Audiences in Far North Queensland are set to enjoy an increasing range of performing arts experiences with the opening of the new Cairns Performing Arts Centre (CPAC).
Speaking at the centre’s opening, Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said the new purpose-built CPAC would be a valuable addition for Cairns.
“This new venue will give Cairns the opportunity to host bigger shows and allow Far North Queensland artists and audiences to embrace creativity and experience unique stories,” Ms Enoch said.
“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to supporting arts, culture and creativity and we recognise the vital role that arts infrastructure has in fostering a strong arts sector.
“That is why we invested $15 million towards helping make CPAC a reality.”
Cairns Performing Arts Centre was jointly funded with $46 million from Cairns Regional Council, $15 million from the Palaszczuk Government and $10 million from the Federal Government.
Ms Enoch said the new venue includes the 940-seat CPAC Theatre, the versatile 400-seat studio and an outside performance area.
“This will provide great new spaces for local artists to tell stories through their creativity and will allow Far North Queensland to host bigger shows and more touring acts,” she said.
“This beautiful part of Queensland is full of dedicated, passionate and talented arts practitioners telling our unique stories through their creative practices, and this venue will go a long way in putting their talents on the main stage.”
Cairns Mayor Bob Manning said the new centre has significantly expanded the city’s capacity to host a wide range of performances and will offer a better venue for local artists.
“This building is a milestone in achieving our vision for Cairns to be recognised as the arts and cultural capital of Northern Australia,” he said.
“This strategy will change the soul and the character of our city and is a key step in advancing the evolution and progress of our city.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the $71 million project will provide a huge economic boost to Cairns and the surrounding region.
“Projects of this size create a ripple effect through the local economy and this one in particular has created almost 300 construction jobs and 15 more ongoing roles. It’s already had a major positive impact on the city and the economy,” Mr McCormack said.
Minister Enoch said the Palaszczuk Government’s funding for CPAC was part of a commitment to build the region’s cultural tourism potential and nurture the next generation of artists.
“We are also investing in an upgrade for the Centre of Contemporary Arts (CoCA) Cairns which will reopen in 2019 with a new look and enhanced facilities,” Minister Enoch said.
“The CoCA revitalisation will help open up new performance and creative opportunities to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, and provide an even greater range of new cultural experiences to audiences.”