Sponsorship program strikes chord with city vision

10 Apr 2017

Novocastrian musos are fine tuning their acts for an online song writing competition supported by Newcastle City Council's grants and sponsorship program as a new, $320,000 funding round opens.

The Tip Jar pilot project will see local musicians upload songs to earn online votes from fans in the inaugural competition before the plaudits become financial rewards or "tips" -- via electronic fund transfers -- in subsequent contests.

EAO Entertainment's innovative approach to inspire hit songs has the backing of council's economic development sponsorship program, which is again offering a total of $100,000 for projects in 2017/18.

"The Tip Jar Project is a fine example of our economic development sponsorships as we take strides toward becoming a smart city," Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

"It matches the city's fine musical heritage with Newcastle's re-invention as an innovation centre and shows how council rolls out support each year through economic development sponsorships.

"Last year's funding across our range of sponsorship and grant programs has contributed to projects with a direct expenditure of $1.25 million and provided support for business growth and employment while encouraging innovation, community capacity building and developing the visitor economy."

Paper Thin

Singer/song writer Spencer Scott said he and bandmates from Paper Thin were putting the finishing touches on a new track in a bid to win the inaugural Tip Jar contest.

“I entered my first song writing competition when I was 19," Scott, now 23, said.

"With the prize money I won I was able to travel to Melbourne to play more shows and expand my audience, which included a show with Wil Wagner of The Smith Street Band. This online song writing competition is an exciting way to create something new, and also showcase some of the amazing talent we have.”

Tip Jar Project Director Kian West said EAO Entertainment hoped to inspire budding and seasoned musicians to submit a chart buster and win an attractive prize package.

"Newy has such a strong history of local musical talent and The Tip Jar hopes to leverage that," West said.

"There's a big expense in creating a website able to do electronic voting, so council's $11,000 grant will help with the heavy lifting on that front in the first year and hopefully we can progress it next year and have the musicians receiving tips from fans."

Tip Jar contestants will be able to upload their entries to www.tipjar.org.au in June before voting takes place in July.

The project will also offer free music courses through TAFE, two nights of live music and a grand finale performance of the 10 best-supported acts.

Other recipients of economic development sponsorships from last year's round included the Real Film Festival, Beaumont Street Carnivale and fashion magazine Facon.

Council's event sponsorship program is also valued at $100,000. Last year the Australian Bowl Riding Championships, Newkulele and the Barbershop Harmony Convention all received support under it.

The Community Assistance grant program entails $70,000 in 2017/18 and saw Catapult Dance, Mission to Seafarers, Fort Scratchley Historical Society and Newcastle High School Aboriginal Cultural Committee all afforded financial support last year.

Recreational facilities grants from last year's round benefited Newy Parkrun joggers and sports teams and spectators at Beresfield's Pasadena Oval and No.2 sportsground. This year $40,000 will be available to applicants to make the facilities they use better.

For more information on the grants and sponsorship program, applications for which are open to 1 May 2017, click here