17/12/2018 - 09:10

Canning’s growth legacy

17/12/2018 - 09:10

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SPECIAL REPORT: As he takes his final bow next year, Marcus Canning will leave a legacy of major change to the artistic and cultural vibrancy of Perth.

Canning’s growth legacy
Marcus Canning has built Artrage into an organisation worth millions. Photo: Luke Carter Wilton

SPECIAL REPORT: As he takes his final bow next year, Marcus Canning will leave a legacy of major change to the artistic and cultural vibrancy of Perth.

The former 40under40 winner and 2017 Western Australian of the Year in the arts and culture category is chief executive of Artrage and its major ventures Fringe World Festival and Rooftop Movies, and has taken the organisation from turnover of around $400,000 to more than $20 million.

In 2011, Mr Canning launched Fringe World Festival, a project that this year reached $10 million in box office sales, with attendance of more than 900,000 people.

This compares with 2012 attendance numbers fewer than 16,000.

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Fringe World Festival is currently the third largest event of its kind in the world.

The festival has played a big part in activating central Perth, with more than 94 per cent of local businesses surveyed in Fringe World’s 2018 impact report agreeing the festival had added vibrancy to the area.

Of WA arts companies, Artrage ranks second by revenue on the BNiQ Search Engine with $21.4 million.

About $17 million came from operating revenue, far ahead of other arts organisations.

In recent years, Mr Canning has expanded Artrage’s offering, launching Rooftop Movies and the Girls School Cinema.

When he steps down from Artrage, Mr Canning will continue to support the revival of the Rechabite Hall in collaboration with Adrian Fini’s company, Happy Heart.

The entertainment complex is currently under renovation on Northbridge’s William Street, and scheduled to open next September.

As Mr Canning prepares to exit his role next year, after a 17-year tenure, he will leave big shoes to fill, as well as a company worth millions.

“When I started with Artrage I was a 28 year old with a love of Perth and its potential,” Mr Canning said.

“I could never have foreseen how the organisation would evolve and grow over the coming decades and the difference we would make.”

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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