Arts Update: July 2018

Brolga Song and Dance by Nicky Bidju Pryor is one of the latest additions to Townsville's street art trail. IMAGE: Supplied

I’m thrilled to announce Townsville City Council has recently delivered on a major project with the completion of a $10 million upgrade to the Townsville Civic Theatre.

This is undoubtedly one of the most exciting developments in recent years for our local arts community, and has not only given our theatre a much needed refurbishment, but importantly brings our venue up to a national standard.

We can now boast we have arguably one of the best regional theatres in the country, with a new look refurb, and state of the art upgrades which means this venue that can attract even more touring productions than ever before. This project has created over 20 new jobs, and at the busiest periods has had upwards of 60 contractors on site.

The local arts community certainly deserves to have a facility that is cutting edge, up to date with modern design and the best equipment. The 990 new seats being installed will provide theatre-goers a new level of comfort and the entire theatre has a fresh new look. Access for people with a disability has been improved for both patrons and performers with new seating configurations and a lift system at the performer’s entrance. A standout feature is that the theatre has gone away from the manual fly system at the back of house, which was always very labor intensive. Most modern major theatres have automated fly systems which create quicker timelines to setup & create headline shows.

By installing automated fly systems, it will enable us to attract production companies and groups that have previously been unable to consider Townsville as a touring destination. By making our theatre more “user friendly” we can roll more shows through the theatre, delivering the type of performing arts schedule usually only found in metropolitan theatres. Other highlights include the installation of a new fire safety system, repairs to the roof, updating of the electrical and lighting systems, and a full refurbishment of the orchestra pit. We can now also boast a new sound system that rivals the Sydney Opera House!

I’m also very happy to report we have celebrated the latest additional to our expanding street art portfolio in the CBD. Council recently joined with local artist Nicky Bidju Pryor to develop his work- “Brolga Song and Dance” located at Sturt St in the city.

Townsville is certainly gaining a growing reputation in the street art scene, with an impressive collection of art around our city with works by international, national and local artists. Our street art toolkits have become an effective part of the Street Art Activation Framework and take a proactive approach to street art initiatives throughout Townsville. By making the process easier, we’re giving people the opportunity to contribute to our city’s cultural development and making Townsville a more vibrant and attractive place.

I’m thrilled to be able to share with you a few of these wonderful recent highlights for our city. As active members of the local arts community, I’m certain you’ll soon enjoy the many benefits these additions will bring.

Councillor Colleen Doyle
Community and Cultural Development Committee Chair

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