11/04/2014 - 16:04

AEG Ogden out as theatres manager

11/04/2014 - 16:04

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AEG Ogden out as theatres manager
The state government will bring the management of the state's top performing arts venues in-house, including the State Theatre Centre.

The state government will take on the management of Western Australia’s performing arts venues, including His Majesty’s Theatre, the State Theatre Centre of WA and Perth Concert Hall, squeezing out incumbent operator AEG Ogden.

Minister for Culture and the Arts John Day made the announcement today, saying the decision to bring the management of the venues in-house was to benefit theatre-goers and the performing arts sector.

Food and beverage outlets will remain outsourced, Mr Day said.

The decision has prompted a challenge from the Chamber of Culture and Arts that the government prove it will benefit stakeholders, as stated.

Chairman Warrick Hemsley said the decision needed to bring greater benefits for the arts sector rather than simply monetary savings for the government.

He said the Chamber would be closley watching to see if the management change increased the diversity of cultural offerings, brought more support and encouragement for arts companies and improved the theatre-going experience for the general public.

"It is important that any savings made by changing the management model are kept within the arts," Mr Hemsley said.

"They must be applied to increasing cultural activity in the venues so that they become attractive and vibrant spaces for the public during the day as well as the night."

AEG Ogden said it would manage the Perth Theatre Trust venues until the end of the year, as per its agreement.

The company has been managing the venues since February 1999, and recently told the trust it was keen to renegotiate the contract before it expired at the end of the year.

AEG Ogden chairman Harvey Lister said the company was extremely proud of its performance over the past 15 years.

“In addition to providing increased entertainment opportunities for the people of Western Australia, they have generated financial results over and above budget targets for many of those years,” Mr Lister said.

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