The emphasis of state government funding for multifaith and cultural celebrations has changed this year to holding events in COVID-safe way, online.

Victoria’s Minister for Multicultural Affairs Ros Spence said on Monday that $800,000 had been allocated to 148 community organisations across the state as part of its Multicultural Festival Events program. This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the program would be aimed at encouraging the community groups to “get creative, build their long-term digital capacity and move their events online”.

Among the beneficiaries on the list were: the Cyprus Community of Melbourne and Victoria which  received $3,000 for the Halloumi Festival 2020; the Greek-Australian Community of Northcote, City Darebin and Districts which received $2,000 for its annual festival; the Greek Australian Cultural League was granted $3,000 for Digital Capability; the Association of Greek Elderly Citizen Clubs of Melbourne & Vic Inc, was allocated $2,000 for the 28 October, 2020, National Day celebration; and the Pancretan Association of Melbourne Australia Ltd, received a $12.500 grant for the 2020 Arkadi Festival.

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“We’ll be there for our multicultural and multifaith communities during this pandemic and into the future – with dozens of events and festivals getting underway over the coming months through the support of this program,” Ms Spence said.

“The Multicultural Festival and Events program aims to embrace, preserve and celebrate one of Victoria’s greatest assets, its multiculturalism.”

“We are all the stronger for backing Victorians to embrace their traditions and culture – it’s why Victoria is such a strong, diverse and welcoming state,” said the Victorian minister.

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