There will be more arts and culture in regional Western Australia than ever before as the $24 million Creative Regions program is rolled out over the next four years, making it one of the largest investments in regional culture and arts made by a government in Australia.
Creative Regions consists of five schemes that will upgrade venues; increase the skills of local arts groups; expand funding to regionally-based artists and organisations; boost the number of touring shows; and assist Aboriginal arts centres. Grants through this scheme will be available to arts organisation across the State each year until 2018.
“Creative Regions has been tailored to specifically address the cultural and arts needs of regional WA,” said Culture and the Arts Minister John Day. “Arts in major regional centres is thriving and Creative Regions will assist local government, communities and artists to maintain this momentum as well as extend opportunities to other smaller and remote communities.”
Mr Day said the schemes were designed to complement each other to support a high quality touring circuit for both performing arts groups and audiences. “On the ground, the program will ensure there is a viable touring circuit, well-equipped venues, more touring shows, and professional support for regional artists and communities.”
Regional entertainment venues in areas such as Bunbury, Mandurah, Geraldton, Carnarvon, Port Hedland, Broome and Esperance will be eligible to apply for funding to upgrade facilities and technical equipment. Applications open later this year.
Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the Royalties for Regions funded program stood to deliver significant outcomes for residents in regional WA.
“Increased regional arts activities will benefit participating communities economically, culturally and socially,” Mr Redman said. “As a valuable contribution to community amenity, the program will contribute to the wellbeing and revitalisation of regional communities, and act as a catalyst for attracting and retaining skilled workers and families to regional areas.”
Image: The Minister for Culture & the Arts The Hon. John Day, Country Arts WA Chair Ross Beckett, Boyup Brook Country Music Club musician Jodie Bondi, Country Arts WA CEO Jessica Machin and The Hon. Colin Holt MLC outside the Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre – photo by Paul Webster