A great boost to the WA regional venues scene has been announced when 13 regional performing arts venues received a total of $2.09 million funding from the Western Australia Government to upgrade facilities.
They are recipients of Round 2 of the Regional Venues Improvement Fund (RVIF), made possible by a $24 million four-year Creative Regions program investment through Royalties for Regions.
WA’s Regional Development Minister Terry Redman described the $24 million program as one of the largest investments in regional culture and arts made by any government in Australia.
“The fund is one of five schemes under the Creative Regions program which aims to improve infrastructure and establish opportunities for the development of arts and culture through venue upgrades, developing skills and capacity of local arts groups, increasing the number of touring shows and helping Aboriginal art centres,” he said.
Culture and the Arts Minister John Day added that RVIF grants ensured venues were adequately equipped to accommodate regional performing arts groups as well as enabling more performing arts groups to tour the regions.
“The RVIF will help to improve regional arts venues and provides arts organisations and artists with the support to deliver an expanded variety of experiences to their communities.
“The second round of the RVIF had a strong response with applications from across WA, highlighting the important role cultural centres play in regional communities.
“The $2.09 million investment from the State Government has leveraged an additional $2.85 million in local government contributions, enabling upgrades that would otherwise not be possible.”
The biggest amount of funding, $500,000, went to the Margaret River Cultural Centre. It will be used for a more accessible entrance, improved bar facilities and a more centralised position for its commercial kitchen. It is part of the larger HEART Project – Hub of Entertainment, Arts and Regional Tourism – for increased use of the facilities for arts and cultural, business, community and tourism events and conferences.
Ngarluma and Yindjibarndi Foundation $51,102
The Ngurin Pilbara Aboriginal Centre Amphitheatre is a central feature of the cultural centre in Roebourne. The ‘Attract and Accommodate’ building presence and capacity project will improve catering for patrons with disability; increase venue seating capacity; and provide greater presence and promotion of the venue through the installation of road front signage. The amphitheatre is the welcoming meeting place, particularly for the Aboriginal people of the Pilbara region. The upgrade will attract a greater number of event hosts and provide extra job opportunities for the local indigenous community.
Ngarluma and Yindjibarndi Foundation $27,600
The ‘Centre Stage’ lighting the amphitheatre project is seeking funds to install a dedicated power connection to the amphitheatre as well installation of stage lighting, making the venue self-sufficient and functional, and no longer relying on other sources of power (other buildings, generators, hire lighting) to host productions.
Shire of Dandaragan $333,803
The upgrade will transform the Cervantes Community Recreation Centre to a multipurpose performing arts and cultural centre and include the provision of a foyer, gallery and hospitality area, back of house dressing room and amenities, modification of male and female toilets, and relocating the hot water cylinder. Increasing the capacity of the facility will enable the venue to host large events and functions and deliver important economic benefits to Cervantes and complement other key projects within the shire.
Shire of Esperance $138,292
Replacement and upgrade of audio and lighting equipment at the Esperance Civic Centre, which is no longer fit for purpose. The upgrade has been recommended in the Technical Benchmarking Report commissioned by CircuitWest through Scheme 2 of Creative Regions.
Esperance Theatre Guild $40,025
Upgrade of the lighting and communication system equipment at the 120-year-old Bijou Theatre. The technical upgrade will help reduce the theatre’s energy consumption and operating costs and will also enable the theatre to further attract visiting touring productions to Esperance.
Shire of Merredin $40,580
Completion of the next stage of improvements to the Cummins Theatre is focused on further increasing technical capabilities and redeveloping the public access points of the venue. These improvements will also assist the promotion of the Cummins Theatre as a hub for culture and the arts and offer more variety and quality to the Central Eastern Wheatbelt community.
Shire of York $103,170
A major functional upgrade of the York Town Hall will support the venue in the presentation of a professional performing arts program. The upgrade includes the replacement of front and back of house curtains and drapes, installation of black-out window treatments and painting of the interior of the building.
Mandurah Performing Arts Centre $212,178
Following recommendations from the Technical Benchmarking Report commissioned by CircuitWest through Scheme 2 of Creative Regions, Mandurah Performing Arts Centre has developed Stage 2 of the technical equipment upgrade which was funded by RVIF Round 2 in 2015-16. The upgrade will include front of house and back of house improvements in the Boardwalk and Fishtrap theatres, together with lighting and audio visual upgrades in the dance studio and public spaces. This project will enable the centre to significantly increase the breadth and depth of engagement within the broader community.
Shire of Murray $90,743
The upgrade of the Shire of Murray’s civic centre and Green Room will include the installation of a new ceiling and ducted air-conditioning, tannoy system and provision of full-length wool and fire retardant curtains. The improvements will enable the enhancement of current performances, facilitate an increase in attendance numbers and attract touring performances. In addition, the venue will also attract more drama groups and be used for workshops.
Shire of Augusta Margaret River $500,000
Major refurbishment and extension of the existing pre and post function hospitality area of the Margaret River Cultural Centre will create a new accessible entrance to the theatre, improved bar facilities and the relocation of a more functional commercial kitchen from the auditorium to a central location. This project is a component of a larger planned upgrade known as Stage 1 of the HEART Project – Hub of Entertainment, Arts and Regional Tourism and will result in the increased use of the facilities for arts and cultural, business, community and tourism events and conferences.
City of Bunbury $334,074
Replacement of the external cladding of the Fly Tower of the e which has deteriorated and is no longer water tight, resulting in water ingress damage to the internal structure which at times has disrupted live performances. The cladding will be fully replaced with a superior and more durable product.
Shire of Plantagenet $197,358
Stage Two of the Plantagenet District Hall Revitalisation project is a functional upgrade of the venue, including restroom facilities, installation of tiered seating, cycloramas and floor restoration. The refurbishment will enable the venue to present a broader range of performances more frequently.
City of Albany $23,783
The purchase and installation of stage lighting and audio visual equipment for the Albany Entertainment Centre will deliver greater energy and operational efficiencies and a more enhanced audience experience.