Thursday 20 July 2017
The Perth International Arts Festival is withdrawing from the Great Southern to clear the way for a locally managed major arts festival in the region.
After 15 years running an arts festival in the Great Southern, PIAF believes that it has created a legacy that the local community can build upon in an exciting way as a major cultural drawcard.
The commitment of PIAF in 2003 to organise and present programming in the Great Southern was visionary. It was unprecedented for a major Australian arts festival to reach out beyond its capital city in this way.
Key Albany-based support has been led generously by the State Government, through the Great Southern Development Commission, and the City of Albany.
Much has changed since 2003, with the Albany Entertainment Centre now providing a year-round offering of world-class theatre, dance, music and events that were once possible to see only at Festival time.
PIAF has advised the GSDC, City of Albany and other stakeholders it is withdrawing from presenting a Great Southern program from 2018 so that the stage can be set for a new festival model inspired by and reflective of its unique location and community.
'We believe this is a significant opportunity for the people of the Great Southern to take up ownership of a new festival distinguished and strengthened by a better understanding of local influences and interests,' PIAF executive director Nathan Bennett said.
'PIAF intends to stay involved in the region by touring shows to Albany in a program-sharing arrangement with the Albany Entertainment Centre where possible,' he said.
Mr Bennett thanked the Festival’s Great Southern partners, including the GSDC, City of Albany and Southern Lights Donors.
'I also pay a big debt of thanks to Great Southern Program Manager Rod Vervest, who has been a vital part of the PIAF team since he began work on that first 2003 program.
'I’m sure that Rod will continue to make an immense contribution to the Great Southern region and we are truly grateful for his hard work and inspiring leadership over the years.'
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