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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 April 2021) . . Page.. 967 ..


MS CHEYNE: I thank Ms Orr for the question and her interest and advocacy for the arts and Canberra Theatre Centre. In this financial year the ACT government has provided total additional funding of $3½ million to the Cultural Facilities Corporation, which manages the Canberra Theatre Centre, to enable the organisation to continue its operations despite a major downturn in income due to COVID-19.

A major component of this funding counteracted the significant decline in theatre revenue. Of this amount, $2½ million was provided through the August 2020 economic and fiscal update and a further $1 million is being provided through the 2020-21 ACT budget. This funding has been critical for the Canberra Theatre Centre to continue presenting works to audiences, albeit in a COVID-safe way.

One great initiative was the CTC At Home program, which engaged a number of local artists and paid them to deliver a variety of programs that showcases their works and discussed arts sector issues. This resulted in the presentation of more than 50 live streams across eight weeks totalling over 149,000 views—a pretty fantastic result.

MS ORR: Minister, what does the recent lifting of restrictions for cinemas and theatres mean for the Canberra Theatre Centre?

MS CHEYNE: I thank Ms Orr for the supplementary question. The recent lifting of restrictions for cinemas and theatres is a great step forward for the COVID recovery of the Canberra Theatre Centre. It gives confidence to the theatre to pursue shows and other bookings for the venues, it gives touring agents and companies the confidence to present a work in Canberra and have the ability to sell every single ticket possible, and it sends a signal to the public that the Canberra Theatre Centre is well and truly back and open for business. This increase from 75 per cent to 100 per cent capacity has allowed the Canberra Theatre Centre to release an extra 34,000 tickets for its program this year.

MR PETTERSSON: Minister, what announcements were made at the recent program update at the Canberra Theatre Centre?

MS CHEYNE: I thank Mr Pettersson for the question and his interest. Several new shows have been added to the Canberra Theatre’s 2021 program, including the likes of satirical play White Pearl and a revised production of The Seven Stages of Grieving by Deborah Mailman and Wesley Enoch. Perhaps most exciting is the announcement of the world premiere of The Dismissal later in 2021, a new Sydney Theatre Company musical production exploring—you’ll be surprised—the dismissal of the late great Prime Minister Gough Whitlam by the Governor-General in 1975.

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, not again.

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: You are warned now.


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