Albury-Wodonga’s famous Flying Fruit Fly Circus (FFFC) has received a major boost from the Australian Government, with a new six-year funding partnership worth over $4.4 million.

Federal Minister for the Arts, Senator Mitch Fifield, has confirmed renewal of support for the seven elite performing arts training organisations which receive funding from the Arts and Cultural Development Program.

Announcing the agreement, Federal Member for Farrer, Sussan Ley MP, said “I’m really pleased – ongoing support for our Fruit Flies is vital but this longer term commitment is equally important for the company to plan ahead and nurture its next generation of performers”.

According to FFFC Executive Director, Richard Hull, “this is a landmark agreement for us, providing a secure financial foundation through to 2022. It’s a great endorsement of our work and future direction from the federal government and for the continuing development of contemporary circus in Australia. It acknowledges the importance of young people having access to arts training and participation in our regional centres, not only the big city hubs”.

“About 60% of annual revenue we raise through our own commercial activities and from other non-government sources such as donations and sponsorship. However this crucial support, in practical terms, means we can plan ahead with confidence. This will ensure our unique circus program for young people, which combines physical, skills and performance training with the creation and touring of dynamic circus shows for young audiences, remains relevant, innovative and world-class.”

Paul Ingwersen, Chair of the Flying Fruit Fly Foundation noted “the funding confirms the status of the Flying Fruit Fly Circus as Australia’s national youth circus. It is one of the few national arts companies based regionally. With a quarter of our young artists coming from outside the region and agreements with key organisations such as the Sydney Opera House, it shows that arts companies can flourish in regional Australia and the Albury Wodonga community should be justly proud of this home-grown national institution”.