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Western Australian entertainment venues ‘in limbo’

Western Australian entertainment venues ‘in limbo’
February 25, 2014

The Western Australian Government is under pressure to resolve the future management of the Perth Theatre Trust (PTT)'s five venues: His Majesty's Theatre, Perth Concert Hall, State Theatre Centre of Western Australia, Subiaco Arts Centre and the Albany Entertainment Centre.

Late last year, the Western Australian Government extended venue managers AEG Ogden's management of PTT's major venues for an extra six months from mid 2014 while it considered future management options.

However, according to a report in The West Australian newspaper, the Government is being urged to resolve the management and to improve programming and performance opportunities for local artists all-year-round.

The West Australian has frequently highlighted claims by some producers and independent artists that they cannot afford to put on shows at PTT venues.

Hire costs are among several issues examined by an independent review of the venues conducted by management consultants Pracsys last year. The review was presented to the PTT Board on 1st November with recommendations made to Western Australian Culture and the Arts Minister John Day earlier this month.

The West Australian reported that Australian Performing Arts Centres Association Executive Director Rick Heath as saying "we are in limbo (and) are waiting to see what the next step is."

Perth Festival Artistic Director Jonathan Holloway was quoted as calling for a new approach to the management of PTT venues, stating "there isn't a single artistic director-led arts venue in Perth."

However, Holloway hoped to see some changes in time for the 2015 Festival, adding "we are working off a worst-case scenario, which is that nothing changes and that it is easier to open maybe 200 new venues, speigeltents, sheds, huts and bars than it is to look at the six that are the centrepiece of our arts infrastructure."

Among the five venues, The West Australian has singled out the State Theatre Centre of Western Australia for its apparent high costs in the past.

However, speaking to Australasian Leisure Management last year, PTT General Manager Alan Ferris stated that the Centre "as a medium-sized venue, was designed to form part of a package of performing arts venues across Perth, servicing a range of needs.

"Smaller companies have other affordable venue options in Perth, including Subiaco Arts Centre which was refurbished in 2006 as part of the Department of Culture and the Arts' Performing Arts Master Plan and PTT's commitment to provide affordable community theatre spaces.

"Rates are comparable - and in most instances more affordable - than other venues throughout Australia. This is shown by high-level of use to date, and the interest shown in the venue by commercial hirers."

10th December 2013 - PERTH THEATRE TRUST CONSIDERS NEW VENUE MANAGEMENT MODELS

28th August 2013 - RECORD ARTS FUNDING IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA BUT IS IT IN THE RIGHT PLACE?

19th August 2013 - PERTH NEEDS MASSIVE INCREASE IN PERFORMING ARTS VENUES TO MEET AUDIENCE DEMAND

14th September 2010 - HIGH-POWERED ARTS LOBBY FOR WA 

12th August 2009 - WA ARTS BRACED FOR TOUGH TIMES 

10th July 2009 - PERFORMING ARTS FUNDING SET TO DECLINE?

10th November 2008 - SICO INNOVATION IN DISABLED STAGE ACCESS 

19th August 2008 - TICKETEK AND NINEMSN TO INTEGRATE


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