Playing Australia: Regional Performing Arts Touring Fund

Key dates

The Australia Council offers three grant rounds each year for Playing Australia.

In 2019, the grant rounds will close on:

  • Tuesday 5 February for projects starting after 1 May 2019.
  • Tuesday 4 June for projects starting after 1 September 2019.
  • Tuesday 1 October for projects starting after 1 January 2020.

Each round closes at midnight on the closing date.

Technical and administrative support will not be available after 5pm on the closing date.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application approximately 12 weeks after the closing date.Shape

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About the program

The Regional Performing Arts Touring program supports performing arts to reach regional and remote communities across Australia. Grants are available to support the net touring costs associated with a national tour. There is no limit on the amount that can be requested. 

Applicants are strongly encouraged to speak to a member of the grants team before applying to this fund.

Who can apply

We accept applications from individuals and organisations.

Who can't apply

You can't apply for a grant if:

  • you received a grant, or administered a grant, from the Australia Council in the past and that grant has not been satisfactorily acquitted
  • you owe money to the Australia Council.

What you can apply for

You can apply for:

  • interstate net touring costs, including freight, transport, accommodation and travel allowances outside of your home state
  • a contribution towards tour coordination expenses.

What you can’t apply for

You can’t apply for the following activity:

  • touring costs in your home state (see FAQ regarding ‘home state’)
  • projects where the performers and artistic personnel are not paid at Award rates
  • projects that are to tour an international production
  • touring projects that only include capital city or metropolitan presentations
  • touring projects that do not include three or more interstate locations
  • touring projects that only include presentations in schools
  • tour dates that have already taken place
  • projects with a budget in surplus.

Peer assessment

Your application will be assessed by a panel of peers. The peers will be representative of a range of areas relevant to performing arts touring, including:

  • regional audience engagement and presentation
  • performing arts production 
  • tour coordination and management.

Assessment criteria

Peers will assess your application against the following four criteria:

  • region
  • the regional and remote coverage proposed by the itinerary.
  • quality
  • the artists and the arts workers involved the project
  • the quality of proposed work
  • the calibre of the company, including demonstrated evidence of good organisational planning, governance and management.
  • engagement
  • the plans to develop audiences and/or meet audience demand in the proposed locations
  • experiences offered to regional and remote communities – including audience attendance and where appropriate other participation activities, such as workshops and master classes
  • appropriate levels of engagement and partnerships developed with presenters to achieve audience goals.
  • viability
  • evidence of a realistic and accurate budget
  • evidence of home state 
  • the logic of the itinerary and the impact it has on the touring budget
  • appropriate level of support from other sources
  • capacity to deliver the project.

Support material

  1. Production excerpt
    A video of up to five minutes of the production you plan to tour must be submitted. For companies proposing to tour works yet to be produced, a video of a past example of the company’s work should be submitted. For music works, a sound recording is acceptable. -  Files must be provided as a URL link. Provide only one video URL link with your online application.

  2. Reviews relating to the production (if applicable). Maximum 3 pages submitted as one PDF

  3. Brief biographical information on principal personnel (if applicable). Maximum 3 pages as one PDF. 

  4. Working with Indigenous Arts
    If any of the Project activities involve working with Indigenous communities please provide letters of support from those communities.There are five Indigenous protocol guides for working with Indigenous Arts (song, media arts, performing, visual arts and writing) available on our website here. 


  1. What is a national tour?

    Under this fund a national tour is 3 or more locations outside of your home state. To be eligible the locations on a tour must have consecutive performances dates. In other words, the fund cannot support transferring the show to one location then returning to a home base before travelling again to a different location. A break in the middle of a consecutive schedule of locations is possible if there is a compelling reason and the impact on the funding request is minimal.

  2. What is a 'professional' production?

    A professional production is one where the performers and artistic personnel are paid at the appropriate recognised industry level. 

  3. What is an 'Australian' production?

    To be eligible in this fund, the work needs to be produced by an Australian company or produced by an artist or collective of artists who are Australian citizens or have permanent resident status in Australia. The content of the work, the writer, composer or choreographer are not required to be Australian. An eligible work could also include a percentage of international performers as part of an Australian co-production.

  4. What types of performing arts productions can I apply for?

    We welcome national touring applications from all forms of professionally produced live performance. Generally, applications request to tour one production. However, a company can be supported to tour a repertoire of different works where there is a compelling reason and the impact on the funding request is minimal. The frequency of presentations for the different shows will need to be balanced throughout the itinerary to make a successful argument. For example, substituting a different production for only one or two venues on a tour is not possible. The Australia Council also offers the Contemporary Music Touring Program. So, if you are interested in touring music nationally please contact a Grants Officer to work out which grant is best for you. 

  5. What locations are defined as regional and remote?

    This Australia Council, as do many government departments and agencies, uses the ARIA (Accessibility Remoteness Index of Australia) to determine the regional and remote classification for each town. The ARIA considers a range of factors, including distance to services, to group all locations in Australia into 5 ARIA Code areas. To find out if your project meets the eligible criteria (i.e. inclusion of venues with an ARIA rating of 1-4) and search for the relevant ARIA codes, please download this form.

  6. Can I include metropolitan locations on my national tour?

    Yes, provided you meet the eligibility requirement of including regional and or remote locations in your itinerary. Please note there is no quota or ratio required for regional and remote versus metropolitan locations. However, applicants must note that the purpose of the program is to support regional and remote access.

  7. Can the itinerary include other activities in addition to performances?

    Yes, your itinerary can include activities that offer additional opportunities for the community to engage with the performers or art. As the focus of this fund is performances, additional activities should be scheduled in an efficient way within the itinerary. 

  8. What can I use the funds for?

    There are two areas of eligible costs; interstate net touring costs and tour coordination fees. Applicants should research the net touring costs based on current prices and add a reasonable contingency to each item.

  9. What are net touring costs?

    Net Touring Costs are:
    - travel fares and transport costs for the touring party  
    - relevant industrial award rates for travel allowances for the touring party
    - and freight costs for the set and production elements.

    The touring party is defined as the performers and crew required to stage the show. The creative team (e.g. Director, Designer or lighting Designer) are considered part of the touring party for the first venue on the tour. In addition, the Director/ Creator of the work can also be considered part of the touring party to attend a performance every 6 weeks of the tour. Travel costs and allowances for other staff associated with the production are not eligible costs under this fund.This fund provides support to cover travel allowances at the rate set by the appropriate industry award plus contingency for scheduled increases. Productions that pay above the award rate or have their own certified agreement will need to find alternative sources to cover the difference.

  10. What are tour coordination fees?

    The Tour Coordination Fees represents the cost of managing the tour logistics and travel bookings. This fund provides a contribution towards those costs at a set rate per venue. The rate is automatically provided in the budget form and all applicants are eligible to receive the tour coordination fee for venues outside of their home state.

  11. This project has different 'home states' so what do I consider interstate?

    Some projects might have performers based in various states or perhaps the tour is managed by a tour coordinator from a different state / territory.For the purposes of this fund one ‘home state’ needs to be nominated to calculate the interstate versus intrastate costs. Generally, the ‘home state’ will be the street address of the production company. However, all applicants with different state/ territory involvement should discuss with a Grants Officer to confirm the appropriate ‘home’ base for their application.

A print friendly MS Word file can be accessed here.

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