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The Arts Centre is the Gold Coast’s premier cultural facility, bringing visual and performing arts to residents of South East Queensland. The complex houses the Arts Theatre, Gold Coast City Gallery, two Cinemas and the Arts Cafe as well as several stunning function rooms, a chapel and two small performance spaces. The Arts Centre forms part of the broader Cultural Precinct, of which Stage 1 is due for completion in 2017. The Arts Centre is the cultural heart of the Gold Coast, inspiring people through creative partnerships, engaging experiences and celebrations of our identity and the world around us.




From the Chair

From the General Manager























At a glance










2016 marked the first steps of significant change at The Arts Centre Gold Coast. For eight years, former Chair Kerry Watson and the Board, working in collaboration with Destry Puia and his team, ensured a period of steady growth and stability. In taking on the role as Chair of a newly constituted Board in July, I was able to have confidence that The Arts Centre was ready and able to embark upon its next bold step into the future - as a twenty-first century Cultural Precinct befitting the sixth largest city in Australia, and surely the country’s most adventurous and surprising. As The Arts Centre celebrated its thirtieth anniversary, the signs of transformation were all around. Stage 1 of the Cultural Precinct development had begun at the start of the year and by year’s end the scale and ambition of the project became evident, not only in terms of the new outdoor space itself, but also what it represents in terms of civic and cultural engagement for the city and its many artists. We also edged closer to the realisation of the next stages of the project with both the Green Bridge and the proposed new gallery progressing to concept design stages. We can now imagine a Cultural Precinct which will match the energy and imagination of the Gold Coast, both its resident citizens and its millions of visitors. 2016 was an active and busy year for The Arts Centre Gold Coast, testament to the loyal support that The Arts Centre continues to enjoy to this day. The year also saw changes in the leadership team, including the welcome return of Tracy Lavery-Cooper as Gallery Director, and Destry’s decision to move on to the next phase of his career, following his widely acknowledged achievement in establishing The Arts Centre Gold Coast as a nationally respected regional arts centre. We thank Destry and Kerry for their efforts, and step into 2017 understanding the challenges we face, the hard work to come, and the realisation of a dream shared by so many. Robyn Archer AO Chair, The Arts Centre Gold Coast 4

Image Credit: Claudio Rascella

In this our 30th year, The Arts Centre Gold Coast welcomed 771,305 Gold Coast locals and visitors. This record level of attendance is evidence of the growing confidence in our creative ability to forge a new future for the city, built in part on the foundations of our new Cultural Precinct, and in part on the growing aspirations of audiences and local artists. It is this excitement that fuels the tireless efforts of The Arts Centre team who continually strive to exceed past success. However the ultimate judge of our labours is the growing number of visitors who now call The Arts Centre home for a variety of reasons. Be it hearing from leading artists like John Cox about the art of animatronics, experiencing the physicality of Sydney Dance Company’s CounterMove, the natural beauty of our free outdoor Lakeside Cinema program, or the magic of Mary Poppins flying across the stage, each has provided an opportunity to connect with each other through the wonder of the arts.

Destry Puia General Manager, The Arts Centre Gold Coast




Children aged 5–12 years and their families escaped the summer heat to enjoy free and ticketed creative workshops, performances and events while adults enjoyed summer events such as live music and salsa. Over 9,500 people attended, with 100% of respondents rating their experience as ‘good’ or ‘very good’ and all said they would attend events in the future. Summer at the Cultural Precinct was proudly supported by Gold Coast Waterways Authority and G:link.

We’re so impressed with what has been available these holidays.

The interactive kids workshops are BRILLIANT!’

2016 Survey Respondent

2016 Survey Respondent




Made in QLD: Ode to the Souvenir 13 FEB – 16 MAR The Made in QLD: Ode to the Souvenir exhibition showcased Gold Coast City Gallery’s eclectic souvenir collection and invited local artists to create artwork responding to the collection. The exhibition was also part of the Bleach* Festival Extension through the Made in QLD: The Culture Shop, a free-standing souvenir booth in Coolangatta, and the Made in QLD: GC Pop up! gallery.


How to Make a Monster 26 MAR – 12 JUN The presentation of How to Make a Monster: The Art and Technology of Animatronics was a significant milestone for Gold Coast City Gallery. Showcasing the work of local creative practice John Cox’s Creature Workshop, the exhibition attracted over 6,000 patrons. An extensive paid and free workshop program was delivered with 730 people attending events and specialised workshops in sculpture, prosthetics, stop motion and more.

My child was really into the Monsters exhibition and it became a huge hit, visiting three times and he is still talking about it, asking to go back even though the exhibition is over! 2016 Survey Respondent 10

A wonderful look into the behind-the-scenes which was not only enjoyable, but also educational and inspirational.’ 2016 Survey Respondent




Stamp: Celebrating Youth 8 – 16 APR The inaugural STAMP youth festival was designed to engage 15-25 year olds. Events included the Youth Theatre Project production of Flood, selected Gold Coast Film Festival screenings, free workshops, activities and Friday night Terrace Takeovers which showcased emerging artists. Almost 1,000 young people attended, with 97% of survey respondents describing their experience as ‘good’ or ‘very good’. STAMP was proudly supported by City of Gold Coast and Gold Coast Film Festival.


The Very Hungry Caterpillar 20 – 21 MAY Eric Carle’s world-famous picture books, The Artist Who Painted A Blue Horse, Mr Seahorse, The Very Lonely Firefly and The Very Hungry Caterpillar were brought to life on stage for 3,200 young children and their families. Filled with stunning effects and exquisite puppets, there were many ‘wow’ moments as little ones were captivated by the magic of theatre. This event was part of our 2016 Family Series, proudly presented by McGrath Estate Agents. The Very Hungry Caterpillar and cast visited a local kindergarten for a media call and delighted the little ones!

MAY 14


Mary Poppins 17 – 25 JUN The ‘practically-perfect’ Mary Poppins graced The Arts Centre stage to overwhelming audience appreciation. Almost 7,000 locals enjoyed this heart-warming magical adventure, with 100% of survey respondents rating the show as ‘Good’ or ‘Excellent’. Mary Poppins provided employment for 16 local creatives, as well voluntary performing opportunities for 29 cast and production team members (and one dog!). Mary Poppins’ Major Partner was Paradise Point Community Bank Branch Bendigo Bank and the Support Partner was Pindara Private Hospital.

It was one of the best shows I have ever attended. It was absolutely fantastic. Well done to all involved. A very professional production and so very enjoyable! 2016 Survey Respondent 16


Sydney Dance Company: CounterMove 15 – 16 JUL


One of Australia’s finest dance companies thrilled audiences with the stunning contemporary dance production, CounterMove. Featuring two strikingly different works, CounterMove took patrons from the hilarious Cacti, choreographed by Alexander Ekman, to Rafael Bonachela’s deeply emotional Lux Tenebris. More than 1,000 dance lovers enjoyed this production Sydney Dance Company also shared their incredible skills with more than 90 dance students in workshops during their visit.


Il Ritorno 26 – 27 AUG Circa’s ground breaking work Il Ritorno captured audiences with its stripped-back acrobatics fused with baroque opera. Created by Yaron Lifschitz with Quincy Grant and the Circa Ensemble, this production explored powerful themes around the ancient story of the Greek hero Ulysses and his hunger to return home.

Il Ritorno was brilliant! This production was exciting and thought provoking… It allowed us to empathise with the suffering experienced by so many displaced people in this world. Thank you. 2016 Survey Respondent


I would like to congratulate The Arts Centre‌ for bringing us such innovative theatre; theatre that challenges us and keeps us spellbound for the duration of the performance. Truly outstanding! 2016 Survey Respondent

Gold Coast Eisteddfod AUG – SEP In its 34th year, Gold Coast Eisteddfod saw over 70,000 young competitors from South East Queensland and around Australia take to the stage. Participants performed in 575 sections over seven weeks across three venues including The Arts Centre Gold Coast. Sections included Solo and Group Dance, Piano, Strings, Brass and Wind, Instrumental Groups, Bands, Orchestras, Vocal, Choral and Special Needs. The City of Gold Coast was the major sponsor and associate sponsors were Bendigo Bank, Sea FM and Southern Cross Ten.


SEPTEMBE Dirtsong 16 SEP Dirtsong took audiences on a musical journey through Australia’s cultural heartland. With the talents of Black Arm Band, a collection of renowned Indigenous singers and musicians, Dirtsong featured unforgettable songs performed in 11 different Aboriginal languages. This extraordinary performance showcased the very best of contemporary Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music, culture, experience and identity. This event was part of The Arts Centre Gold Coast’s Indigenous Program, proudly presented by Bond University.



Pasifika 17 SEP The Pasifika Festival 2016 welcomed 15,000 people who brought their big smiles to celebrate cultural performances, visual art practises, live art, Island markets and workshops while indulging a range of food delicacies of the Pacific. The Gold Coast community experienced different First Nations cultures of the Pacific while celebrating ancient and contemporary practises connecting ceremony, movement, song, visual exhibitions and cultural cuisine.

Like the Island’s flamboyant hibiscus, people came bright, happy, proud and cheerful to celebrate festivities. Sione, Sydney


GLITTER 6 – 9 OCT The annual Glitter Festival is an arts festival that celebrates diversity, encourages freedom of expression and celebrates queer culture in a way that is uniquely Gold Coast. Almost 1,500 people attended 2016 Glitter events, including highlights such as Anthony Callea: Ladies and Gentleman the Songs of George Michael, Up Late, The Lunch That Drags, I’m Every Woman and Gladys. Glitter premiered the First Nations show Brown Sugar, featuring local, interstate and international artists. With positive feedback from artists and audiences, Glitter Festival provides a strong platform to engage with the local LGBTIQAP+ community.

I attended the Glitter Festival for Anthony Callea’s Songs of George Michael concert on Saturday night and it was simply SUPERB!!! It was truly a night to remember. Glitter Survey Respondent 24



Work started on THE Cultural Precinct’s outdoor stage With demolition of Council’s former administration building complete, earthworks began on the outdoor stage and concert lawn to form Stage 1 of the Gold Coast Cultural Precinct. Stage 1 was announced as being on target for completion ahead of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games™.


Happy Birthday Play School: Celebrating 50 years 3 DEC – 5 FEB Gold Coast City Gallery opened the exhibition Happy Birthday Play School: Celebrating 50 years on Saturday 3 December. Over 9,000 patrons from toddlers to grandparents commemorated the 50th birthday of the much-loved Australian television program. The colourful exhibition explored the five decades of Play School with toys, props and costumes from each period, alongside archival audio and video clips of past programs. Adults reminisced about their favourite presenters and children got up close to Big Ted, Little Ted, Humpty and Jemima, as well as the iconic Rocket Clock, Flower Clock and the famous Play School windows. Presenters Alex Papps, Benita Collings and Justine Clarke were all special guests at events during the exhibition. Happy Birthday Play School: Celebrating 50 years is a travelling exhibition developed by the National Museum of Australia and the ABC.




Image: City of Gold Coast Glow 2015

The Arts Centre Gold Coast turns 30 4 DEC As The Arts Centre Gold Coast celebrated 30 years, the iconic children’s television show, Play School, celebrated 50! Both birthdays were recognised in a special family event with the opening of the exhibition Happy Birthday Play School: Celebrating 50 years. The Family Fun Day was complete with live music, face painting, storytelling, markets, craft and a cake. Everyone was thrilled to welcome the Bananas in Pyjamas, and long-time Play School presenter Benita Collins to the celebrations.


Vale Jock McIlwain OAM 22 APR The Arts Centre Board, staff and patrons alike were deeply saddened to hear of the tragic news of the passing of long time Benefactor and passionate arts advocate Jock McIlwain OAM. Jock, along with wife Beverly, played a leading role in growing philanthropic support for the arts. The Beverly McIlwain Scholarship, the Jock and Beverly McIlwain Bus Fund and their annual Diamond Benefactor contribution have ensured that countless young people from across the Gold Coast have been able to experience the arts on a regular basis. The legacy of long time Benefactor and passionate arts advocate Jock McIlwain OAM lives on.

Thank you, Chairman Kerry Watson 30 JUN Following an extraordinary eight years as Chairman of The Arts Centre Gold Coast, Kerry Watson retired from the Board on 30 June. General Manager Destry Puia, said, ‘Kerry has been an advocate and champion for arts and culture on the Coast and has overseen unprecedented growth in visitation to the Centre.’ Mayor Tom Tate echoed Destry’s sentiments, saying, ’Retiring Chairman Kerry Watson and his board have done an outstanding job guiding the centre to its current success. The organisation, under his board’s leadership, is now well-positioned to grow to the next level.’ We thank Kerry Watson for his unwavering commitment to the arts in our city. 32

Thank you, Mr Patrick Corrigan AM 30 JUN The Arts Centre Gold Coast and Council expresses its sincere gratitude to retiring long-term Director Mr Patrick Corrigan AM for his extraordinary contribution to the Gold Coast City Gallery since being appointed as a director in May 1996, most notably, his philanthropic donation of artworks valued close to $5M. Further, that in recognition of this extraordinary contribution, Council bestows Mr Corrigan with the title of ‘Emeritus Chairman of Gold Coast City Gallery’.

Robyn Archer AO appointed Chair 29 JUL Robyn Archer AO was announced as the new Chair succeeding retiring Chairman, Kerry Watson. The Board also welcomed four other new directors, Kate Brennan, Wesley Enoch, Michael Loebenstein and Airlie Maclachlan, along with reappointed directors Steve Romer and Tomas Johnsson alongside Councillor Bob La Castra. These appointments followed the departure of retiring directors Deputy Chair Richard Munro, Patrick Corrigan AM, Christine Lohman and Patrick Mitchell who have all served the Board with distinction.

Photo Credit: Claudio Rascella







total visitaions

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total events including 187 business events, 68 social events, 70 civic events, 71 community & club events

1.2 tons




popcorn consumed

coffees served

glasses of champagne

cocktail canapĂŠs served

Free 22,313




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free public programs



A total of ten business partnerships were facilitated during the year, totalling over $160,000 in income for the Centre. These business partnerships are all based locally on the Gold Coast, which provided premium opportunities to work together and leverage one another’s presence. The income from these partnerships provided vital funds to support the Centre’s bottom line and in return provided valuable brand awareness platforms to promote our partners to Arts Centre patrons and entertaining opportunities for the partners to utilise and enjoy. Promotional opportunities included cinema advertising, logo acknowledgments on venue signage, print advertising in Culture magazine and acknowledgments on digital and print collateral. This year we were excited to profile a range of corporate partners with our Where’s Mary social media campaign.












The Board and Management of The Arts Centre Gold Coast would like to acknowledge and thank our donors for their continued support. It is only through the generosity and support of these individuals and corporations that the sustained development and enhancement of the arts will become a reality for the future generations of the Gold Coast. Donors who make a contribution of $1,000 or more per annum to the Centre are recognised as Benefactors, and these donors make a direct impact on the cultural life of the Gold Coast. In our 30th year, we are fortunate to have retained and continue to secure new Benefactors to support the Centre. We encourage donors at this level to share their interests for use of the funds across a range of activities, which is detailed in the Benefactor Funds Allocation graph. In 2016, over $170,000 accumulated funds was allocated to best deliver on the Centre’s artistic charter and the donors’ interests. LIFE BENEFACTORS • Patrick Corrigan AM & Barbara Corrigan • Win Schubert AO on behalf of The Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Foundation for the Arts PERPETUAL BENEFACTORS The following donors have made significant and sustained contributions of artwork to the Gold Coast City Gallery Collection: • Adam Knight • Dr Colin & Elizabeth Laverty • Tom & Sylvia Lowenstein • Evan Lowenstein • Adam Micmacher • Ken McGregor • Denis Savill DIAMOND BENEFACTORS • Jock McIlwain OAM & Beverly McIlwain • Barry & Maureen Stevenson GOLD BENEFACTORS • John & Susan Barr • Prof. Emeritus Ray Byron & Carole Byron • Pauline Ewers • Richard & Ann Glenister • Hecand PAF • Ray & Jill James • Tomas & Fiona Johnsson • Christine Lohman • Morgans Financial Limited • NAB Private Wealth • Paradise Point Community Bank Branch, Bendigo Bank • The Pemberton Family • Kathy Martin Sullivan AM • Arthur Waring


SILVER BENEFACTORS • Australian Decorative & Fine Arts Society, Gold Coast Inc. • Philip Bacon AM • John & Bonnie Bauld • Lucy Cole Prestige Properties • Kerry & Lena Crawford • Dr Norman & Mrs Margot Davies • The Follent Family • Jacqueline & Harold Green • John & Alison Kearney • Anna-Lisa Klettenberg • Peter & Moira Lockhart • Alan & Barbara Midwood • Peter & Annette Minck • Leonard & Glenda Neilsen • Michael & Jennifer Pinter • Pamela Railey-Mitchell • Maxine Semple • Dr Roger Welch • Betty Wheeler BRONZE BENEFACTORS • P J Anderssen • Kylie, David & Ryan Corrigan • Kevin & Jane Doogan • E.C.Pohl & Co • Paul & Maureen Fitzgerald • Gold Coast Eisteddfod • Arthur & Margaret Fittock • Jackie Hughes • André & Eva Jaku • Bruce & Bennie Johnston • Lyn & Gerry Keogh • Roger & Jenny Mayfield • Rhona McKay • Graeme & Patsy Meyer • Doug & Yvonne Moorhead • Richard & Rosemary Munro • Mark & Elizabeth Niall

• • • • • • • • • • •

Barry & Karen Plant Destry & Poppy Puia John Punch OAM & Dr Renée Punch Christene Pye Don Robertson John & Julie Romanin Steve Romer Nerida Smith Sam Smorgon AO & Minnie Smorgon Peter & Wendy Spencer Kerry Watson

SPECIAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENT • Friends of The Arts Centre Gold Coast • The Late Roma Blair • The Late Elaine Bermingham PLUS1 - FOUNDING PARTNER

PLUS1 - LEADING ADVOCATES • Richard & Ann Glenister • Ray & Jill James • Tomas & Fiona Johnsson • Christine Lohman • Morgans Financial Limited • The Follent Family • Steve Romer • Kerry Watson • Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Society (ADFAS)







$35,000 $12,500




The Arts Centre Gold Coast 135 Bundall Rd, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217 BOOKINGS 07 5588 4000

The Arts Centre Gold Coast Year in Review 2016  
The Arts Centre Gold Coast Year in Review 2016