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New General Manager appointed at The Events Centre Caloundra

New General Manager appointed at The Events Centre Caloundra
June 26, 2020

Former Sydney Entertainment Centre Chief Executive, Steve Romer has been appointed General Manager of The Events Centre Caloundra, taking on the role from the retiring Gary Mears.

Romer, most recently Chief Operating Officer for Bluesfest, was also Chief Executive of the Venue Management Association (Asia Pacific) between 2014 and 2017.

He will be replacing Mears, who has led many upgrades and development initiatives at the Sunshine Coast’s biggest and most popular events venue since 2013.

After a long career in marketing, tourism, performing arts and festival and event management, including more than 30 years in senior management positions, Mears will retire in July.

Mears led many facility upgrades and business development initiatives at The Events Centre, culminating in the recently completed $8.1 million renovation.

During his time as general manager, the facility has hosted thousands of performances, conferences, dinners and meetings, as the venue became one of Australia’s busiest and most respected regional performing arts venues.

Before joining The Events Centre, Mears was manager of the Ipswich Civic Centre for 12 years, having previously been Marketing Manager for the Ipswich City Council, Chief Executive of the Toowoomba Events and Tourism Corporation, and the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers.

He has managed his own business, Stagesound Promotions, and remains a performing artist, most recently as a member of the duo Bohemian Rogue.

Mears work as a venue manager has been recognised with designations such as Certified Venue Executive and Accredited Venue Manager. He is an active member of the Venue Management Association (VMA), Performing Arts Connections Australia, Stage Queensland and the Caloundra Red Shield Appeal Committee.

Last year he was named VMA Venue Professional of the Year.

He is a past president of the Northern Australian Region Performing Arts Centres Association and of the Queensland Festivals Association.

Commenting on his retirement, Mears stated “I have an extraordinary passion for the events industry.

“I am most proud and privileged to have played a lead role in the planning, funding applications and major renovation of the centre from concept to the official opening in February.

“There is great community pride in this facility, and we have supported the community through fundraising, community arts development, and engagement with the venue to support people to put on special events rather than just being a venue for hire.

“Everyone who visits The Events Centre comes to gain something and they leave richer for the experience. I have loved being a part of that.”

The venue is currently closed because of Coronavirus restrictions.

Gary Mears was profiled in Australasian Leisure Management issue 134.

Images: The Events Centre Caloundra (top) and Gary Mears with his VMA Venue Professional of the Year award in 2019 (below).

About the author

Nigel Benton

Co-owner / Publisher, Australasian Leisure Management

Nigel Benton is the co-owner and publisher of Australasian Leisure Management, Australia and New Zealand’s only magazine for professionals in all areas of the leisure industry. Having established the magazine in 1997, shortly after his relocation to Australia, he has managed its readership rising to over 11,500 and its acceptance as the industry journal for professionals in aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues.

As of 2020, he has launched the new Asian Leisure Business website.

Among a range of published works and features, his comments on a Blog (blogspot) from 2007 to 2011, when this website went live in its current form, may be interesting to reflect back on.

Click here to connect with him via LinkedIn.

Read more from this author

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29th April 2020 - JobKeeper improvements needed to sustain Queensland Arts Sector

19th March 2020 - PAC Australia highlight Coronavirus threat to ongoing viability of performing arts centres

9th March 2020 - Sunshine Coast secures hosting rights for next Qantas Australian Tourism Awards

14th February 2020 - Sunshine Coast marks completion of redevelopment of The Events Centre Caloundra

27th August 2019 - PAC Australia’s Annual Conference and Performing Arts Exchange opens on the Sunshine Coast

29th May 2019 - Professional achievements acknowledged at 2019 Venue Industry Awards

30th October 2017 - Steve Romer to join Bluesfest as Chief Operating Officer

25th May 2017 - Exterior makeover in play at The Events Centre, Caloundra

10th August 2015 - Long-term capital works funding approved for The Events Centre Caloundra

1st June 2012 - SEC’s Steve Romer named VMA ‘Professional of the Year’


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