New managers take on Perth Theatre Trust

WA Culture and the Arts Minister, John Day, announced on Friday that the Perth Theatre Trust will manage the operations of His Majesty’s Theatre, the State Theatre Centre, Perth Concert Hall and Subiaco Arts Centre from 1 January 2015.

New managers take on Perth Theatre Trust

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The return of the Perth Theatre Trust as managers replaces Ogden’s who have been managing the venues for the past 15 years.

Mr Day said the state government’s decision to bring the management of these venues ‘in-house’ would directly benefit Western Australian theatre goers and the performing arts sector.

‘The return of the Perth Theatre Trust as the operator of these venues will enhance the trust’s working relationship with its key stakeholder, the performing arts sector, creating a closer business partnership with resident companies and venue hirers,’ he said.

The Hon Peter Blaxell, chair of Perth Theatre Trust, welcomed the announcement saying that the changes would enhance the Trust’s working relationship with the sector, provide the opportunity for additional programming and increase the use and sustainability of the state’s most significant cultural assets.

The Trust will also be working to resource audience development and educational programs for schools and the arts sector.

MPA companies welcome and share the Trust's desire to enrich the WA performing arts sector and to develop strategies that build stronger and more effective links with the resident companies, as well as supporting audience development and access.

The sustainability and vibrancy of the venues will rely on the Trust developing principles of best practice that recognise the interdependence of our major performing arts companies and performing arts venues.

The challenge of running and maintaining Perth’s major performing arts venues should not be under estimated. Ensuring they are brought up to world class standard will take significant strategic planning that considers the sector in a holistic way.

The Chamber of Arts and Culture Western Australia says the decision by the Perth Theatre Trust to take over the venue management of government-owned performing arts venues will be judged not on dollar savings for government but on the broader benefits it can deliver.

‘It is important that any savings made by changing the management model are kept within the arts,’ Chamber Chairman Warwick Hemsley said. ‘They must be applied to increasing cultural activity in the venues so that they become attractive and vibrant spaces for the public during the day as well as the night.’

Mr Hemsley said that critical to achieving this would be to involve resident companies in the planning for each venue.

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