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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 14 August 2018) . . Page.. 2859 ..

to the Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centres, Strathnairn, the Tuggeranong Arts Centre and the Watson Arts Centre; and the expansion of the Belconnen Arts Centre.

These are all ways in which we are ensuring that the arts are accessible to everyone and properly valued for their role in building community, expressing identity and fostering wellbeing.

MS ORR: How will the government’s investment in the Belconnen Arts Centre benefit the arts and wider communities?

MR RAMSAY: I thank Ms Orr for the supplementary question. As I was pleased to announce a few weeks ago, a Canberra-based company has been appointed to build stage 2 of the Belconnen Arts Centre, in accordance with the government’s 2016 election commitment to expand the facility. To give our growing and diverse community more options to engage with our wonderful local artists and to participate in the arts we are investing $15 million in a new multi-use performance space and associated back-of-house areas, new gallery spaces, an improved administration area, an additional dance studio and more toilet facilities. The building extensions will continue the high standards of accessibility established in stage 1 of the BAC, making the facility user friendly and open to all.

artsACT has been working closely with the Belconnen Arts Centre management on the final design of stage 2. We expect construction to commence in October 2018, with completion late next year. The BAC has established itself as an essential and proactive arts organisation offering a fantastic range of programs and events including dance classes, art exhibitions, workshops and performances. The expansion of the centre will continue growing these creative opportunities for the Canberra community.

MS CHEYNE: Minister, how will the government’s investment in events in Woden and Gungahlin help to support the growth of the arts in these communities?

MR RAMSAY: I thank Ms Cheyne for the supplementary question and for her strong interest in the arts, including not only the Belconnen Arts Centre but also developing community in the arts beyond that. Arts and culture are an integral part of the lives of all Canberrans. A thriving arts scene is one of the things that make our city such a great place to live. It is important that access to and celebration of the arts can happen right across the Canberra community, not just in the city or the inner suburbs.

That is why the government is funding pop-up arts festivals in Gungahlin and Woden, starting later this year, to provide collaborative opportunities for artists and the community more widely in these regions to come together and explore creatively what community looks like in those places and to find out what arts practices and audiences exist in those communities. Opportunities like this will start to lay the groundwork for identifying and assessing future arts infrastructure needs in Woden and Gungahlin.

artsACT is currently developing a tender process to seek a suitably qualified organisation to deliver the project. The pop-ups will be based on a community arts and cultural development framework that expresses, celebrates and promotes locally

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