Major Commission

The Major Commission grant supports a significant investment in a major new work by a leading South Australian independent artist or group, to be presented in a high profile setting in South Australia.

The project must have a significant public outcome and be presented first in South Australia. The project must have the capacity to extend community awareness of the artist and the commissioning partner or partners, and enhance their national and international reputations.

Independent artists may apply for assistance towards a major new work initiated and brokered with a suitable commissioning partner or partners. Partners may include production houses, independent producers, festivals, arts organisations and high profile venues. Partners must have a track record of producing projects of a similar scale.

Arts organisations and companies may apply to commission a leading South Australian independent artist. Organisations receiving ongoing funding from Arts South Australia must show how the commission will represent a scale of production or presentation beyond their usually funded activity.

Funding may be sought for project costs at every stage, including development, production and presentation.

Commissioning partners must commit or secure no less than 30% of the project's budget (cash or in kind) from sources other than Arts South Australia.

Applicants must include evidence of the relationship between the artist and the commissioner. This includes evidence of the commissioner's financial commitment to the project.

Download a PDF list of previous Major Commission grant recipients:

- Grant Recipients February 2019
- 2017-2001


Peter Grace - Manager, Artists' Grants & Awards Program
(08) 8463 5429

Julia Moretti - Arts Development Officer, Artists' Grants & Awards Program
(08) 8463 5455

Applicants must be Australian citizens or have permanent resident status and live, or be primarily located, in South Australia.

The following applications are ineligible:

  • projects already completed, or due to be completed, before the commencement of the funding period. Funding will not be provided retrospectively
  • projects without professional outcomes, such as amateur productions, the self-publication of literary works, fundraising, competitions, awards and prizes, as well as projects forming part of a course of study, including graduation activities
  • screen-based projects aimed at the cinema, film festivals or television, and media projects with a purely commercial outcome. Some activity will be eligible when incorporated into projects in other art form areas. Speak to Arts South Australia if you are unsure
  • start-up business costs and the purchase of basic equipment. Speak to Arts South Australia if you are unsure.


You must address the Criteria specified in Essential reading before applying. Artistic Merit and Viability are the two key criteria to consider in your proposal. Address the Engagement and/or Development criteria as they relate to your proposal - your proposal may meet all criteria. You do not need to respond to each individual bullet point.

In addition, the following criteria apply specifically to the Major Commission funding program:

  • the track record, creative achievement and skill of the artist and commissioning partners
  • the capacity of the artist to tackle the artistic challenge, and reach the aims and ambition of the project
  • the quality and depth of the ideas
  • the context in which the work is being presented
  • existing and potential resources being brought to the project, including other funding and your own contribution.


Use the Major Commission application form to apply for this grant.

You should discuss your application and budget with the relevant Arts South Australia Arts Development Officer, and look at past grant recipients as a guide.

Eligible expenses

Eligible expenses include

What this category does not fund


















  • Living allowances
  • Stationery costs
  • Hire of an office or equipment
  • Travel
  • Accommodation
  • Artist's fees




Eligible expenses include


  • Performers' fees
  • Creatives' fees (such as composers, choreographers, designers, etc)
  • Producers' fees
  • Commissioning fees
  • Seasons of work and touring regionally, nationally and internationally
  • Living allowance, daily allowances and salaries for creative and technical personnel
  • Travel, freight and direct presentation and production costs
  • Materials, venue and equipment hire
  • Marketing costs
  • Administration and accountancy


Eligible expenses include


  • Artists' fees
  • Living allowance, daily allowances and salaries for creative and technical personnel
  • Curatorial costs, catalogue essay writer's fees, design costs, materials, photography
  • Travel, freight and direct presentation and production costs, catalogue printing
  • Materials, studio and equipment hire
  • Exhibition costs
  • Marketing costs
  • Administration and accountancy
  • Manuscripts aimed at the education sector
  • The preparation of work intended for, or the costs associated with, self-publication
  • Individual writers seeking to employ an editor to work on a manuscript or to market their own titles
  • Film, TV and games scriptwriters (who should contact the South Australian Film Corporation)
  • Purchase of equipment



 What this category does not fund


  • Amateur productions
  • Purchase of equipment
  • Film, TV and games scriptwriters (who should contact the South Australian Film Corporation)






What this category does not fund


  • Framing costs
  • Purchase of equipment


Additional to the information requested in the application form, you should provide a description of the commissioning partners, including their projected financial commitment or sponsorship.

Rates of pay for artists can vary depending on the skills and experience the artist brings to the project. Where an award or industry standard clearly applies, applicants are encouraged to comply. Where there is no award, it is advisable to quote industry standard rates for artists. For guidance on awards and rates of pay or other arrangements, contact:

  • Australian Writers' Guild (AWG)
  • Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA)
  • National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA)

Support material

Support material is extra items submitted in support of your written proposal. Support material will be viewed by assessment peers and tabled at the assessment meeting.
Only submit material that is directly relevant to your proposal and ensure that visual support material is high quality. Support material will not be accepted after the closing date.
Support material may include:

  • books, publications, manuscripts, programs, catalogues etc. These items can be paper-based and provided with your original application
  • URL links to vimeo, youtube or other websites are preferred
  • music and video support material must be supplied in a format that is easily duplicated and playable on a range of devices. Edited highlights of 3 – 5 minutes are recommended
  • all digital support material must be fully PC and Windows compatible and accompanied by a short written description for conceptual installations or multimedia.


Visual art, craft and design applicants are required to submit images in PowerPoint form. The PowerPoint must be accompanied by an image list, including dates and full descriptions of the works. A total of nine (9) images for individual applicants or twenty (20) images for a group can be submitted.

Written materials such as CVs, letters of support and media clippings should be included as part of the written application. They are not considered support materials as such, but are useful for providing a history of the artist.

It is recommended that the electronic copy of your application and your support material are submitted together on a single USB. All USBs and files contained on them must be clearly identified with the applicant’s name and project title.

The total combined size of your application and support material must not exceed 6MB of data. Your support material must be in a format which is of the highest quality achievable within the data limit.

Hard copy support material can be collected from Arts South Australia after notification of the result of your application. If not collected within two months of notification, Arts South Australia will dispose of material.


Contact Information:

Primary Contact:
Peter Grace
Manager, Artists' Grants & Awards Program
Email Address:
(08) 8463 5429