Geelong Performing Arts Centre has welcomed a State Government operational funding increase revealed in this week's budget.
GPAC will receive an additional $5.42m over the next four years to support programming, creative industry development, marketing and staffing for an expanded Centre. The funding includes $340,000 for much needed upgrades to IT and communications systems.
Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley said: “Geelong Performing Arts Centre plays a central role in the creative and cultural life of the region. This funding will mean that when the Ryrie Street redevelopment opens in 2019, GPAC will have more than just a new building, it will be able to offer an expanded program and exciting new opportunities, both for local creative industries and the wider community.”
The announcement confirms confidence in Geelong Performing Arts Centre to deliver exciting outcomes in the creative industries for Geelong and the G21 Region, according to Chief Executive Officer, Joel McGuinness.
The Centre is currently undergoing a $38.5 million redevelopment, funded by the Victorian Government with some philanthropic support. The Ryrie Street Redevelopment, designed by renowned architects Hassell, will create a stunning new landmark in the heart of the cultural precinct while vastly improving accessibility and the experience for artists and audiences. The project will expand the rehearsal facilities, dance studios and provide new creative industries offices.
“Today’s announcement will ensure that Geelong Performing Arts Centre is able to plan for a bright future in the city and region, working with artists, creators, stakeholders and putting the community at the centre as the redevelopment comes to fruition,” said Mr McGuinness.
This significant increase in funding follows detailed business planning as well as extensive community and stakeholder engagement.
“I look forward to working closely with our community to deliver amazing outcomes for arts and culture. This investment will ensure the ongoing sustainability of our Centre and allow us to plan for the future, ensuring that arts and culture will continue to thrive in Geelong and that Geelong Performing Arts Centre can be at the heart of creativity in the city,” said Mr. McGuinness.
The Geelong Performing Arts Centre’s new direction is spearheaded by recently appointed Chair of the Trust Lesley Alway and new CEO Joel McGuinness who both commenced in March.
“Today’s announcement is a significant show of confidence by the Government and the Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley regarding the Geelong Performing Arts Centre Trust and heralds a bright future for Geelong and the vibrant creative sector in the region,” said Ms Alway.
“On behalf of the Geelong Performing Arts Centre Trust, I thank the State Government for investing in arts and culture in Geelong and am excited by the opportunities that this new funding will enable us to deliver for audiences and artists in the region.”