Council presents performing arts, events strategy

Date published: 3 December 2015

Townsville City Council’s performing arts and events strategy for the next three years was presented to the Community and Culture Committee today.

The strategy is a guiding document that provides over-arching direction, priorities and strategic actions for council’s presentation and development in the areas of the performing arts and events.

Committee chair Cr Sue Blom said as city’s population grew to 200,000 and beyond, it was essential to put in place strategies for the upkeep of facilities, to provide ongoing training of staff to keep up with new technologies and to plan for the increasing number of performances to be held in Townsville.

"This is especially important over the next year as the city celebrates 150 years, with a number of major events such as the T150 Pacific Festival and RAAF airshow," Cr Blom said.

"It’s also essential for council to maximise the likelihood of performances and events being staged in the city that will have an economic development impact and bring significant community benefit.

"The increasing number of events being staged with council’s involvement in the form of supporter, promoter, presenter or venue provider, brings with them a number of challenges for council.

"Budget pressures, ageing facilities and increased insurance costs are all factors council needs to consider, not to mention the city’s geographical challenges which pose issues of increased costs and limitations for travelling productions."

Cr Blom said infrastructure challenges at venues such as the Civic Theatre and Riverway Arts Centre were also identified in the strategy, pointing to the new concert hall styled theatre within the Waterfront Priority Development Area as a necessity to more than double the current capacity to host local and touring shows.

The strategy also outlines major refurbishments to be carried out at the ageing Civic Theatre in 2017/18 and renovations and structural improvements of The Old Magistrates Court, School of Arts Theatre and Riverway Arts Centre.

Staffing, marketing and professional workshops to build community arts capacities were also mentioned in the strategy.

The strategy will be considered for adoption at the full council meeting on December 15.