Five Eyre Peninsula events, including two set to debut in 2021, will be boosted with funds as the state government looks to secure the events calendar across regional South Australia.
South Australian Tourism Commission announced the first round of recipients from its Regional Event Fund, which aims to strengthen regional events and drive economic stimulus and tourism across the regions beyond the peak summer period.
Thirty seven events have been announced as recipients, including Tunarama in Port Lincoln, @ the bay and Colour Tumby Street Art Festival in Tumby Bay and Rodeo by the Sea at Streaky Bay.
Two yet to debut events will also receive support, the Cleve Harvest Music Fest and A Celebration of Seafood @ Streaky Bay.
Funding will be provided to events under four different categories, with Tunarama as an 'established event' to receive between $20,000-50,000 for up to three years.
Tunarama coordinator Jane Intini said receiving the grant was great relief after the event did not take place in 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions and as preparations for 2022 continued despite ever-changing conditions.
"It means so much to the Tunarama committee to know for the first time in a long time we have triennial funding," she said.
"It's a true vote of confidence in the event itself, and great relief because we're not out of the woods yet."
Ms Intini said preparations for Tunarama in 2022 were "sailing along" with the COVID-19 action plan almost ready to be sent to SA Health for approval.
The '@ The Bay & Colour Tumby Street Art Festival' falls under the 'Development Event' category as an event with potential for growth and development, and will receive between $10,000-20,000 for up to three years.
Tumby Bay Progress Association president Dion Lebrun said this was great recognition of the event's significance and the work that had taken place in Tumby Bay during the last few years.
"It gives us confidence going forward, it's good to have a level of underpinning, multi-year funding because it means we have a level of funding as a starting point to work off of to attract more funding," he said.
The festival took place during the March weekend with more than 8000 people coming to Tumby Bay for the festivities.
The three other EP events have earned funding under the category of 'Emerging Events', with between $5000-10,000 for up to two years.
The first Rodeo By the Sea event took place in November 2019 with the 2020 event being cancelled, like many other events across the state, due to COVID-19.
It is set to return on November 27 with another Streaky Bay event, A Celebration of Seafood @ Streaky Bay to take place on September 11 and 12.
Streaky Bay Tourism and Business Association president Lyn Finch said everyone was thrilled to see SATC provide this support for both events to attract visitors to the area, especially intrastate tourists.
"We totally understand the value of the tourism dollar and want to showcase what we have to offer," she said.
"We see it as validation of our efforts, which is done by volunteers."
Ms Finch said the association was excited to develop Rodeo By the Sea even more going forward and while Mount Isa had the biggest rodeo event in Australia, "we don't want to be the biggest, we want to be the best."
Meanwhile the Harvest Music Festival in Cleve is set to take place on October 30 and on top of this financial support Ramsey Bros have come on board as major sponsors.
Cleve District Council mayor Phil Cameron said the community was excited to be holding the music event in October and welcomed the news of this funding support.
"It's extremely good news and good to see the South Australian Tourism Commission supporting local regional events during these COVID times," he said.
Mr Cameron said everyone was hopeful the inaugural event would be successful and would continue into the future.
Round two of the Regional Event Fund is open from August 1 to September 30 September, more information is available online at tourism.sa.gov.au/support/regional-event-fund.
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