It’s the news we’ve all been waiting for – the NSW State Government have just announced that they will be helping to fund Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras for the very first time.
“It’s a really exciting time for Mardi Gras,” General Manager Anna McInerney tells Same Same. “It provides us with the opportunity to plan for future years and do long range planning.”
This means that Mardi Gras will be included in the NSW Master Events Calendar, a schedule of the state’s most significant events, as well as will receive government funding.
The exact amount of funding has not been revealed, “Events NSW don’t reveal any level of funding, it’s not just a New Mardi Gras thing,” says McInerney, adding it will help towards increased production values for the parade, the party and the festival.
Studies have shown that Mardi Gras generates more than $30 million in direct economic benefit to NSW each year.
Events NSW Chief Executive Geoff Parmenter said he was looking forward to working with New Mardi Gras for the greater benefit of Sydney. “Events NSW have a real interest in ensuring this iconic event continues to thrive with an enduring and sustainable business model,” he says.
As part of the strategy, the new funding will allow Mardi Gras to secure more international and national float participation, more integration with the domestic and international marketing strategies of Tourism NSW, as well as securing existing and new media broadcasting opportunities.
McInerney reveals that it’s only a 1 year deal at this point, with the aim of it becoming a three-year and potentially longer partnership in years to come.
If you’re already wondering what effect it’s going to have on Mardi Gras next year, you’re not the only one. “There won’t be any immediate changes, although you may see some changes to the Parade,” hints McInerney. “You will be pleasantly surprised.”
Congrats Mardi Gras!