Big win for Maylands arts

Dancers Brooke Widdison-Jacobs and Daniel Roberts. d397690
Dancers Brooke Widdison-Jacobs and Daniel Roberts. d397690

The new policy announced by Arts Minister Simon Crean last Wednesday aims to create jobs and encourage a new generation of artistes with sweeping reforms to Australian Government support for the arts, cultural heritage and creative industries. The policy forms part of a $235 million vision and strategy to place arts and culture at the centre of modern Australian life.

WA Ballet and Black Swan State Theatre will share in $9.3 million, an amount WA Ballet general manager Steven Roth said was reward after several years of lobbying.

‘It’s terrific to have finally achieved it because this grant was the final part of the business case that we put to Government in 2008,’ Mr Roth said.

‘We will be able to increase the company to 32 professional dancers and a group of young artistes.

‘We will also be able to increase our main stage seasons from three to four a year and improve our repertoire offering.’

Mr Roth said the WA Ballet had put together the five-year strategy in 2008 to which the State Government had agreed to put forward 80 per cent of funding and the Federal Government would now make up the other 20 per cent.

‘It’s taken five years of lobbying very hard and we had great support from various ministers,’ Mr Roth said.

‘We are really grateful to the Federal Government for supporting our business case and I think it’s really important for the State.

‘Our company will now be able to offer West Australians the same depth and breadth of repertoire that the east coast get.

‘This is incredibly important because as far as the ballet company is concerned, everything will improve as a result of these grants.

‘All the pillars are now in place in order for us to keep growing and keep providing great ballets to WA.’