Tauranga Western Bay Community Event Fund bigger than ever

Tauranga and Western Bay community event organisers now have access to more funding than ever before, thanks to a $200,000 boost to the Tauranga Western Bay Community Event Fund.

Tauranga Multicultural Festival 2023, photo credit: Katie Cox

The 2023 – 24 edition of the fund sees $900,000 in funding up for grabs for community event organisers, with the maximum grant amount now $50,000.

“We’ve seen over the last year that community want to gather to share, celebrate, learn and be active more now than ever,” says Wayne Werder, TECT Chief Executive.

“We’re really thrilled to be able to increase the total pool of funding available to support more community-led activations that create vibrancy and connection in our region.”

Launched in July 2022, the fund was established by Acorn Foundation, Bay Trust, Tauranga City Council, TECT and the Western Bay of Plenty District Council to streamline the application process for community events taking place in the region.  

Instead of applying to multiple funders, community event organisers now apply to a single joint fund. 

In 2023 the Tauranga Western Bay Community Event Fund supported 73 events throughout the region. Amounts granted ranged from $550 to $30,000 with the average grant being $10,000

“The formation of the Tauranga Western Bay Community Event Fund has streamlined how we approach funding for local community projects,” says Vicki Lambert, Events Coordinator Waihī Beach Events and Promotions.

“The ability to prepare just one submission that reaches several funding partners means we have more time to concentrate on event planning so that we can bring the best possible event to our community.

“In addition to the ease of submission, we found the support from each of the funding partners on different platforms, including via social media promotion, to be an asset for the event and our organisation by reaching additional audiences.”

Anzac Bay Summer Kick Off Waihi Beach, photo credit: Louise Lambert

Tauranga Multicultural Festival director Premila D'Mello said the fund played a pivotal role in making their 2023 event a success.

"(The fund) enabled us to create a vibrant and inclusive celebration of diversity,” she says.  

“With this generous support we were able to showcase exceptional performances, authentic culinary delights and handicrafts from all around the world, promote cross-cultural understanding and provide a platform for communities to share their traditions.

“We are grateful for the invaluable contribution that this funding made to the resounding success of the Tauranga Multicultural Festival."

The Tauranga Western Bay Community Event Fund will be even more inclusive over this next year, accepting applications of up to $2,000 from informal groups.

“We understand that it can be hard for smaller, informal groups to receive funding for events, even though they are doing amazing work in the community” says Lori Luke, General Manager for the Acorn Foundation.

“This new offering will ensure all types of events have access to the support they need.”

Applications are considered on a bi-monthly basis, event organisers are encouraged to submit their applications at least four months in advance.

The first funding round for 2023 – 2024 events closes on Tuesday, 20 June and fund decisions are made by a panel of representatives from each funding organisation. 

More information can be found at www.communityeventfund.nz 


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