EOIs sought to spread Christmas cheer

The City of Melbourne is seeking Expressions of Interest (EOIs) from local businesses, hospitality venues, event spaces and creatives to deliver unique Christmas events, activations and installations this festive season.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the Christmas Collective program offers grants of up to $5000 to plan and execute an event or activation in December and be included in the City’s 2020 Christmas Festival program.  
“While we don’t know exactly what the festive season will look like this year, Christmas is not cancelled and we are still looking for fresh and innovative ways to deliver festive fun to the people of Melbourne,” the Lord Mayor said.
“Successful applicants will need to ensure sufficient flexibility in their planning so that it could still be delivered with social distancing and any other COVID safe protocols that may be in effect.
“We have started the EOI process with plenty of time for people to think outside the box about how this can be achieved with whatever level of COVID-19 restrictions that are in place. 
“We are seeking activities with a distinctly Christmas flair, held in the City of Melbourne over the month of December. It could be anything from a wreath-making workshop to a Christmas themed movie or music night.”
The Lord Mayor said the Christmas Festival will be even more important this year in generating activity for business owners and their teams in the recovery from the pandemic. 
“Our business owners have shown how resilient and creative they can be during lockdown. We now want them to turn their imaginations to the Christmas Collective program which last year showcased pop up festive events, Christmas inspired markets and even a vegan turkey masterclass,” the Lord Mayor said. 
“The Christmas trading season is traditionally the most important time of year for city retailers and the annual Christmas Festival provides up to $73 million in economic uplift for local businesses.”
Chair of the Small Business, Retail and Hospitality portfolio Cr Susan Riley said last year, more than 2 million people visited the Christmas Festival hub at Federation Square.
“Our local businesses have been extremely hard hit by COVID-19 restrictions and the significant fall in foot traffic over the past few months,” Cr Riley said.  
“That’s why we have invested $50 million in a COVID-19 recovery package and want to continue to support small and medium businesses over the coming months as restrictions hopefully ease and the Christmas and New Year period approaches. 
“Melbourne is known for its spectacular events and, while many of them will look different this year, our event teams are working hard to come up with creative ways to host them safely.
“Our Christmas Festival team will be closely supporting successful Christmas Collective applicants and offering guidance on permitting, event planning and operations as needed”
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