Item 11.2 - Attachment 1
Minutes of Riverside Advisory Committee 9 February 2012
MINUTES OF THE RIVERSIDE THEATRES ADVISORY BOARD HELD IN THE LENNOX THEATRE, RIVERSIDE, CRN CHURCH AND MARKET STREET PARRAMATTA AT 6.21 PM ON THURSDAY 9 FEBRUARY 2012
Apologies were received for Christopher Tooher. It was also noted that Richard Evans declined a position on the Board due to a recent change in employment.
2 Riverside Board Meetings
The Board considered a report
Confirmed meeting dates for 2012 are therefore as follows:-
12 April 2012
14 June 2012
9 August 2012
11 October 2012
13 December 2012
The following will be standing items on the agenda:-
· Guest speaker presenting on a given topic
· Discussion relating to the presentation
· Operational reports for the preceding period
The nominations received for Chairperson, in alphabetical order, were:-
(1) Owen Eckford
There being no further
4 Presentation –
· The city centre is a cultural and entertainment hub. The relaunch of the Visitor’s Centre as a Discovery Centre is just the beginning and the River gives an ideal focus for future development of complementary facilities.
· Council owns a lot of property around the city centre and had adopted a property strategy to exploit the opportunities this presents.
· The Lennox Bridge Carpark site is one such opportunity that is currently being explored.
· The improvement of Council carparks will also assist the arts precinct with more accessible parking.
Discussion arising from Presentation
The Board discussed a number of
issues arising from the presentation including potential opportunities to
encourage both private and public sector investment in the development of
cultural facilities and public art. The
age and constraints of the existing Riverside Theatres was discussed along with
the potential redevelopment of the theatres in relation to new infrastructure,
bigger theatres, festivals and affordable space. Members commented on the need to make culture
opportunities accessible to all and how events such as Parramasala and Sydney
Festival can assist in broadening this access.
The Board agreed to have further discussion on the development of
5 Riverside Background
Riverside Theatres Director,
There are 3 theatre spaces, the Lennox Theatre that can hold 226 people, Raffertys Theatre that can seat 110 and Riverside Theatre that can set 750 people. There is also the courtyard area that can be used as an outside performance area as well as gallery space.
Annual attendance is currently 125,000 of which 85,000 is ticketed. The rest is a combination of complimentary tickets and conference attendance. Attendance in the past 5 years has remained fairly static, but there have been more productions. This is mainly due to market changes and a very competitive audience environment. There is a core and loyal audience that attends the annual performance season and a desire to cross sell and build an audience.
Riverside Theatres is known for its diversity in programs and the ability to attract people back to other events. It was suggested that a permanent theatre company or producing organisation might assist in this.
Over 50% of operating revenue is from earned income with the majority of the rest from Council. The biggest earners are hire and recoveries with ticket sales also being relatively high.
It was noted that there is a difference between presenting, producing and straight hires. Presenting means buying the production and presenting it, producing means building the production from the ground up that means it can be sold and move beyond Parramatta, while straight hires are simply renting of the venue.
Amanda Rose requested more detailed financial information with individual line items. Financial reports for the past 2 years can be provided to all interested Board members.
A summary of current Theatre programs and activities was circulated.
Note Jane Witter left the meeting at 8.02pm
The education program is continuing to grow and has some crossover with the community program.
Production and Touring
The Board discussed the possibility of incorporating book to film adaption discussion groups into this program. The committee also discussed the possibility of tapping into the Sydney Writers Festival, which is already done within the education program.
Beyond the Square/Disability program
There are hearing loops and wheelchair access in all theatres; however the disabled toilets will need to be refurbished due to the increase in wheelchair size.
Current festival programs were
outlined and the Board discussed the the possibility of the Sacred Music
Festival being run in conjunction with the Mind Body Spirit Festival to
increase publicity. The Board also discussed
options for festival prices. It was
noted that if someone wants to see something they will pay any price, but pricing
can be a big issue for the general public. Festivals can be partially
subsidised which can open the theatre up to a wider audience and assist in
educating an audience. The need for more free events in
Significant upcoming projects and initiatives
The Board discussed social media and its importance especially as a marketing tool. The Board also discussed the proximity to the Westmead Health precinct and an untapped audience potential. The Board also discussed the need to grow performers and take performance from the fringe and bring them into the mainstream to assist in creating new audiences.
The Riverside Theatres Strategic Plan was circulated and further discussion on this item was deferred due to time constraints.
6 General Business
The Board agreed that the key topic for discussion at the next Board meeting will be the marketing of Riverside Theatres..
12 April 20112 at 6:00pm
The meeting terminated at 8.46pm