The red carpet is out and this weekend the Geelong Arts Centre raises the curtain on its $140 million Little Malop Street redevelopment – backed by the Andrews Labor Government
Minister for Creative Industries Steve Dimopoulos joined Member for Geelong Christine Couzens and special guests Rachel Griffiths AM, Jessica Mauboy and Dilruk Jayasinha to preview the new spaces and facilities and kick off the month-long opening festival of art, music, theatre and community events.
The Little Malop Street redevelopment has created Australia’s largest dedicated regional performing arts centre and established a new landmark for Geelong. Construction created around 600 jobs and the project includes two new theatres alongside new bars and event spaces and a dining destination called Tutti.
Doors open to the public tomorrow, and everyone is invited to be part of the celebrations. Two sold out Grand Opening Showcase events lead the festival featuring multi-ARIA-Award winning R&B singer Jessica Mauboy, and an Australian comedy triple header starring Dave Thornton, Dilruk Jayasinha and Lizzy Hoo.
The festival offers something for all tastes and all ages, including community open days and backstage tours, a concert by Missy Higgins, Opera Australia’s The Barber of Seville, a performance from iconic 80s hitmakers Pseudo Echo and Windmill Theatre Company’s new musical puppet show for children and families HICCUP.
The centre is already delivering on its promise to offer even more creative experiences for Geelong audiences, with more than 1,000 events already booked in across its venues in the months ahead.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Creative Industries Steve Dimopoulos
"Victoria is the creative state and world class facilities like this show that world-class creativity can be found well beyond Melbourne."
"Geelong Arts Centre of old helped kickstart the careers of Rachel Griffiths, Guy Pearce and Dave Thornton and now this transformed facility will inspire a whole new generation."
Quote attributable to Member for Geelong Christine Couzens
"Our $140 million investment is a game changer for Geelong and the region, creating Australia’s largest regional performing arts centre. It sends a signal about the important role creativity will play in Geelong’s future, and acknowledges and celebrates Geelong’s cultural heritage and First Peoples culture."
Quote attributable to Member for Bellarine Alison Marchant
“This redevelopment has created around 600 jobs during construction and the Arts Centre will ensure ongoing employment opportunities for local workers in the hospitality and tourism sectors for years to come.”
Quote attributable to Member for Lara Ella George
"The benefits of this redevelopment are already being seen, with around 1,000 events already booked across the Geelong Arts Centre’s campus and venues."
Quote attributable to Member for South Barwon Darren Cheeseman
“This new Arts Centre will help attract more visitors from across the state and the country, which will have big benefits for local businesses and workers across our region.”
Quote attributable to Geelong Arts Centre CEO and Creative Director Joel McGuinness
“The Grand Opening Festival marks the culmination of years of dedication, passion, and community collaboration, reaffirming Geelong Arts Centre's commitment to extraordinary cultural expression for the region, Victoria, and beyond!”
Reviewed 18 August 2023