Page 273 - Week 01 - Thursday, 15 December 2016

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We will see a greater investment in arts and events in the suburbs beyond the existing arts centres, bringing community arts festivals to Woden and Gungahlin in innovative pop-up spaces with a focus on new and emerging local artists in diverse art forms.

We have committed to upgrade a range of community arts facilities that will support community access to the arts and to art development. I will ensure that Canberra has an annual events calendar that maximises the social and cultural benefits for Canberra and the region as well as the economic benefits.

This goes to the heart of ACT Labor’s goal to ensure that Canberra remains among the world’s most liveable cities by supporting vibrant, diverse, multicultural and inclusive communities. We are committed to ensuring that Canberra remains a place where everyone belongs, where everyone is valued and where everyone participates.

MS CODY: Minister, can you outline how investing in the arts and community events makes an economic contribution to the ACT?

MR RAMSAY: I thank Ms Cody for her question. By supplementing innovative events and fostering a bold and diverse arts scene, the government is building Canberra’s reputation as a progressive, creative capital, as well as an attractive destination. Visitors attracted to the capital for our arts and events also stay in our hotels, eat at our restaurants and enjoy our other attractions, injecting significant expenditure into the ACT and the region.

The ACT government will continue to develop new signature events for Canberra, while also enhancing the city’s existing major events. We will look to support events that enhance local, national and international recognition of Canberra’s vibrancy, livability and sense of place.

We will also ensure, through a range of initiatives associated with event delivery, event funding, event attraction and ongoing event development, that Canberra maintains its profile as an event-friendly city. By creating a cohesive annual calendar of arts and community events, we will ensure that there is a year-round program of activity that keeps people visiting Canberra throughout all seasons, as well as offering entertainment, creativity and community engagement for locals.

As one example, the Canberra arts biennale will take place during the traditional quieter months of winter and will build on the contribution Canberra’s arts community made to making Canberra’s centenary celebrations such a success for locals and visitors alike. We will continue to invest in our signature events, Enlighten and Floriade, with additional funding to grow the reach, depth and vibrancy of these key showpieces for both Canberra and the visitor communities. This will include adding a fringe festival to Floriade, to further capitalise on this significant tourism and economic driver for our city and for our region.

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