The National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) has secured an historic $12.9 million funding agreement from the Australian Government’s Office for the Arts.

The new four-year funding agreement locks in Commonwealth support for NICA through to 30 June 2017.

The Program Manager of NICA, Ms Rose Stephens, was delighted to welcome the first four-year funding agreement ever granted to NICA.

“This is an historic agreement for us.  Since 1999, NICA has been funded through a rolling succession of one-year agreements,” said Ms Stephens.

“Four years of secure and increased Commonwealth funding will ensure a strong basis for the future of NICA’s highly specialised programs for the long term.

“We are grateful to Federal Minister for the Arts, The Hon Tony Burke MP, for the faith that he has shown in NICA, its students and its staff.

“We also acknowledge the significant role played by Swinburne University in advocating for an agreement that will ensure that NICA has security of funding for the first time in our history so that we can plan confidently for our future.”

Ms Stephens said that by having a longer term funding model through to 2017, NICA will have greater confidence about the provision of training for the next generation of circus artists.

The agreement builds on confirmation from Swinburne University of Technology that:

  • NICA’s signature program, the Bachelor of Circus Arts, will continue to be available; and
  • NICA will continue to operate at its current location, including space which is shared with the Victorian Gymnastics Association at the Prahran campus.

The new agreement includes a substantial boost to funding allocated to NICA through the Creative Australia package announced in March this year.

News of the funding was welcomed by peak bodies for circus arts, physical theatre and live performance.

“The Australian Circus and Physical Theatre Association (ACAPTA) – Australia’s peak body for the circus arts – is delighted that the Australian Government has made a significant and ongoing, four-year funding commitment to the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA). We are confident that this Agreement will ensure that NICA continues to retain its status as a world class circus arts training institute and we welcome the security that this will ultimately bring to the sector,” said Ms Gail Kelly, CEO of ACAPTA.

“We warmly welcome the security and certainty that this will provide NICA as it goes forward. Many of our Members benefit from the skills and talents of NICA’s outstanding graduates.  This commitment by the Australian Government reflects confidence in the sector and will ensure that circus arts training in Australia has a great future,” said Ms Evelyn Richardson, CEO of Live Performance Australia.

NICA is a national not-for-profit arts training organisation registered as a cultural organisation. It is primarily funded by the Australian Government through the Office for the Arts and is supported by the Victorian Government through Skills Victoria and is the only arts training institute in the Southern hemisphere to offer a degree in circus arts.

Media Enquiries:

Maria Rizzo
Marketing and Communications Executive
National Institute of Circus Arts

Phone: (03) 9214 6518