Media statement by ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr.
Today I was pleased to unveil a new funding package for the Arts in Canberra as part of the 2017-18 Budget, alongside Minister Gordon Ramsay.
Increasing investment in Canberra’s thriving arts scene was an important ACT Labor commitment in the 2016 election campaign, recognising the contribution that arts make to the community.
Minister for the Arts and Community Events Gordon Ramsay said the $21.6 million package in the 2017-18 Budget will support the Government’s vision for a more vibrant Canberra, with better community facilities and services in the Arts sector.
“The Government’s investment in this year’s Budget will cover five key areas- improving the arts infrastructure right across the city as well as Government support for arts events such as Art Not Apart,” Minister Ramsay said.
“We are committed to supporting and sustaining the arts in Canberra. We will ensure our arts facilities can meet community needs both now and well into the future, which is why a significant portion of the funding we’ve allocated will go towards improvement works at various centres across the Territory.
“We know the vital role the arts play in offering an outlet for creative expression for people from all walks of life. They significantly add to the vibrancy and liveability of Canberra.”
The additional funds will ensure the arts continue to have strong support in Canberra and will cover five key areas:
- Growing our creative capital – The Government will increase funding for artists in the ACT. This includes significantly increasing baseline funding for individual arts projects, specific project funding for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and new funding for Kulture Break and the Australian National University’s new Advanced Music Performance Program. The initiative will also support arts events, including Art, Not Apart, DESIGN Canberra, the Canberra Writers Festival and new pop-up arts events in Woden and Gungahlin
- Expanding Belconnen Arts Centre ($15 million over three years) – The Government will fund the final design and construction of Stage two works for the Belconnen Arts Centre. The Stage two works will include a multi-use town hall/performance space, improvements to workshop spaces, new dance studios and an expanded exhibition space.
- Improving arts facilities – The Government will undertake upgrades to five arts centres across the Territory over the next four years. Ainslie Arts Centre, Gorman House Arts Centre, Strathnairn, Tuggeranong Arts Centre and Watson Arts Centre will all undergo improvement works as part of the Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate’s Better Infrastructure Fund allocation.
- Upgrading lighting at Canberra Museum and Gallery – The Government is upgrading the Canberra Museum and Gallery (CMAG) with more secure, efficient and modern lighting. The upgrades will include the replacement of existing spotlights and floodlights that will improve safety, reduce future replacement costs and reduce CMAG’s carbon footprint.
- Canberra Theatre Complex community consultation – The Government will undertake community consultation on the current performing arts capacity in the Territory, including the Canberra Theatre, to help identify what infrastructure may be required into the future.
Funding for the arts is also a Parliamentary Agreement item.