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April - May 2014

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Creative Comedy Initiative


Established in 2011, the Creative Comedy Initiative is a New Zealand Comedy Trust programme and grant designed to encourage, develop and support visionary comedy performances that push the boundaries of the traditional comedy genres.

The aim of the Creative Comedy Initiative is to encourage practitioners to develop work and experiment in a supportive environment. To do so, we work within the objectives of Professional Development and Innovation to assist in the creation of new, innovative and visionary comedy performance that pushes the boundaries of the traditional comedy genre. The Initiative aims to assist the development of comedy as an artform, extend and diversify performer’s skills, inspire and surprise audiences and encourage performers to utilise the experience and knowledge of arts practitioners from the wider performing arts industry.

The Grant is awarded to at least one recipient each year, at a total of (up to) $10,000.00.

If you are interested in applying for the Creative Comedy Initiative, please read the Grant Information & Grant Criteria below. Then submit an Expression Of Interest to Festival & Event Producer, Maria Deere in the first instance.



We aim to support at least one new work in the realisation of the show concept, through a grant awarded for the creative development of the show.

The amount awarded to each successful applicant/s will be dependent on the scope of each show and the support required. The grant could be, but is not limited to, spending on contracting the services of a writer, director, dramaturge, composer, set design, lighting designer, costume designer, or a combination of two or more of these practitioners.

Depending on the work, the New Zealand Comedy Trust is also able to offer assistance and advice in the areas of production, marketing and promotional. The successful recipient(s) will be offered consultation meetings with the Festival & Event Producer, Marketing & Sponsorship Manager and National Festival Publicist, alongside a photo shoot with a professional photographer and complimentary advertisement space in the NZ International Comedy Festival programme.


  •   1 or more creative development grants awarded, (up to) the value of $10,000.
  •   Grants will not be paid in cash, but will be used to engage practitioners, or pay for goods, on behalf of the successful recipient/s.
  •   Grants are to go towards the creation, development and design of the show, rather than staging costs (i.e. venue rental).
  •   Assistance of the New Zealand Comedy Trust staff where required.
  •   Payment of the NZ International Comedy Festival registration fees.
  •   Advertisement in the NZ International Comedy Festival programme.
  •   Marketing & publicity support.
  •   Photo shoot.



  1. An Expression Of Interest must be submitted to the Festival & Event Producer, Maria Deere, via email ( in the first instance.
  2. All applications must be received by 5pm Thursday 25 September 2014, at the offices of the New Zealand Comedy Trust.
  3. Applications will be accepted via Email, Courier (Level 1, 321 Queen St, Auckland 1010), or Post (PO Box 6194, Wellesley St, Auckland 1141).
  4. Open to any comedy performer or collective of performers who is/ are New Zealand residents and are based in New Zealand.
  5. Recipients of the grant are not eligible to be Billy T Award nominees. If applicants are considering applying for both, they should consult with the Festival Producer in the first instance.
  6. Applicants who make the short list must be available to attend an interview with the selection panel on Wednesday 1 October 2014.
  7. The New Zealand Comedy Trust only provides grants for productions premiering at the NZ International Comedy Festival.
  8. The work must be an original work. If there are copyright works of third parties (e.g. music) embodied in the work, the recipient must obtain all relevant consents.
  9. The work must be comedic and innovative in intent.
  10. The decisions of the selection panel will be final and binding, and will not be subject to any protest, appeal, scrutiny or objection.
  11. The panel reserves the right to allocate more than one grant in any one year. The panel reserves the right to distribute no grants whatsoever in any one year.
  12. The New Zealand Comedy Trust reserves the right to nominate, approve and engage all service providers at its sole discretion.
  13. The New Zealand Comedy Trust will not make direct payments to or on behalf of recipients. The Grant is provided in goods and services as per clause 10.
  14. The New Zealand Comedy Trust has the right to use the name(s) and the images of the recipient(s) in press material and other publicity material related to the Grant.
  15. The recipient(s) of the Grant must complete a written report and complete a survey questionnaire by the 30 June 2015.
  16. The applicant understands that the New Zealand Comedy Trust may, at its sole discretion, change the conditions of the grant from year to year, and that the conditions of the Grant may change after this has been granted.
  17. By signing the confirmation of the Creative Comedy Initiative application form, you accept these terms and conditions.
  18. All applications will remain confidential between the applicant, the New Zealand Comedy Trust and the Creative Comedy Initiative Panel.