Service Delivery Changes - Fact Sheet 8

Published on 19 October 2021

Arts precinct

Earlier this year, the Burnie City Council announced changes to the way it delivers a number of services to the community.

This includes a change in direction for Burnie’s cultural precinct – where the Council’s desire is to bring the City’s art and museum programs and exhibits together with performing arts and events, into a new innovative, creative and integrated space that becomes the cultural heart of Burnie.

This is the eighth fact sheet provided to keep the community informed about these changes.

An update on Burnie’s Cultural Precinct.

The Burnie Arts & Function Centre has been busy despite the COVID restrictions on interstate visitation. Burnie High School’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’ had sell-out performances and we are busy preparing for the Burnie Surf Lifesaving Club’s 100th Anniversary as well as a production of Second Sight and a wide range of end of year community events.

The Art Gallery and Museum remain closed while work around the new Cultural Centre progresses.  We look forward however to the Museum opening for a limited time for its 50th Anniversary in November. The annual TASART exhibition, traditionally held at the Burnie Art Gallery, is now showing at the Burnie Coastal Art Group’s Gallery in Upper Burnie.

New vision for the Cultural Precinct - where are we at?

The Council adopted the vision for the experience it wishes to deliver as part of the new Cultural Centre, at its meeting held in August.

The Business Case has been provided to the Australian Government to enable the $5 million grant funding to be repurposed to the new project.

The brief for the architectural concept and design has been be developed and architects are being invited to tender for architectural services for the redevelopment of the Burnie Cultural Centre project.

New vision for Cultural Precinct - what are the next steps?

  1. The tender will close on 8 November 2021
  2. An architect will be selected to develop the architectural concept and design
  3. Community consultation will be undertaken regarding the architectural concept and design

As an indicative timeframe, we anticipate that at this time, the overall refurbishment of the centre will be completed in 2023.

What is the update on the new positions for the Cultural Centre?

Mr Mark Viner has commenced in the new Executive Manager Burnie Arts and Function Centre role.

Mark comes to Burnie with a wealth of knowledge and experience in the arts and cultural sector, having held the position of the Head of Sturt (Sturt Gallery and Studios) for the past eleven years.  Prior to this Mark spent a decade working in executive positions at the Sydney Living Museums and prior to this, as the founding Executive Officer of the Southern Tablelands Regional Arts NSW.

Mark has significant experience in establishing new and innovative centres both from a creative perspective but also from a management and commercial aspect.  This will be of significant advantage to our City as we now transition to a new integrated Cultural Precinct which is built upon the co-creation of events, exhibitions and activation, in partnership with our community. 

"I've always enjoyed working with regional communities, and I think it's a great time to be here. We have the opportunity to create something really exciting.”

Mr Viner conceded it could be seen as an intimidating time to step into a new role in the arts, with border closures still a reality, financial risks high for community theatre companies and a time of upheaval being experienced by the Burnie arts community, but he said he wasn't put off by any of it.

"Far from being daunted, it kind of excites me," he said.

"I think there's going to be a whole period of time when a whole load of ideas can be put forward and I think that everyone should feel able to contribute.”

“I think there will be some challenges for some time to come. But one has to hope, like all the other states in the country that things are going to improve significantly next year."

I've spoken to people who have been able to cut a chart of milestones through their lives through events and functions at this centre. It's about creating a social hub. You can't underestimate that role." – The Advocate

In line with the Council’s original intention, two new positions, a Functions and Events Co-ordinator and a Functions and Events Officer have also been recruited. These two roles will be pivotal in establishing the Council’s new method of grant funding for community programs and events, and will lead the enabling of our City’s functions and events in partnership with other providers at the Burnie Arts and Function Centre, and within the community more broadly.

The positions were filled by two existing members of the Council staff, both local Burnie community members.  We are pleased to advise that Andrea Dallas is the new Functions and Events Co-ordinator, supported by Karen Voss as the Functions and Events Officer.

The position of Curator will be advertised shortly and it is expected that the position will be filled before the end of the year.

What is the update on the plans to support visitor attraction in Burnie?

The Visitor Information Centre at the Makers’ Workshop closed on 1 July 2021.

The new Discover Burnie brochure has recently been amended and re-printed and is in the early stages of distribution.

Council has committed to investigating new and creative ways of delivering visitor information.  In doing so the Council has partnered with Business North West to deliver a number of projects including the creation of a promotional image library, new promotional campaign, website and the ‘Burnie Hive’, a pop up visitor experience that can be used for events and activation purposes.  A new project that explores opportunities to deliver visitor information using technology around the City is also underway.

Attracting visitors to Burnie is challenging in the current COVID restrictions, however in revitalising and activating our community we feel will have the added benefit of bringing others into our City. 

Despite these challenges and acknowledging that there are still uncertainties due to the pandemic, we are continuing to engage with partners to deliver some longstanding events, and have committed to other new activations through newly formed partnerships.  For the remainder of the year this will see the delivery of the Burnie 10 and 321 GO, in addition to the much loved Christmas Carols, a new reimagined Burnie Christmas Parade that takes account of the pandemic challenges, and a new Light Up the Tree street market.  The partnership with Business North West will also deliver school holiday activations and a new bEATS (Burnie Eats) night market in the new-year.

Will there be new opportunities to deliver events for Burnie?

Council recently changed its events model to be a funder and enabler of events through partnerships with organisations and groups, as opposed the the former model where Council provided these events directly.  The model will see new and exciting event ideas come to fruition, and provides the ability for Council to provide capacity for others in the community to learn how to commission and provide successful events. 

In November, Council will be releasing a new Community Grants Program that will provide opportunities for events to be delivered in this way for the upcoming 2022-23 year.  At this time a range of other grant opportunities will also be released, so please watch this space!

Council also continues to partner with Burnie Works to implement Youth events and activities.

What was the outcome of the sale of Creative Paper?

Creative Paper at the Makers’ Workshop closed on 1 July 2021.

Council conducted an open Expression of Interest process in order to determine interested parties within the community that may wish to procure the Creative Paper brand, intellectual property and equipment and sustain the current operation of the enterprise.

A Panel considered the EOI submissions received and presented a recommendation to the Council, which was approved at the Council meeting of 27 August 2021.

Council is excited to announce that the successful venture is one of Australia’s leading arts and social change organisations BIG hART.  The sale to BIG hART occurred on 15 October and the Council is aware that it is their intention to release more information shortly with regard to their intentions.

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