoor public spaces within our activity centres.

The grant supports projects that meet the following objectives and priorities outlined in the Council Plan and its connecting Place-Led Economic Development (PLED) Strategy.

The following key objectives have been identified as priorities:

  • increase visitation to our outdoor public places
  • increase economic activity in our municipality
  • improve place perceptions and experience
  • grow the local economy.

The Economic Activation and Events Grants program seeks to fund precinct events and activation projects that:

  • act as a drawcard to encourage visitation and awareness of the City of Stonnington's commercial precincts
  • provide direct economic benefit to the local businesses within the precincts
  • are interactive and showcase local stories and culture
  • respond to the specific place add activity and interest to the streetscape and the public realm
  • encourage sustainable practices and active transport usage
  • engage or collaborate with local communities to encourage greater connection to and pride in the precinct
  • support projects that reflect and provide opportunities for the diverse communities of the City of Stonnington’s precincts
  • provide economic benefit to traders within the precinct
  • increase pedestrian foot traffic and dwell time.

For more information, view the Business Support and Activation Policy(PDF, 1MB).

City of Stonnington precincts

The City of Stonnington is located in Melbourne's inner southeast, alongside the Yarra River. It includes the suburbs of:

  • Armadale
  • Kooyong
  • Malvern
  • Malvern East
  • Prahran
  • Toorak
  • parts of Glen Iris
  • South Yarra
  • Windsor.

The municipality has a range of precincts that include clusters of local shops to renowned high streets and Australia's largest shopping centre, Chadstone. The precinct activity centres play a significant role in the liveability and character of Stonnington by providing places for socialising, working, shopping and living.

Each of Stonnington's activity centres has its own economic, community and environmental role depending on its size and position and can be categorised in the hierarchy as outlined below.

  • Stonnington's larger activity centres: predominately located in the western half of the municipality, have a broader economic role, attracting visitors from within and beyond Stonnington.
  • Stonnington's smaller neighbourhood activity centres: predominately located in the eastern half of the municipality, serving a local population and providing day-to-day services for residents and workers.
  • Chadstone Shopping Centre: a major hard-top activity centre and a key driver of Stonnington's visitor economy.

All activations must be delivered in one or more of our precincts. Applicants are encouraged to consider minor as well as major precincts. For indoor activations, visit our venue hire options.

Activations site map

Download the site map(PDF, 329KB) . For best results, open on desktop.

About the program

The City of Stonnington’s Economic Activation and Event Grants program aims to support creative, innovative, dynamic and contemporary activation projects that are place specific, with the intention to provide economic benefit to local businesses, while enhancing the character of the precinct.

What will be funded

Grants of up to $20,000 are available to support:

  • businesses or registered not-for-profits that implement free public and accessible event and activation initiatives that will improve public realm experiences and drive visitation to the City of Stonnington.
  • events or activations that are free to the public and accessible to people of all abilities.
  • events or activations that are delivered within the program timeline: November 2024 - mid-June 2025.
  • events or activations that take place across more than one City of Stonnington precinct or area are especially encouraged.
  • events or activations that may be proposed in both indoor and outdoor Council-owned assets, within our commercial precincts.

For the purposes of the City of Stonnington Economic Activation and Event Grants program, an event or activation is defined as an interactive activity that grows visitation, interaction with the local businesses, and increases dwell time and spend within a precinct. It can include a temporary static exhibit or installation.

The event or activation must be temporary in nature and not alter or permanently change the infrastructure within the precinct.

What will not be funded

  • Projects taking place outside commercial precincts within the City of Stonnington.
  • Projects that do not occur within the grant period November 2024 - mid-June 2025.
  • Projects that rely solely on the City of Stonnington for funding (e.g. applicants can only apply for up to 80% of total project costs).
  • Projects that are designed to attract visitation to a single business within a precinct rather than attracting visitation to the broader precinct, or that are on private property.
  • Proposals for activities such as private functions, dinners and receptions, promotional opportunities or commercial brand activations.
  • Events or activations held purely online.
  • Activations that are closed to the public or where attendance is by invitation or membership only.
  • Projects that have detrimental environmental impact or produce large quantities of waste.
  • Structures requiring pegging/digging into ground – Council will only consider weighted temporary structures with the ability to provide proof of safety specifications.

Examples of events and activations that can be considered as part of the Economic Activation and Event Grants program include, but are not limited to:

  • small, medium and large events
  • festivals
  • markets
  • fairs, expos and exhibitions
  • pop-ups
  • street performances
  • temporary public art installations
  • creative lighting installations
  • health and wellbeing activations
  • night-time activations.

Examples of activation concepts

Examples of activation concepts that can be considered as part of this program include but are not limited to:

  • precinct-specific public exhibitions or performances
  • temporary public art installations
  • creative lighting installations and projections
  • temporary public urban garden initiatives
  • interactive sustainable initiatives
  • community health and wellbeing activities
  • outdoor intergenerational activities and games
  • experimental participatory art projects with community involvement
  • experimental projects in the public realm that lead visitors through a precinct, such as augmented reality trails.

 

Contribution

The maximum contribution offered by the City of Stonnington for each event or activation concept is up to $20,000 (including GST). Applicants are expected to make a financial or in-kind contribution of a minimum of 20% of the total project budget to their proposed project, in addition to the funds received from the City of Stonnington.

The City of Stonnington contribution will not cover:

  • ongoing operating or general maintenance costs such as staff wages, salaries and remuneration, rent, utilities bills, administration overheads, stock and personal expenditure
  • expenditure incurred prior to the program open date.

Grant applications

How to apply

Register online

Register online at SmartyGrants and preview a copy of the application form and requirements.

You must register before you can apply.

Attend an information session

Attend an information session to gain additional information and insights into lodging an application.

Register to join one of our upcoming sessions:

Gather information

Plan, research and gather the information required for the application, including site information and permits.

Submit an application

Complete all questions, upload supporting documents and submit the application online via SmartyGrants before the closing date and time.

No further editing or supporting materials will be accepted once the application has been submitted.

Submit one application per activation only.

No additional City of Stonnington grants can be applied for or used in conjunction with the Grant for the same project.

Applications for the 2025 Economic Activation and Event Grants open 1 July.

Receive confirmation

On submission, you will receive an electronic reply acknowledging receipt from SmartyGrants.

Eligibility

To be eligible for an Economic Activation and Event Grant of up to $20,000, applicants must:

  • be a registered business or an incorporated association or not-for-profit (NFP), and have an Australian Business Number (ABN).= Note: individuals or community groups that are not incorporated must formally enter an auspice arrangement with a not-for-profit incorporated organisation that has an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • provide proof of current Public Liability Insurance of no less than $20,000,000
  • have no pending acquittals or debts to the City of Stonnington
  • be over the age of 18 years
  • propose a project within one of the 27 activity centres within City of Stonnington boundaries
  • submit a concept overview and relevant documentation that addresses the assessment criteria outlined in these guidelines
  • make a co-contribution of a minimum of 20% of total project budget, to the delivery of the activation - in-kind, financial or a mix of both.

Additionally, please note the following.

  • The City of Stonnington will only accept one activation concept per application annually.
  • Applicants must hold/seek the relevant permits required for the activation to ensure the activation meets safety and compliance requirements. It is advised that applicants seek/advice regarding relevant permits at filmandeventpermits@stonnington.vic.gov.au. Note: Permits that may be required for the activation are not guaranteed, despite the awarding of the grant.
  • Applicants are encouraged to work with delivery partners, local community groups or local creative organisations to ensure successful delivery. This will be viewed favourably in any application.

Who is not eligible to apply?

Economic Activation and Event Grants will not be awarded to:

  • applications that do not meet the eligibility or assessment criteria
  • political organisations or businesses that have a political purpose
  • government departments or agencies, foundations or grant making bodies
  • businesses with a primary focus on fundraising
  • an employee or Elected Member of the City of Stonnington or their immediate family. This does not include an application from an organisation that an employee, Elected Member or their immediate family member may be part of
  • an applicant who has outstanding debts to the City of Stonnington
  • an applicant who is in legal conflict with the City of Stonnington
  • an applicant who has failed to provide satisfactory acquittal reporting for any previous City of Stonnington funding
  • an applicant who has already received City of Stonnington funding (including in-kind) for the same project within the same financial year
  • an applicant who has already applied for City of Stonnington funding (including in-kind) for the same project within the same financial year, and been refused
  • an applicant who conducts themselves in a way that the City of Stonnington considers to be injurious or prejudicial to the character or interests of the municipality.

Required documentation

  • Sketches, design and/ or site plans, event or activation concept plan, detailed safety and construction diagrams, steps taken to deliver the activation, including a stakeholder and community engagement plan.
  • Project budget, including quotes, as well as evidence of other funds required to deliver the activation.
  • Project delivery plan and timelines
  • Certificate of incorporation or registration of business name
  • Public Liability Insurance for up to $20 million coverage; including personal volunteer accident insurance and professional indemnity insurance if required
  • Skills and qualifications of key personnel who will be working on the project
  • Marketing/ promotion plan using the template provided and examples of design creative to support the application.
  • A written assessment of how the proposed event or activation will benefit the precinct and achieve the program's objective (no more than 300 words).
  • Provide evidence of the proposed minimum 20% co-contribution to the delivery of the event or activation - either in-kind, financial or a mix of both
  • Letters of support from relevant community members, local traders or organisations, if available.

If successful, all applicants must apply for and receive the relevant event permit from Council. 

If successful, on completion of the event or activation, an acquittal report will be a requirement of funding.

Important dates

Date Details
1 July 2024 Applications open
 17 - 18 July 2024 Information sessions 
1 August 2024 Applications close at 5pm
August 2024 Assessment period
September 2024 City of Stonnington endorsement
October 2024 Applicant notified
November 2024 - Mid-June 2025  Activation/event delivery 

Assessment criteria

Applications will be assessed by a panel of City of Stonnington officers and external experts, against the following criteria:

Key criteria Weighting

Alignment to Council Plan and key strategies

Demonstrate how the project will align with the Stonnington Council Plan and other relevant Council strategies, including the Place-led Economic Development Strategy.

5%

Local identity merit

Demonstrate how the project will activate the precinct and respond to the local place identity or character of the local area.

15%

Visitation and economic impact

Demonstrate how the project will attract visitation, stimulate the local economy and benefit local businesses, and how this will be measured.

45%

Community collaboration

Demonstrate an inclusive and accessible approach to how the grant recipient will collaborate with and celebrate the local community.

10%

Capability, experience and financial viability

Demonstrate the capacity and experience of personnel to manage and deliver a successful project, on time, to scope, and on budget.
Demonstrate that the project plan and budget are realistic and offers value for money.

25%

Applications will be kept confidential and not be disclosed to any person outside the application and assessment process.

Applications will be assessed on their eligibility and ability to deliver on the program objectives.

Eligible applicants are not guaranteed funding. Only the strongest applications will receive funding through a competitive assessment process.

Ineligible applications will be withdrawn from the assessment process.

All funding decisions are final.

All applicants will be notified of the result of their application.

Guidelines

Full information on the Grants program, including terms and conditions, can be found in the Economic Activation and Event Grant Guidelines 2024-2025(PDF, 4MB)

Support

Application assistance

Applicants are encouraged to contact an Economic Activation and Event Grants officer, who can provide experience, advice, and recommendations, should assistance be required to complete and submit an application.

To request help, email placemaking@stonnington.vic.gov.au

Working with the community

We encourage collaboration with other businesses, business groups or community groups. Engaging with these groups has a broader benefit for our activity centres, businesses and community in the City of Stonnington.

Start conversations with these groups as early as possible. The conversations can sometimes be slow-moving due to resourcing and schedules. Please allow plenty of time to engage with external groups.

Letters of support from these groups can strengthen your application.

Marketing and promotion support

As a grant recipient, it is your responsibility to promote your own project.

City of Stonnington can provide you with assistance or support to promote your activation via e-newsletters, Facebook and What's On Stonnington

Applicants are encouraged to email What's On Stonnington directly.

Your email should include:

  • project/activation name
  • brief description
  • dates and times
  • ticket information (if required)
  • specific details of promotional support required
  • any other information relevant to your activation.

We will do our best to support events and activations with promotional support where possible.

It is a requirement that the City of Stonnington logo be displayed on all of your marketing and promotional collateral, in accordance with the City of Stonnington brand and style guide. The City of Stonnington must sign off on your use of the logo, and all marketing and promotion collateral must be approved prior to publication.

We request that promotional collateral is submitted in a timely manner as approvals can take time.

Auspicing

What is Auspicing ?

Often, auspice organisations will enter into agreements to assist individual artists and local community groups so that valuable community projects get off the ground. Auspicing can be viewed as a larger organisation assisting an individual or community group to apply for a grant and then managing or overseeing elements if successful.

Your application will require an auspice if you are an individual or community group that is not incorporated. To apply for the grant, you will need to enter into an auspice arrangement with a not-for-profit incorporated organisation that has an Australian Business Number (ABN).

What is an incorporated organisation?

An incorporated organisation, or incorporated association, is incorporated in a state or territory under that jurisdiction's laws. Incorporation establishes it as a not-for-profit legal entity separate from its individual members.

You can recognise an incorporated association by the word 'Incorporated' or the abbreviation 'Inc.' after its name.

Often, arts, cultural, recreational, and diverse community groups are established as an incorporated organisation. An incorporated organisation must meet the requirements and regulations of the state or territory in which it is incorporated.

More information about incorporated organisations can be found on the Consumer Affairs Victoria website.

What does the auspice organisation do?

The auspice organisation is responsible for ensuring that the grant funds are utilised as outlined in the formal 'Sponsorship Agreement'. This includes:

  • receiving, banking, managing and administering the grant funds
  • ensuring that the applicant uses the funding on time
  • making sure the money is accounted for (acquitted)
  • signing the acquittal form.

An auspice organisation may also provide additional support and/or request additional involvement, such as:

  • providing insurance for the project
  • acting as a mentor for the successful applicant
  • monitoring project progress
  • administering a fee for auspice services, negotiated between you and the organisation.

What auspice arrangements are required for a grant application?

As part of the grant application, you are required to provide the auspice organisation's contact information, financial documents, and evidence that they are an appropriate legal entity, such as their Certificate of Incorporation and an Auspice Agreement Form.

It is important to spend time with the auspice organisation so that they understand your proposed project and you both agree with the auspice arrangement. Once a written Auspice Agreement Form has been obtained and signed, you must provide a copy as part of the application.

What if an Auspice Agreement is not received in time?

Preferably, we would like applicants to have finalised their auspice agreements before submitting their applications.

However, if, for some reason, the final agreement has not been received before submission, a one-week extension to submit your agreement can be granted.

After this time, pre-eligibility checks of applications will commence.

If you require this extension, please include all correspondence with your auspice organisation in your grant application and advise that the agreement will be provided within the week.

It is the applicant's responsibility to submit this agreement via email to placemaking@stonnington.vic.gov.au

Successful grant recipients 2023/24

Five successful applicants from diverse backgrounds benefited from a pool of $150,000 to deliver a wide range of unique community and public activations as part of the 2023/24 Activation Grants program.

Glenferrie Road Malvern Business Association

Project: Malvern's season of celebration
Activation: End of year festivities
Location: Malvern
Date: 1 to 24 December 2023
Funding amount: full funding

The Glenferrie Road Malvern Business Association (GRMBA) is a committed group of Malvern business operators working on behalf of the community to ensure the continued success of the precinct.

Glenferrie Road Malvern is one of Melbourne's oldest strip shopping precincts with an abundance of choice with more than 400 shops, restaurants, cafes and services available on Glenferrie Road and adjacent streets.

Elves on Glenferrie

Wings of Wonder

Project: Wings of Wonder
Activation: Art installation with live painting
Location: Prahran Square and Rockley Gardens
Date: 6 February to 1 May 2024
Funding amount: full funding

Josh Deane Gower is an emerging Indigenous contemporary artist from Naarm/Melbourne, Victoria. With a profound connection to his personal experiences, ancestors, and cultural heritage, Josh's contemporary art inspires and preserves the land.

Drawing inspiration from Australia's biodiversity, his artwork captures the beauty and significance of native flora and fauna. Through meticulous craftsmanship, he creates pieces that deeply resonate with viewers. Using various mediums, including photography, film, audio, hand-painted artworks, sculpture, and clothing, Josh brings his artistic vision to life.

Beyond his art, he actively engages with the Indigenous community, collaborating with renowned brands, creating murals, and showcasing his work at events.

Wings of Wonder cube

BioRhythm

Project: BioRhythm
Activation: Live sound and light plant sculpture
Location: Grattan Gardens
Date: 17 April - 
Funding amount: full funding

BioRhythm is a collaborative and immersive place-making project presented by Buko Studio and Public Street.

Buko Studio is an experimental design studio run by Chris Nichols. The studio endeavours to create spaces of sensory experience and social connection by blending emerging technologies with visual arts to transform everyday realities into the surreal and mystical.

Public Street, founded and directed by Rachel Iampolski, is a cross-disciplinary, collaborative, tactical urbanism platform that engages with, and aims to subvert how we conceptualise public space.

By exploring the potential of the public realm and threshold spaces, the placemaking practice focuses on play and democratisation of public space.

BioRhythm activation

Workshops in the Wild

Project: Workshops in the Wild
Activation: Outdoor art workshops
Location: Grattan Gardens, Rockley Gardens and Central Park
Date: 7 February to 23 June 2024
Funding amount: full funding

The Windsor Workshop (TWW) creates community through the gathering of people – providing a space where celebration, learning, making, creating, and inspiration thrive. A vibrant hub for the arts, crafts, and design movement, they curate a diverse range of workshops and events that inspire individuals to unleash their creativity.

With each meticulously crafted experience, they encourage participants to slow down, indulge in the joy of creating, and find mindfulness in the process. Their events have become a sanctuary for those seeking an escape from the fast-paced world, a place where connections are forged and ideas are born.

Participants of Workshops in the Wild

Share and Swap Shop

Project: Share & Swap Shop
Activation: Pre-loved share and swap workshops
Location: Winter Street Park and Rockley Gardens
Date: 20 January to 4 May 2024
Funding amount: full funding

Share & Swap Shop is a community-driven event model in the form of a pop-up shop that fosters neighbourhood connections by facilitating item sharing, encouraging sustainability practices and fostering inclusivity. At its core, the Share and Swap Shop provides a physical presence in the form of a pop-up shop, where individuals can exchange items they no longer need, fostering a spirit of collaboration and mutual support.

This initiative addresses both social and environmental concerns, offering a space for community members to interact, engage, and establish meaningful connections.

Share and Swap Shop