07/06/2013 - 14:06

Perth needs performing arts boost: report

07/06/2013 - 14:06

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Inside the State Theatre of Western Australia.

Perth will need twice as many performing arts venues as it currently has over the next 40 years to cope with growing demand, according to a new report.

A report commissioned by the Committee for Perth showed attendances at Perth artistic and cultural performances were increasing rapidly, in contrast to other capital cities where arts patronage had plateaued.

The report, Examining Perth’s Performing Arts Infrastructure, compared Perth’s arts venues with seven other capital cities – Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Manchester, Hong Kong, Copenhagen and Chicago.

The report found ticket sales for live performances grew by 22 per cent to the end of 2011 in Perth, while paid attendance to Black Swan theatre productions rose by 60 per cent over that same year.

The Western Australian Ballet’s box office income rose by 15 per cent in 2011, while the Perth Festival exceeded its box office target of $4.8 million.

But the report also revealed that Perth has an undersupply of concert venues and contemporary music venues, as well as a shortage of lyric theatres, with only one such facility currently operating.

Perth had a comparable number of venues to other major cities, but the venues tended to be smaller, the report said.

“It is evident that very substantial medium and long-term investment is required in performing arts infrastructure to meet the demand that will flow on, not just from our population growth, but increased tourism numbers,” Committee for Perth chief executive Marion Fulker said.

“Tourism WA plans to double the value of tourism by 2020 to $12 billion a year, so we need to ensure our performing arts venues can cater for those extra visitors.”

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