Contemporary Music Fund

Program guidelines

On this page

The Contemporary Music Fund grant program provides funding support to the WA contemporary music sector across a range of activities that align to the program’s objectives.

For the purpose of this program, contemporary music is defined as music that is currently being written and recorded and/or performed, with priority given to music that is broadly understood as popular.

The program offers grants in 2 categories:

  • U-15k for applications up to $15,000 for one-off projects or programs of activities
  • 15k-plus for applications $15,000 to $60,000 for one-off projects or programs of activities.

The Contemporary Music Fund grant program is designed to complement existing Culture and the Arts grant programs.

Please apply using the Online Grants web portal.

More information about how to apply can be found in the application manual.


  • Capitalise on available opportunities for the contemporary music sector
  • Contribute to the development of markets for WA music locally, nationally and internationally
  • Ensure a strong representation of musicians and music professionals from Aboriginal, regional, and cultural and gender diverse backgrounds
  • Accelerate the recovery of the WA contemporary music sector following the effects of COVID-19.

To be successful, your application should align to one or more of these objectives.

Who can apply?

Individuals, groups and organisations are welcome to apply however:

  • individuals must have Australian citizenship or permanent resident status
  • if you are considering submitting an administered/auspiced grant you must contact the department before commencing your application.
  • groups including unincorporated bodies, partnerships and individuals informally collaborating on an activity must be based in Australia
  • organisations must either be registered under law (e.g. incorporated association, company limited by guarantee) or created by law (e.g. university, school or government statutory authority)
  • WA educational institutions (kindergartens, primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities) cannot apply for curriculum-based arts activity. If you are in any doubt, contact us to discuss your activity
  • if you are applying on behalf of Aboriginal people you must provide evidence of significant Aboriginal involvement in the conception, development of and participation in the activity
  • although WA residency is not a requirement to apply for a grant, if you are applying from outside WA you will need to show the benefits to WA artists, creatives, arts or cultural workers in your application.

When can I apply?


Applications to the U-15k category are open all year round.

Your application closing date is generally 25 business days before the start date of your activity (plus any system upgrades or public holidays). Please use the 25 Business Day Calculator to work out your closing date.

You are encouraged to submit your application before your closing date to ensure you have plenty of time to allow for technical or eligibility/resubmission issues. Early submission will ensure you receive notification of your funding before your activity start date.

Processing of grant payments to successful applicants will not start until after the grant contract is signed and returned. Depending on the activity start date, we cannot guarantee notification and/or availability of grant funds before the activity begins.


The key dates calendar has application opening, closing and activity start dates.

You are encouraged to submit your application before your submission date to ensure you have plenty of time to allow for technical or eligibility/resubmission issues.

All times are in AWST (for Perth, Western Australia).

Processing of grant payments to successful applicants will not start until after the grant contract is signed and returned. Depending on the activity start date, we cannot guarantee notification and/or availability of grant funds before the activity begins.

What can I apply for?

Eligible activities may include, but are not limited to:

  • opportunities to present online and showcase at a local or national event
  • campaigns to launch product into new territories with the aim of increasing market share
  • recording, mastering and pressing of recorded product for public consumption and retail release
  • regional touring and performance opportunities
  • development and creation of strategic marketing and promotional tools
  • business-related skills or professional development
  • participation in local, national or international industry events
  • seeking industry experience with established industry professionals and/or businesses
  • innovative approaches to business-related skills development or professional development.

What can’t I apply for?

  • Projects or activities that do not involve or benefit Western Australian practicing musicians or arts professionals   
  • Purchase of capital equipment including instruments, equipment, software, computers and/or uniforms
  • Capital works such as construction or purchasing of studios or work spaces
  • Activities already funded by the department through any of our funding programs
  • Activity relating to radio broadcasting
  • Display, restoration or conservation of cultural and/or historical material
  • Costs of manufacturing and/or producing prototypes
  • Activities relating to Podcasts that do not involve creative arts practitioners
  • Fundraising, competitions, prizes and trophies
  • The work of State or Federal government departments
  • Activity that will be academically assessed or any school curriculum-based activity
  • Facsimiles, genealogical works and histories of local governments, clubs, districts and organisations
  • Activities related to an individual’s membership in a national organisation
  • Ongoing staffing costs
  • Film and television activities such as:
    • the development or production of narrative shorts or features, pilots for television series, web series, mainstream animation e.g. conventional character-based narrative cartoons
    • documentaries, including documentaries on the arts
    • screenwriting activities or script development for film and television
    • stand-alone documentation activities
    • education activities, or activities where members of the public take part, where the main or only art form being used is film or digital, unless it’s in support of an artist’s work
    • film festivals, unless they support works created by practicing artists. 

What will make my application ineligible?

You will make your application ineligible if you:

  • do not provide any support material
  • do not provide a COVID-19 contingency plan
  • do not adhere to support material limits and format requirements
  • do not adhere to budget requirements including requesting more than 80% of your project cost
  • start the activity before the eligible start date
  • submit an application late
  • exceed application limit to the Contemporary Music Fund grant program (no more than 3 submissions per financial year)
  • have any key personnel with an overdue acquittal report
  • are a staff member of the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (staff of Portfolio Organisations may apply subject to meeting the Code of Conduct and Secondary Employment Policy)
  • request funding that exceeds the funding cap of the program
  • apply for activity that is delivered as part of an educational institution’s curriculum or will be academically assessed
  • are a Portfolio Organisation of the DLGSC
  • receive recurrent funding through DLGSC.

How much can I apply for?

Eligible applicants can apply for funding in the following categories: 

  • U-15k for applications up to $15,000
  • 15k-plus for applications between $15,000 and $60,000.

This program may fund up to 80% of your activity costs. You must demonstrate at least 20% income, or your application will be ineligible.

How many times can I apply?

You can submit a maximum of 3 applications per financial year, this includes applications that have been deemed ineligible or unsuccessful.

Applications to the Contemporary Music Fund Grant Program do not count towards the three-application submission limit for the other DLGSC culture and the arts grants and funding programs.

Only one application can be submitted per program submission or closing date.  

Your project must be completed within 12 months of receiving the funds. 

How do I apply?

Please apply using the Online Grants web portal.

More information on how to apply can be found in the application manual.

For your reference, the core application questions are required.

How will my application be assessed?

Applications to the U-15k category are assessed by department staff.

Applications to the 15k-plus category are assessed by a peer assessment panel.

All applications are assessed against the 4 criteria:

  • Quality
  • Reach
  • Good Planning
  • Financial Responsibility.

Each has a subset of dimensions and weightings which can be found on the next page. More information about the dimensions and definitions, which have been developed by artists and creatives representing their sector, can be found in the application manual. You are not expected to address all dimensions and definitions, only those most relevant to your application.

Your activity must meet at least one of objectives of the category to be successful. Assessors will consider your application against the relevant dimensions and definitions and allocate a weighted score for each of the four criteria.

See the application manual for more information about how your application will be assessed. Final approval of successful applications depends on available budget and approval by the Minister or delegated authority.


Dimensions of quality

Imagination, authenticity, originality, inquisitiveness, excellence, captivation, relevance, innovation, challenge, risk and rigour.

Weighting 35%

Quality refers to the level of artistic and cultural significance of the activity. Quality may be demonstrated by, but not limited to; examples of previous work, sector support, timeliness of the work and a strong history in your area of practice. It may also be demonstrated through the skills and experience of the people involved in the activity, and the alignment of those skills and experience to deliver the project.


Dimensions of reach

Diversity, platform, collaboration, leverage, number and growth.

Weighting 25%

Reach refers to the level of impact the activity is likely to have. Reach may be demonstrated by including information for; networking opportunities, relevant marketing and promotional strategies, number of participants and the potential increase in audience or markets.

Good planning

Dimensions of good planning

Realistic, achievable, considered, demonstrated research and/or consultation, evaluation.

Weighting 20%

Good planning refers to the level of consideration which has been given to practically undertaking the activity. Good Planning can be demonstrated by, but not limited to; carefully considered preparation, confirmation of key personnel, a realistic timeline and achievable outcomes, documented research and/or consultation, and a process of evaluation.

Financial responsibility

Dimensions of financial responsibility

Value, comprehensive budget, financial self-sufficiency.

Weighting 20%

Financial responsibility refers to the sound management of the budget. Financial responsibility can be demonstrated by but is not limited to; efficient use of resources, reasonable expenses and an accurate and comprehensive budget. Other sources of income have been considered and included where appropriate and the activity goes some way towards self-sufficiency.

Four components of your application

There are 4 components of a grant application: core application questions, project targets, financial information and support material. Each plays a significant and distinct role in creating a whole picture about your activity.

Core application questions

Your answers to the core application questions should give assessors an overview of your activity. Each question has a 1500-character limit. If you need more information on how to prepare your application, please read the application manual.

You can extract a copy of your draft application in Online Grants at any stage to share with others for their feedback.

Please ensure your activity meets the most current COVID-19 health guidelines. 

1. What is the activity you are seeking funding for?

Describe your planned activity. Outline your ideas, what is involved, who you will be working with and how they will contribute. Explain the creative, artistic or cultural relevance or significance of the activity, both for yourself and the relevant sector of the community.

2. Why do you need to undertake this activity and why do you need to do it now?

Explain the strategic significance of undertaking this activity at this time. Demonstrate the relevance, timeliness and impact of the activity in the context of your individual practice, other WA practitioners, WA communities or for your business or organisation.

If this activity involves a repeat attendance at an event you must show how this proposal builds upon the outcomes of that previous activity.

If your activity includes travel out of WA, you must describe the national significance of the event or opportunity you need to attend or participate in, and you must demonstrate that the activity will have a long-term impact for your practice, or where applicable, for your business or organisation.

3. What outcomes will be achieved?

List the direct outcomes you hope to achieve from your activity. These may include developing your skills, producing a new work or body of work, accessing promotional or networking opportunities, reaching new audiences or markets, or engaging with specific communities. Where relevant, you should include outcomes and benefits for the participants and audiences for your activity.

4. How do you plan to undertake the activity? (Note: You must include a COVID-19 Contingency plan with your support material.)

Describe in detail the stages or steps in planning, developing and implementing your activity. Include as many specific details that are essential to the success of your activity. If your activity engages with an Aboriginal community, evidence of consultation with the community must be provided in your support material. You must also include a COVID-19 contingency plan in your support material. This plan is not counted as part of your text support material limit. Information on COVID-19 Safety Plans and Guidelines.

5. What is the timeline for the activity?

Provide a timeline outlining what will happen at each stage of your activity. The timeline should begin and finish with the Activity Start and End Dates you entered at the beginning of your application.

6. How will you evaluate the activity?

Outline the methods, processes or tools you will use to measure and report your progress towards, and/or achievement of the activity outcomes you outlined in Question 3. Consider how you will know whether you achieved your proposed outcomes.

7. What are your plans for marketing, promotion and/or distribution for the activity?

Marketing includes audience and sector engagement, promotion and distribution strategies. Describe the different methods you will employ to market your activity or distribute your product to your desired audience, client, consumer or peer group. Activities that do not include a clear public outcome should still include some plan for engagement of peers and promotion of your practice. If relevant, you can include a marketing plan with your support materials.

Project targets

You are required to provide relevant project target information for your activity. This information will be considered as part of the assessment of your application. Project target information will be used to provide further clarity on your activity for the assessor and will provide important data for the department for research, analysis and advocacy purposes.  

You only need to provide information for the categories and items relevant to your activity.   

If your application is successful you will be required to report against the planned project targets at the acquittal stage.  

Please contact us if you have any questions.  

Financial information

The financial information in your budget helps to demonstrate that all elements of your activity have been considered, thoroughly researched and costed. A good budget also provides confidence for the DLGSC that your activity will be a sound investment for the State of Western Australia.

You should indicate which expenditure items you want Culture and the Arts to support. List those items in the ‘Additional Notes’ section of the application budget page.

If you are registered for GST, you should not include GST in the budget figures. All amounts should be in Australian dollars.

Your funding request is the difference between your expenditure minus your income. To ensure this amount is calculated accurately, seek quotes for all expenditure items (whether or not you intend to include these as support material) and include all costs associated with the activity, even if they are supplied in-kind.

Many activities will include in-kind contributions in the form of offering something for free or at a discount. More information on in-kind expenditure and income as well as an example of how to demonstrate your in-kind support follows this section.

For each expenditure or income item you add to the budget, use the notes area alongside the item to explain how that item relates to the delivery of your activity and how the cost was calculated.


Expenditure items can vary significantly from one activity to another. Any legitimate expense that is eligible can be included in the budget.

Do not duplicate costs in the budget form. For example, if you receive a quote for advertising which includes design, do not add an additional item for design. Simply use ‘advertising’ as the expenditure item, and add a note explaining that the cost includes design.

Make sure you check the list for ineligible items.

Eligible expenditure items


Expenses related to the management and administration of the activity. E.g. Telephone/internet, insurance, postage and stationery. Eligible expenditure items in this category may also include audit costs and accessibility costs (expenditure associated with making your activity accessible to participants or audiences with a disability).

Marketing, promotion and distribution

Costs associated with marketing to your target audience. E.g. information, promotion and audience engagement activities, advertising, graphic design, merchandise photography, videography, public relations and production of marketing collateral.

Preparation, development, production and exhibition/presentation

Costs related to the remount, production and delivery of the activity or its deliverables, including the costs of presentation and exhibition. Eligible items may include venue hire, lighting hire, set construction, manufacturing costs, recording fees, rehearsal space hire, props and audio-visual costs.

Salaries, fees and living allowances

Expenditure in this category should include salaries, fees and allowances for all key personnel, with separate components itemised in the budget notes. We support appropriate rates of pay for all people involved in your activity.

Pay scales and conditions may be prescribed by legally binding industrial awards and agreements, such as those monitored by the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA). Where an industry standard clearly applies, applicants are expected to meet those rates of pay.

Please note that organisations, such as the MEAA, predominantly provide information on minimum base rates for employees engaged on a full-time, part-time or casual basis. Rates for artists and arts workers engaged as contractors will include a loading to cover the costs of being self-employed. Full-time, part-time and casual rates do not factor in these costs and should not be used when engaging contractors.

If these standards do not apply to your activity then you must outline how reasonable rates have been calculated.

Travel and freight

Costs associated with transporting people, equipment or goods. Eligible items may include fares (taxi, airplane, bus etc.) tolls, land or air freight, and vehicle hire.


This program does not fund 100% of your activity costs so you must demonstrate at least 20% income, which may include in-kind support, or your application will be ineligible.

Eligible income Items

Earned income

May include ticket sales, product sales, performance fees, royalties, artwork and/or merchandise sales. For performances, this amount should factor in the number of performances, average ticket price and projected venue capacity.

Corporate sponsorship

List any income received through sponsorship from corporate bodies or businesses. Income received through government sponsorship should be included in the relevant government income category.

Philanthropic donations

May include contributions from fundraising, crowdfunding, donations, gifts and bequests.

Australia Council, other Federal Government, other State Government, local government

All grants and sponsorship being sought from local government, state government, Australian government, the Australia Council, and other government sources must be included, whether or not this support has been confirmed. If your application is to be assessed by a peer assessment panel, we will attempt to confirm the status of any pending funding applications directly with the funding body prior to the panel assessment. Do not include DLGSC grant funds being requested as part of this application.

Other income

If you are making a cash contribution, or someone is providing cash to the activity, list this item as a ‘cash contribution’ or similar. Include any other income source that does not fit within any of the above categories and provide enough detail to identify the income source.

In-kind expenditure and income

Some expenses may be offered to you for free or at a discount. This might be borrowed equipment, the use of a rehearsal space, donated or discounted goods or services, volunteers (including you), negotiated discounted fees and allowances. Anything given to your project at no expense to you is considered in-kind.

All in-kind items must be included as a budget item under the in-kind expenditure category. The corresponding recognition of in-kind income is created automatically in your online application, and you do not need to enter any in-kind income budget items. The total in-kind expenditure must always equal the total in-kind income.

If, for example, you are hiring a venue, which would normally charge $2000, and you have successfully negotiated an $800 (40%) discount, you would include venue hire fee as a budget item under the expenditure category of $1200 and $800 under the in-kind expenditure category.

Additional notes

This section of the budget provides an opportunity for you to detail any additional information you feel may help to clarify items within your budget. For example, for fees and salaries you can indicate in this section how you calculated your amount.
You should use this section to indicate which expenditure items you want Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries to support.


The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) considers any grant payment to be taxable income for the purposes of your annual income tax return. If you receive a grant you are encouraged to discuss your tax implications with your tax agent or the ATO.

Registered for Goods and Services Tax

If you are registered for GST you must show your expenditure items exclusive of the GST component. For example, you have been quoted $550 including GST for lighting hire. In your expenditure budget you would only show lighting hire of $500. If your activity is funded, the DLGSC payment will include a 10% GST component to cover those items on which GST is payable.

Not registered for Goods and Services Tax

If you are not registered for GST you must show your expenditure items inclusive of the GST component. For example, you have been quoted $550 including GST for lighting hire. In your expenditure budget you would show lighting hire of $550. If your activity is funded, the DLGSC payment will include the GST component for those items on which GST is payable.

Support material

Support materials are crucial to a successful application and are essential for assessors to fully gauge the value of your activity. It is highly recommended you pay close attention to the support material you choose and make sure it offers the best support for your application. Your choice of support material should help to demonstrate the four assessment criteria: Quality, Reach, Good Planning and Financial Responsibility as well as the objectives of the category you are applying to. 

You can select up to three out of the five units of support material. These units are outlined below. Please note that COVID-19 plans are currently considered mandatory and will not count towards your support material limits.

Within each unit there are acceptable formats and limits. You must strictly adhere to these formats and limits or your application will be ineligible. Formats that are NOT eligible are: .pages, .zip, .excel, MP3s (or similar) and .eml (however screenshots of emails are ok).

As an Online Grants portal user, you must upload your support materials with your online application.

If you are submitting audio and/or video files you must upload them to file streaming sites like Vimeo, YouTube, Bandcamp or SoundCloud that do not require a log-in to access.

Do not use Dropbox, OneDrive or Google Drive for any support material.

You can find instructions on how to use these sites at the following links:

More information about how to submit your materials can be found in the application manual.

Units of support material (select up to 3)

Unit 1 audio

6 minutes of audio (combined total length of all audio submitted for assessment).

Examples of material
  • Examples of previous work or activities
  • Other audio (for example interviews, recordings, presentations) that supports your activity.
Acceptable limits
  • Maximum 3 links
  • Maximum 6 minutes total listening time (all files).

If your audio files are longer than 6 minutes in total, you must specify the exact minute markers the assessor should start and finish listening.

Unit 2 video

6 minutes of video (combined total length of all video submitted for assessment).

Examples of material
  • Examples of previous work or activities
  • Other video (for example interviews, recordings, presentations) that supports your activity.
Acceptable limits
  • Maximum 3 links
  • Maximum 6 minutes total viewing time (all files)

If your video files are longer than 6 minutes in total, you must .specify the exact minute markers the assessor should start and finish viewing.

Unit 3 images

10 images (combined total of all images submitted).

Examples of material
  • Examples of previous work or activities.
Acceptable formats and limits
  • maximum 10 images in one of the following formats:
    • One PDF document containing up to 10 images (maximum file size 5 MB with one line of text permitted for each image); or
    • 10 image files (maximum file size 5 MB per image).

Note: weblinks to images online are not accepted.

Unit 4 text

10 pages of text (combined total number of all text pages in documents submitted for assessment).

Examples of material
  • Applicant CV up to 2 pages
  • Short biographies/profiles for key creative or artistic personnel*
  • Participant confirmation*
  • Quotes for major expenditure items/confirmation of fees*
  • Business, brand, group or organisation profile
  • Letters of peer/industry support (outside the activity)*
  • Reviews, media reports or articles on your previous work
  • Evidence of confirmed events, activities or appointments*
  • Confirmation of consultation and/or support from the target community/participants such as Aboriginal communities or young people
  • Evidence of significant Aboriginal involvement, participation and decision making (where relevant)
  • Marketing and/or promotional plan
  • Invitations to present, perform, exhibit or showcase*.

*Can include emails as screenshots, converted to PDF. For quotes, you can take a screen shot or snip of the essential information and we would suggest up to 5 per A4 page.

Acceptable formats and limits
  • maximum 10 A4 pages of text in PDF or Word only (maximum file size 5 MB per document).

All text must be legible at 100%. If text is not legible the assessors will be unable to review this document.

Note: weblinks to this information online are not accepted.

Unit 5 document

10-page activity-specific document.

Examples of material

If relevant to your activity you may use Unit 5 to include document/s such as:

  • marketing plan
  • product catalogue
  • activity plan.
Acceptable formats and limits
  • a single Word or PDF document only, containing a maximum of 10 A4 pages (maximum file size 5 MB).

Note: weblinks to this information online are not accepted.

COVID-19 Contingency Plan(s)

  • COVID-19 plans are currently considered mandatory.
  • Identify any risks to your activity in the event of public health restrictions, travel restrictions, a partial/full-lockdown, or key personnel illness/required to isolate. In general, you could consider how you will maintain good hygiene and cleaning practices, social distancing, options for working remotely, replacement of key personnel, or postponement of activity. 
  • Provide a venue COVID-19 Safety Plan (as applicable).
  • Your COVID-19 plans will not count towards your support material limits.


Only first-time and/or regionally based 15k-plus category applicants can request a draft review before submitting your final application. Check the key dates calendar for the draft review deadline date. You are strongly encouraged to make this request well before the review deadline to give staff enough time to provide feedback as well as time to update your application on receipt of this review. 

How to request a draft review in Online Grants

Contact if you require assistance requesting a draft review in Online Grants. 

Acquittal report

If you’re successful you will be required to fill in an acquittal report when your activity has finished. An acquittal report details your activity and how you spent the grant. The acquittal report will be available for you to access in Online Grants, via the Edit/View Report button or Reports tab on the Home page, once a copy of your signed funding agreement has been received. Your acquittal report must be submitted within 90 days of the activity completion date as specified in the funding agreement.

You will need to attach relevant documents, images and videos that substantiate the delivery of the activity and that may demonstrate the impact and outcomes achieved. As a rough guide please refer to the Support Material formats and limits as listed above for your acquittal report support materials. Refer back to your activity outcomes for guidance in selecting suitable material. 

If possible, please provide your support material in one PDF document (for text and images). Audio and video material to be supplied separately as applicable.  

The report will also include your activity budget and you will be required to enter all the actual figures against each budget item and add any additional items not in the original budget.

Variations between budget and actual figures are acceptable; however, you must provide an explanation for large variations in the Notes for that item. As you enter actual figures, the activity profit/loss will be automatically updated and displayed at the top of the Financial Information page.

The funding acquittal report also includes the option to provide feedback to help us to continually review and improve the service we provide.

Assistance for applicants

More information on how to apply can be found in the application manual.

Grants Officers are available via telephone and email to answer queries about applications and suitability of activities to specific programs.

If you need extra assistance due to disability, language barriers or any other factor that may disadvantage you in completing your application, please contact us.

The advice provided by Grants Officers does not guarantee the success of your application.

Due to the high number of applications received, each funding round is highly competitive.

All applications are considered on their own merits and against the assessment criteria and program objectives.

Contact us

Online Grants portal technical support

For assistance using Online Grants or to report any related technical issues, contact the Online Grants Support Team:

Grants Officers

For enquiries relating to this funding program, including advice or assistance with your application, contact a Grants Officer: 

Telephone 61 8 6552 7400
Toll Free (Country WA callers only) 1800 634 541

Assistance for people with disability

The department is committed to supporting applicants with disability. Information can be provided in alternative formats (large print, electronic or Braille) upon request.

If you require special assistance in preparing your application, please call 61 8 6552 7400 or toll free for regional WA callers on 1800 634 541 .

Family, friends, mentors and/or carers can attend meetings with you.

If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment, contact us through one of the following:

Interpreting assistance

For interpreting assistance in languages other than English, telephone the Translation and Interpreting Service on 13 14 50 and ask for a connection to 6552 7400 or 1800 634 541.

Regional applicants

Toll Free (Country WA callers only): 1800 634 541 

Email the Grants Officers:

Page reviewed 28 July 2022