Centre of Contemporary Arts Cairns unveils striking new design

Centre of Contemporary Arts (CoCA) CairnsA vibrant digital facade showcasing work by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists in Far North Queensland will be the centrepiece of a refurbished Centre of Contemporary Arts (CoCA) Cairns.

Arts Minister Leeanne Enoch said the revitalised CoCA would be a striking feature of the Cairns CBD, enhancing its appeal as a cultural tourism drawcard while opening up new performance and creative opportunities to artists. “I’m delighted to release the plans for the CoCA, providing the first glimpse of how this fantastic arts and cultural destination will look when it reopens next year,” said Minister Enoch.

“The centre will have a vibrant and welcoming new look, along with updated facilities to strengthen the local arts sector and help boost cultural tourism offerings for visitors.”

“The designs reflect the Indigenous performing arts focus of the centre and have been developed through consultation with stakeholders, including the local arts community and Traditional Owners, to ensure we reflect community needs and make the most of this exciting redevelopment opportunity.”

Member for Cairns Michael Healy said the Queensland Government had committed $5 million to the upgrade after the project scope was expanded in response to extensive feedback on initial concept plans. “The upgrade to CoCA will provide more rehearsal, development and office space, along with improved theatre facilities,” said Mr Healy.

“The design features an extended all-weather awning connecting the footpath and foyer along the front of the building, an arrivals and gathering space with yarning circle, a streetfront retail outlet for local artists, and a redesigned cafe with outdoor dining.”

“The vision is for CoCA to become an iconic destination that champions the development and presentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander contemporary arts in Queensland, supports cultural tourism in the region by providing rich arts experiences for audiences, and provides a home for local arts companies.”

“The upgraded CoCA will have an iconic street presence and will contribute to the tourism economy of the region as a place where local artists tell the unique stories of the First Nations of Far North Queensland,” added Mr Healy.

The Minister said the upgrade was a key part of Arts Queensland’s four-year $17.5 million Arts Infrastructure Investment Fund to revitalise state-owned assets to generate cultural and economic outcomes. “We thank the community for their patience while construction is under way and look forward to unveiling the revitalised CoCA in 2019,” said Minister Enoch.

The Centre of Contemporary Arts (CoCA) Cairns is set to reopen in mid-2019. For more information visit: www.arts.qld.gov.au for details.

Image: Artist Impression of revitalised Centre of Contemporary Arts (CoCA) Cairns – courtesy of TPG ArchitectsDigital Screen Image: Kuruwarriyingathi Bijarrb Paula Paul, My Country, 2009. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Purchased, NGV Supporters of Indigenous Art, 2009 © courtesy of Kuruwarriyingathi Bijarrb Paula Paul, Mornington Island Art, Qld & Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne