Omicron Relief Funding for Arts & Events

Omicron Relief Funding for Arts & Events

News & Updates

Following the shift to the ‘Red’ traffic light setting and growing pressures on the arts and culture sector, the Government is moving swiftly to provide more support for the arts and culture sector. 

The funding package is worth over $121 million in additional money, supporting the existing $374 million COVID Arts and Culture recovery programme. 

  • The Arts and Culture Event Support Scheme will be boosted by $70.7 million – giving arts and cultural sector event organisers the confidence to plan and deliver events right through to the end of January 2023. Key eligibility criteria have also been extended.
  • The Cultural Sector Emergency Relief Fund has been provided an additional $35.5 million to fund more direct support for individuals and organisations most affected by the restrictions introduced in January 2022 to slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • The limit on funding for individual organisations has been increased from $100,000 to $300,000.
  • A one-off grant of $5,000 will be available to eligible self-employed individuals/sole traders in the arts and cultural sector who have lost income or opportunities to work as a result of the restrictions introduced in January 2022 to slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • The Screen Production Recovery Fund has been boosted by a further $15 million.

Arts and Culture Event Support Scheme 

The Arts and Culture Event Support Scheme is a fund to help provide confidence for the arts and culture events sector to continue organising their events. 

The Arts and Culture Event Support Scheme will be boosted by $70.7 million from its current $22.5 million allocation, enabling it to be extended until 31 January 2023. Key eligibility criteria have been extended, such as the criteria for proof of a financial commitment for an event to take place. This also includes extension of criteria to cover cancellations due to a lead performer getting Covid or needing to isolate.

This revised timescale will encourage development of events for New Zealand audiences through late 2022 and early 2023 while also providing income support to artists, practitioners and production crew who rely on those events.

This support scheme is about providing certainty for event organisers, confidence for vaccinated New Zealanders to attend and enjoy events, and reassurance for artists and crew that they can get paid if their events can’t go ahead as planned. 

The Arts and Culture Event Support Scheme covers unrecoverable costs, payments yet to be made to the likes of artists and production crew, and reasonable costs to the promoter or organiser for the planning and development of the event. 

Events with attendee capacity of 100-5000 ticketed or un-ticketed, or more than 5000 un-ticketed (i.e. free) are covered by this scheme. The Events Transition Support Payment Scheme, announced by Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash, is designed to support larger, paid-ticketed events with over 5000 attendees. 

More information is available here: Arts and Culture Event Support Scheme

Cultural Sector Emergency Relief Fund 

The Cultural Sector Emergency Relief Fund, a fund of last resort to support cultural organisations, including sole traders, at clear risk of no longer operating viably is open for application or reapplication. 

The Cultural Sector Emergency Relief Fund has been provided an additional $35.5 million to help more organisations and individuals access critical financial support.

A key aspect of this is an easy to apply for one-off $5000 grant to self-employed or sole trader practitioners who can show proof of practice as a cultural sector practitioner and show proof of a loss of income or opportunity.

The total amount an organisation can receive has also increased from $100,000 to $300,000 per application.

More information is available here: Cultural Sector Emergency Relief Fund 

Screen Production Recovery Fund extension 

The Screen Production Recovery Fund (SPRF) has been critical to maintaining confidence in the screen sector, attracting finance, and keeping production activity going.

It allows screen productions that meet eligibility criteria to claim some of the costs imposed by increased alert levels and is accessed through either the New Zealand Film Commission or NZ On Air.

The Screen Production Recovery Fund will be boosted by a new allocation of $15 million, with $7.9 million of this funding allocated to New Zealand Film Commission and $7.1 million allocated to NZ On Air.

The Screen Production Recovery Fund will receive a boost to enable an extension of the fund through to at least 31 January 2023, to maximise production activity and minimise the impacts of any COVID-19 outbreaks.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, please get in touch by emailing support.culture@mch.govt.nz

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