Events contributing significantly to City of Ballarat

Events that were delivered or funded by the City of Ballarat have generated more than $44 million for the city’s economy in the most recent financial year.

As part of annual reporting under the Ballarat Events Strategy 2018–2028, the 2023 report card, endorsed by Ballarat City Council on Wednesday night, provides an evaluation of the outcomes from the 2022/23 period against the strategy’s primary objectives.

The strategy’s three primary objectives for events across the City of Ballarat are: economic objectives; identity (brand) objectives; and civic and liveability objectives.

Economic objectives

The report shows for the 2022/23 period, events delivered and funded by the City of Ballarat generated a $44,295,135 economic impact for Ballarat. This is an increase of 7% on 2021/22.

Across the events delivered by the City of Ballarat, a 49% increase in economic impact was recorded. This can be attributed to significant growth in the economic impact from Ballarat Begonia Festival and Ballarat Heritage Festival.

Most notably, the Ballarat Begona Festival contributed $4.5 million to the Ballarat economy and attracted 65,000 people.

For events that are funded but not delivered by the City of Ballarat (externally operated events that receive financial support from City of Ballarat), there was a 1:22 return on investment. This means that for every dollar the City of Ballarat invested in externally operated events, there was $22 injected into the Ballarat economy.

Identity (brand) objectives

In 2023, a dedicated public relations agency was appointed to work across three major events: Begonia Festival, Heritage Festival, and Winter Festival.

Ballarat Begonia Festival saw significant growth in the media value generated by the event to $2,336,506. This compares to 2019 when the media value generated was $184,813.

Media value generated for Ballarat Heritage Festival was $688,482, which was awarded bronze in the Festivals and Events Category of the Victorian Tourism Awards.

New websites were also developed for the major events and assisted in improving the customer experience.

Civic/liveability objectives

Events in 2022/23 were well attended by local residents and all City of Ballarat-delivered events achieved a minimum of 50% local suppliers, artists and stallholders.

In total events attracted more than 165,000 residents, with some residents attending multiple events. They also attracted almost 190,000 visitors.

In total there were 368 events that spanned over a total of 1,808 days.

Other new highlights included attracting international dining experience Le Diner en Blanc and the establishment of a Sturt Street Easter activation.

City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Des Hudson said events continued to be a major part of what made Ballarat a great city.  

“It’s extremely promising to see Ballarat events contribute such an enormous amount to the city,” he said.

“Not only do they have such a significant economic impact, but they also contribute so much to the social fabric and also make Ballarat a great tourism and sports tourism destination.

“To see them grow considerably in just 12 months is extremely promising and I look forward to see what is on offer for the next 12 months.”

The Ballarat Events Strategy 2018–2028 aligns closely with the Goal 5 of the City of Ballarat Council Plan 2021-2025: A strong and innovative economy and city. 


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