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Creative Waikato administers the Creative Communities Scheme on behalf of Hamilton City Council.

About Hamilton City Council’s
CCS Round

Each year Creative New Zealand provides funding to city and district councils for distribution in their area. The Creative Communities Scheme aims to increase participation in the arts, broaden the range and diversity of the arts available to communities and enhance and strengthen the local arts sector.

Hamilton City Council and Creative Waikato have worked together for over 10 years to ensure that creatives around the city have the support they need by Creative Waikato administering this fund on behalf of the council.

Key Dates

There are two funding rounds per year, in February and August.


  • Monday 15 January 2024

    Applications open at 9am

  • Thursday 29 February 2024

    Applications close at 5pm

  • Saturday 13 April 2024

    Earliest starting date for your project


  • Monday 22 July 2024

    Applications open at 9am

  • Friday 30 August 2024

    Applications close at 5pm

  • Tuesday 15 October 2024

    Earliest starting date for your project

To Help

We always recommend contacting us if this is your first time applying for the Creative Communities Scheme. This allows us to understand your project and give you advise on how to pitch your application for the best possible chance.

Creative New Zealand have also provided resources to guide you so we recommend, before applying, read the application guide below.

Creative Communities Scheme Application Guide

How To

Applying to the Hamilton City Council Creative Communities Scheme fund happens via council’s online funding portal.

When you click the link below, it will take you to SmartyGrants. This will show all of Hamilton City Council’s current funding rounds open. Please click on the one labelled “Creative Communities Scheme”. You can then login to your account or create a new account to start your application.

Apply Here

Please note, the application form for CCS will only appear in SmartyGrants once the funding round is open.

Frequently Asked

When does the next funding round open?

Our next two funding round dates are:

  • Monday 15 January 2024 at 9am. Closes 5pm Thursday 29 February 2024.
  • Monday 22 July 2024 at 9am. Closes 5pm Friday 30 August 2024.

Who can apply for funding?

Individuals or groups can apply for CCS funding and must be New Zealand citizens or permanent residents.

Do I need to be a Hamilton resident to apply?
Does my group need to be based in Hamilton?

Not at all. We welcome applicants from all around Aotearoa — the arts project or event just needs to be held in Hamilton.

What kind of projects do you fund?

The project needs to have creative outcomes. We are looking for projects where people can directly participate in or experience creative activity.

We fund all sorts of projects from a wide range of art forms — everything from murals and music workshops to film festivals and pottery exhibitions.

What sort of projects don’t you fund?

You cannot apply for CCS funding for:

  • Projects without an arts focus
  • Projects within the scope of other sectors or organisations
  • Projects that mainly deliver outcomes for other sectors
  • Projects to develop facilities.

Check out the Creative Communities Scheme Application Guide for more information.

What costs can I get funding for?

You can get money for:

  • Materials for arts activities or programmes
  • Venue or equipment hire
  • Personnel and administrative costs for short-term projects
  • Promotion and publicity of arts activities.

It is important to us that the people delivering the creative activity are appropriately paid for their time and expertise.

What costs cannot get funding?

You cannot get money for:

  • Ongoing administration or personnel costs that are not related to the specific project
  • Costs for projects already started or completed
  • Travel costs to attend performances or exhibitions in other areas
  • Buying equipment, such as computers, cameras, musical instruments, costumes, lights or uniforms
  • Entry fees for competitions, contests and exams
  • Prize money, awards and judges’ fees for competitions
  • Royalties
  • The purchase of artworks for collections
  • The costs of running fundraising activity
  • Debt or interest on debt

How much money can I apply for?

There is no limit to how much you can apply for. The average Hamilton CCS grant is around $2,000, and a larger grant is around $5,000.

How are funding decisions made?

Your application will go to an assessment committee made up of Kirikiriroa locals with knowledge and experience of our local creative sector.

When do we receive the funds if the application is successful?

If your application is successful, you will receive your funds as soon as possible after we have notified you, providing you have supplied your bank details. If you are GST registered, we’ll pay you once you’ve emailed through your tax invoice.

How many times can we apply for funding a year?

We have two funding rounds each year — in February and August. You can make as many applications as you like as long as each application is for a different project. If you have already received funding from CCS for a project, you must complete your report on that project before submitting another application, unless the project is still in progress.

Who has received CCS funding in the past?

Check out past successful applicants from our February 2021 and August 2021 funding rounds.

If you have any questions or would like support with your application, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.