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Hamilton Performing Arts Centre Receives Funding Boost

29 August 2022

The Hamilton Performing Arts Centre (HPAC) has received $150,000 from the State Government to complete important seating replacement works in the Handbury Auditorium.

The Hamilton Performing Arts Centre Auditorium, formerly the town hall, currently seats 500 patrons but has not had a seating upgrade in approximately three decades.

Southern Grampians Shire Council Mayor Cr Bruach Colliton said the funding announcement will go a long way to support much needed refurbishment works at HPAC.

“Our region is incredibly privileged to have such a strong arts and culture community,” said Cr Colliton. “To have received funding to support the replacement of seating will really allow us to refresh the facility and also ensure it remains a premier live performance venue in Western Victoria for years to come.

“We understand our current seating arrangements are not where they should be in terms of accessibility, so this upgrade will improve the overall experience for those with mobility issues, and will feed into the soon to be released Arts and Culture Strategy to improve inclusivity for arts in our region.”

The seating has been designed to maximise functionality to meet community needs, while providing more opportunities for touring and local artists.

“A new seating layout will allow the configuration to include aisles in the auditorium with replacement works to respect the historical origins of the building, while accommodating contemporary accessibility standards,” concluded Cr Colliton.

Works are scheduled to begin during the December/January theatre offseason in readiness for the 2023 new season launch.
Southern Grampians Shire Council Manager Cultural Arts, Amy Knight said the funding comes at a great time to refresh and re-energise HPAC prior to the next season of live shows.

“Our team are once again busy booking in the 2023 season, so the funding provides us with an opportunity to not only refresh the space, but more importantly to remove barriers that prevent some of our residents from attending performances,” said Ms Knight.

The new seating will form part of a larger maintenance program with painting of the auditorium also scheduled to be undertaken during the shutdown period.

“There are a number of entertaining performances and community events lined up between now and Christmas, so I encourage you to check out the HPAC website and book your next visit with us,” concluded Ms Knight.

Funding forms part of the Creative Neighbourhoods Infrastructure Support Program (CNISP) delivered by Creative Victoria.

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