New Mardi Gras will gain a more flexible funding deal with the City of Sydney if, as expected, council votes to include the organisation in its Major Festivals program next week.

On Monday a council committee recommended New Mardi Gras become part of the scheme, which already includes the Sydney Festival, Sydney Writers’ Festival and the Biennale of Sydney.

A council meeting next Monday is due to approve the recommendation, giving New Mardi Gras access to more secure City funding.

Major festivals do not need to apply for City sponsorship annually. Instead, they receive funding for three years and can use the money for core operational costs.

At present, New Mardi Gras has to apply for City sponsorship each year, using cash funding for specific purposes.

The contracts are for three years and provide much more flexibility and freedom as the organisation may use funding for core operational costs, a City of Sydney spokesperson said.

This year the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras did a fantastic job of turning the festival around, and we’re looking forward to being a part of its continued growth.

New Mardi Gras would join the Major Festivals program after the next round of funding grants in August. Chair Marcus Bourget said inclusion would be a great step.

I think it’s a recognition of Mardi Gras as a key cultural and economic event for Sydney, Bourget told Sydney Star Observer.

It gives the organisation greater security and the ability to plan moving forward negotiating three-year deals.

And it increases confidence of businesses and our sponsors in the organisation, that we have found our feet and are moving ahead into the future.

Bourget said the City’s recommendation was the result of improved relations between council and New Mardi Gras.

It’s part of all the processes that we’ve been hard at work doing over the past 12 months.

New Mardi Gras has yet to decide how much funding it will seek if it becomes part of the Major Festivals program.

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