Inspiring a culture of creativity
Greater Bendigo embraces the cultural and creative industries as fundamental to our City’s liveability, and to our future. We are a community that inspires a culture of creativity, activates our spaces, nurtures and supports talent, champions inclusiveness and showcases our stories to the world.
Our cultural and creative sector forms a significant part of our economy, supporting and generating jobs, investment and tourism. We acknowledge that creativity, artistic practice and our cultural heritage are also integral to the health and wellbeing of our community.
In July 2019 the City launched Greater CREATIVE Bendigo, a plan to better understand and celebrate the creativity and living culture of our Traditional Owners and First Nations communities, to recognise the unique role this culture plays in shaping Greater Bendigo today.
Our vibrant creative ecosystem
Greater Bendigo has a rich creative and cultural sector with the city supporting the Bendigo Art Gallery, Bendigo Venue & Events (which includes Creative Communities, The Capital, Ulumbarra Theatre and Major Events), Tourism, Economic Development and the UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy teams under the Strategy and Growth directorate.
is generated by the cultural and creative industries contributing 6.4% of Australia’s GDP.
of Victorian GDP is from Creative Industries
employed in Creative Industries in Greater Bendigo
The term ‘cultural and creative industries’ encompasses traditional arts, cultural activities and heritage, innovative technologies, design, and the digital age. All these activities and industries are multifaceted and have social, environmental and economic aspects and impacts.
Using the terms ‘cultural and creative industries’ and ‘creativity’ reflects the expansive and shifting nature of creative activity in our city and the wider region, a broad approach which reflects what is happening around the world.
Our Creative Stories
Creating more activated spaces
Over 100 artists were supported to create new activations for the City over the pandemic period. The Creative Recovery Activation Fund with over $40,000 supported 14 creative projects which were included in our Love Your Local – Creatives campaign. More info
The City of Greater Bendigo is dedicated to activating spaces to enrich the experience of visiting, living and working across our city. Our team have been engaging artists and creatives to develop temporary public art projects across the city. Some of the most recent include, Murals for Mary , Bendigo’s Pop-up Secret Garden in Pennyweight Lane Open Air Gallery and Djaara Lights, aiming to highlight Dja Dja Wurrung culture in the Bendigo region through combining the display of Djaara artwork and augmented reality experiences.
Greater Bendigo has a thriving Street Art culture with many incredible murals to discover along our laneways and streetscapes. There are self-guided and guided walks and tours to help you navigate the rich fabric of public art and street culture.
Nurturing and supporting our creative talent
Greater Bendigo recognises the value that a strong creative economy can bring in attracting investment, visitors and new residents. We provide a broad range of initiatives and programs to develop pathways for our creatives, supporting their practice and businesses to flourish.
There are a number of grant opportunities depending on your organisation and project focus. For organistions and projects that are community focused delivering positive outcomes for Bendigo’s residents please access our Community grant programs. There are a number of Artist Subsidy programs and resources for artists delivered by our Creative Communities team, while our economic development team manage an innovative Start-up Central Victoria initiative and Business grants. This also includes creative recovery projects designed specifically for cultural and creative practitioners and businesses across 2020 and 2021. There is a vibrant Co-working community in Greater Bendigo for those looking to connect with other artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and start-ups.
Championing Access and Inclusion
The City of Greater Bendigo runs regular networking events to help connect creatives. There are also many community groups and creative organisations that are part of our vibrant ecosystem that can help artists and creatives connect.
We are developing a Directory of Arts and Creative practitioners and organisations to help our creative community find and collaborate with each other.
Our Creative Communities newsletter is a great way to find out opportunities and events in the region that help creatives learn and build skills, meet up and develop their careers, businesses and practices. Subscribe to the fortnightly Arts e-bulletin, email@example.com and join the Facebook community.
Wartaka Group is a community of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists who meet regularly to connect. Find out more about this group.
Showcase to the world
Greater Bendigo has exceptional creative and cultural products, talent, organisations and stories that we want to celebrate and share more broadly nationally and internationally. Many of our artists and creatives are showcased across Australia and around the globe.
In October 2019, Bendigo was designated a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy – the first in Australia. Joining 246 other cities across the world, the designation recognises the creativity and uniqueness of our city and region, and our commitment to working with cities around the world for a sustainable future.
Piinpi: Contemporary Indigenous Fashion is the first major survey of contemporary Indigenous Australian fashion to be undertaken in this country, Piinpi sheds light on a growing industry which is blossoming and set to become Australia’s major fashion movement. The exhibition is set on a world tour and will feature as part of Paris Fashion Week until April 2022.
Image: Grace Lillian Lee, Body Armour – A Weave of Reflection Pink and Orange 2018. Photography by Wade Lewis. Image courtesy of the artist.