Public funding

Over half of Australia Council funding goes to the music sector – with the majority supporting Australia’s orchestras and opera companies

In 2010-11, the Australia Council invested a total of $84.7 million in the music sector, including distributing $51.3 million to 6 orchestras.

$5.7 million  was provided through the Music Board to activities including the writing and recording of new music, the presentation of concerts and tours and festivals, professional development for artists.

The Music Board also supports 37 organisations through its Key Organisations and program funding. While the majority are presenting and performing organisations, this group also includes service organisations such as the Music Council of Australia.

The Major Performing Arts Board provides annual rolling funding of $72.4 million to six symphony orchestras- the Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, West Australian, Queensland and Tasmanian symphonies; one pit orchestra – Orchestra Victoria;  two chamber music organisations -the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Musica Viva Australia; a period instrument Orchestra – the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra; and four opera companies – Opera Australia, including the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra; and the West Australian, Queensland and South Australian opera companies. Each of these organisations is contracted under a tripartite/quadripartite agreement between the company, the Australian government and the relevant State funding bodies.   MPA organisations are obliged to meet specific criteria and outcomes agreed under individual funding arrangements which include demonstrating artistic vibrancy and significant sector development initiatives.

Further support for music is provided through the Arts Development Division via a range of music specific programs targeting international market development. These include foundation funding of Sounds Australia, a national export initiative established to provide a cohesive platform for the promotion of Australian music and music businesses at international markets. Other initiatives include funding for the Australasian World Music Expo and support for international touring and showcasing through International Pathways (in partnership with the Music Board) and Live On Stage.

The ATSIA division, Community Partnerships committee and Artstart program all also support individual music projects.