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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 11 November 2021) . . Page.. 3322 ..

The creation of amazing art and culture is supported through investing in artistic capacity and capability and in our arts and cultural facilities. By relentlessly and proudly promoting our arts and culture, we attract artists, arts workers, visitors and investors. And they in turn enhance and increase our industry, practices and creations—again, a bold step but not a leap.

The ACT is fertile ground for arts activity, which will enable us to intensify and grow our efforts in pursuing these three strategies. We already create in impressive numbers. Statistically, the ACT has the highest participation rate of 45 per cent in cultural activities.

Through the 2021-22 budget, the ACT government was pleased to fund a third round of the popular HOMEFRONT grants, supporting artists and creatives in the ACT to sustain and develop their practice as we emerge from the effects of the most recent COVID-19 lockdown. This is in addition to our history of supporting artists through arts activities funding and other more recent initiatives like the Creative Recovery and Resilience Program.

We already have a strong and demonstrated capacity to develop. The ACT is home to excellent arts facilities which offer a platform to many individual artists and arts organisations whom we will continue to support. For example, in this year’s budget, $2.833 million in additional funding was provided to the Cultural Facilities Corporation, $330,000 of additional operational funding was provided to the Ainslie and Gorman art centres and the Belconnen Arts Centre, and $2 million in funding was allocated for significant upgrades at the Tuggeranong Arts Centre theatre. We will intensify our efforts and investment to develop arts, cultural and creative industry, practice and facilities to achieve our ambition.

Canberra’s reputation as an arts destination is tied to our ability and commitment to promote ourselves. Our creative identity and offerings are an asset to the marketability of Canberra, and we will zealously and proudly promote this asset. Canberra’s arts sector will continue to be a source of inspiration, drawing like-minded people to visit, work, study and live.

This year’s budget included funding for the ACT government to co-invest in a new state-of-the-art sound stage and virtual production studio in Canberra. This investment will enable us to continue to attract high-quality film and TV productions, to build our local industry capability and to inject millions of dollars into the economy. It will not only help to diversify our economy by developing employment opportunities but will nurture local talent and help them launch their film and TV careers. We will continue to pull all the levers we can to promote our arts and culture, to attract artists, workers, visitors and investment to Canberra.

In the statement of ambition, I also announced two new flagship initiatives which are objectives in our ambition. Working towards them will propel us towards the ambition to be Australia’s arts capital. First, we will host an ACT arts expo, a showcase festival of several months which promotes our arts, culture, artists, opportunities, industries and careers. The expo will show the world that the ACT is a place where talent can

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