Mardi Gras and Facebook have teamed up to offer venues across Australia a COVID-safe solution to restricted crowd numbers at this year’s parade event at the SCG.

Mardi Gras announced today the launch of the Mardi Gras Parade Viewing Events Grants program which will provide sponsorship for 30 viewing events nationwide.

The program is designed to help support hospitality venues, small businesses, and LGBTQI artists and performers around Australia.

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras CEO Albert Kruger said, “Despite border closures and changing restrictions, it is our intention to continue to support the hospitality and arts and culture sectors and ensure the Mardi Gras Parade is as accessible as possible.

“We encourage all venues across Australia, particularly those in regional and remote parts of the country, to apply for these grants and celebrate their local LGBTQI community.

Mr Kruger said MG would be publishing a full list of participating venues shortly and encouraged the community to support local establishments and artists.

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 The $100,00 fund will provide $3,000 individual grants to applicant venues across the country who host a COVID-safe event for the 2021 Mardi Gras Parade and support and employ LGBTQI artists as part of their event.

Some venues are already excited about the prospect of the grant.

Glenn Hansen from Sydney’s iconic Stonewall Hotel said,The grant for the Mardi Gras Viewing Events would be extremely helpful and an opportunity to showcase our performers so we can make this night fabulous after such a difficult 12 months.

“The LGBTQI venues, Performers and DJ’s were all heavily impacted by the global pandemic. During the first lockdown we had to say goodbye to not only our staff but our entertainers and this was incredibly hard as they are such a special part of Stonewall Hotel.

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 Member for Sydney, Alex Greenwich said the grant will help broadcast the Mardi Gras’ message of unity.

“Sydney Mardi Gras is all about bringing our community together, supporting each other, and celebrating Sydney. This grant programme helps us share our world famous parade with venues across Sydney, throughout NSW, and the entire country.”

You can read full details about the parade and the complete Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival in Star Observer’s February print edition.

Submissions open 9am, Thursday, January 21, 2021 and close 11:59pm, Sunday, January 31, 2021. Visit www.mardigras.org.au to apply.

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