Queensland Ballet to receive $14 million towards centre of excellence vision
The Palaszczuk Government will invest $14 million towards Queensland Ballet’s $35 million vision to transform the Thomas Dixon Centre into a centre of artistic excellence.
Acting Premier and Member for South Brisbane Jackie Trad said the significant investment would support the internationally renowned Queensland Ballet to grow.
“The transformed Thomas Dixon Centre will be a state of the art facility that will showcase the incredible standard of ballet we are lucky to have here in Queensland,” Ms Trad said.
“Part of our funding will match an $8 million pledge from the nationally respected philanthropic Ian Potter Foundation to transform the centre with the additional $6 million going to preserving the heritage of the site.
“This is a tremendous show of support for our state ballet company from the Ian Potter Foundation and by matching its donation we will support Queensland Ballet’s big vision.
“It will mean more dance studios, a 350-400-seat performance theatre, increased dressing rooms and breakout spaces, added facilities for administration staff and wardrobe, and a fully equipped gym and wellness studio.
“The increased size and functionality will allow the Company the space to collaborate with other arts organisations, offer community programs, develop its education offerings and provide a world class theatre for other organisations to utilise.”
Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said the new facility would be equipped with technology to enable the Company to extend its digital reach regionally, nationally and internationally.
“Importantly the new theatre has the potential to be utilised by the State’s small to medium arts sector, with newly available technology invaluable for other arts companies to access,” Ms Enoch said.
“This will enable the company to broaden its reach and community engagement and expand its size and programs.”
Queensland Ballet Artistic Director Li Cunxin said the Company has been humbled by the visionary support of The Ian Potter Foundation and the subsequent funding commitments from the Queensland Government and visionaries.
“We’re thrilled our partners in this project share our excitement at the prospect of how our updated Thomas Dixon Centre will meaningfully contribute to Queensland Ballet’s vision, the arts in general and most importantly, positively impact our wider community,” said Mr Li.
“At this stage, our supporters have committed $9 million to enable this legacy project and we are confident that, with a dream such as this one, we will reach that goal of $19 million, particularly with the strength of the support and faith of Queensland Government as announced today.
“We couldn’t be more grateful to The Ian Potter Foundation, Queensland Government, our donors, our design team and all who believe in this project”.
Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni said Palaszczuk Government’s $6 million investment in the preservation and maintenance of the heritage listed, state-owned Thomas Dixon Centre was essential to ensure its preservation.
“The redevelopment of the centre will ensure its continued contribution for the next generation of Queensland artists, arts companies and our local community,” he said.
“This investment maintains the momentum of building and expanding our arts and cultural facilities to enable our companies to grow and cultivate new artistic directions.
“It is anticipated work on the redevelopment would begin in early 2019 and be completed in 2020 – in the same year Queensland Ballet will celebrate its 60th anniversary.”
Ms Enoch said the Thomas Dixon Centre upgrade was the latest Queensland Government investment in arts infrastructure.
“Last week (27 May) the Premier announced a new $150 million mid-sized theatre for Brisbane with a Queensland Government investment of $125 million, to be located at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre.
“We need our infrastructure to support the unlimited potential of Queensland’s arts sector so we can build on cultural tourism opportunities, provide high-quality experiences to audiences, ensure access to the state’s performing arts companies, and continue attracting world-class artists and productions,” she said.