At the signing of the NORPA/Council Cultural Alliance are (l-r) NORPA Board chair David Wolff, Creative Director Julian Louis and General Manager Patrick Healey with Lismore City Council Executive Director Sustainable Development Brent McAlister.
At the signing of the NORPA/Council Cultural Alliance are (l-r) NORPA Board chair David Wolff, Creative Director Julian Louis and General Manager Patrick Healey with Lismore City Council Executive Director Sustainable Development Brent McAlister.

Norpa performs at a fraction of the cost

NORPA and Lismore City Council will sign a new Cultural Alliance this week believed to be the first of its kind in Australia.

 

The 10-year agreement provides council with a quality long-term venue manager for Lismore City Hall at a fraction of the cost it would be in metropolitan areas. Meanwhile, NORPA has security of tenure and greater ability to access crucial long-term funding from state and federal government agencies.

 

"The agreement is the culmination of many joint staff meetings and a workshop held in February this year," Council's Executive Director Sustainable Development Brent McAlister said.

 

"We now have a clear set of goals embedded in the draft agreement such as a common vision statement, joint governance structure, agreed resource sharing initiatives and initial KPIs. We will work on joint funding opportunities, shared corporate services, joint marketing, programming and audience research.

 

"There are opportunities to share resources and to see a greater utilisation of Lismore City Hall for the cultural and economic benefit of the city. Over 24,000 people bought tickets to NORPA and Lismore City Hall shows in 2015 and 45% of those people came from outside the 2480 postcode, which has a huge economic impact on Lismore. This Cultural Alliance will help us build on that even further."

 

The Alliance will be driven by a Joint Steering Committee consisting of three NORPA Board members, Councillors Gianpiero Battista, Neil Marks and Isaac Smith, and the general managers of council and NORPA, Gary Murphy and Patrick Healey.

 

The focus of the Joint Steering Committee will be to ensure KPIs are achieved including maximising the occupancy rate at Lismore City Hall by other users and community groups.

 

"There is now a clear vision to make Lismore City Hall the go-to venue for performance in Lismore as well as generate new creative opportunities and employment through initiatives like our Generator program," NORPA's Creative Director Julian Louis said.

 

"The Generator program supports the development of local theatre and performance that has the capacity to travel nationally. Our latest offering, Railway Wonderland, broke all NORPA's previous box office records, and we have plans to tour it in other regional towns.

 

"Having this alliance can only help us become more sustainable and cement our place as the premier regional theatre company in Australia."



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