Public events as part of next year's nationwide Rugby World Cup festival will be supported by a new $9.5 million lotteries fund, Rugby World Cup Minister Murray McCully and Internal Affairs Minister Nathan Guy announced today.
"During Rugby World Cup 2011 we will be staging a nationwide festival which will showcase the best of New Zealand's arts, food and wine, heritage, entertainment, experiences, and lifestyle," Mr McCully said.
"The New Zealand 2011 Festival Lottery Fund will support all sorts of community events associated with the festival. This could include everything from concerts, fairs, and exhibitions, to street markets and parades."
Funding can go towards management and operating costs, artists' fees, publicity, and production costs.
"Rugby World Cup 2011 will be the largest sporting event ever held in New Zealand, and we want to maximise community involvement," Mr Guy said.
"With 23 centres hosting either games or teams, the celebrations and economic benefits are already going to be spread around. This funding will help regions and communities play a major part in the festivities around Rugby World Cup 2011."
Mr McCully said the lottery fund would complement the significant investment that regions and the government were already making in the nationwide festival.
The fund will be administered by the Department of Internal Affairs, and decisions will be made by members of the 2011 Group - Bob Parker, Sir David Gascoigne, Bob Harvey, Sharon Hunter, and Wally Stone. Applications for grants open today, and close on 17 September. Recipients will be advised in early November.
The funding has been allocated by the Lottery Grants Board, which distributes the profits of New Zealand Lotteries (including Lotto and Instant Kiwi) to various statutory bodies and distribution committees.