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Q Theatre Under Review by Council

4th February, 2008

Q Theatre Under Review by Council

Brisbane has six, Wellington has five, but Auckland only has one theatre of between 200 and 520 seats (the Maidment) and yet, the show could soon be over for Q Theatre, a new mid-sized flexible performing arts venue to be built on Queen Street.

Q Theatre, along with other capital projects in the city, is currently under review by the Auckland City Council. The new Council will vote on the future of Q at the Annual Planning Direction Setting meeting on the 12th of February.

Q Theatre, to be built at 305 Queen Street, aims to create a home for the performing arts in Auckland through providing access to a variety of production companies, housing a diverse range of theatre and dance, and attracting a diverse range of audiences.

Q Theatre has enjoyed great support from Auckland City Council, through three different administrations, since 2000 says Susanne Ritzenhoff, Q Theatre’s General Manager.

“While I understand that Council wishes to review all capital projects in order to make informed decisions about what money it spends, I do hope the Councillors are looking beyond bricks and mortar and asking themselves what type of city and society they want to live in, in 20 years time.”

“The experience of successful cities overseas tell us that a diverse and vibrant cultural and arts sector make for an exciting and flourishing place to live.”

Q Theatre will fill the gap in venues left by the loss of the Watershed and Mercury theatres. Extensive research dating back to 1997 has been undertaken by Council to ensure Q is the right venue for Auckland and building a mid-sized theatre has been part of Council’s arts agenda policies since 2001.

“Council’s own long term planning has identified that for Auckland to be a world- class city it must promote a thriving arts scene and invest in arts infrastructure”, says Ms Ritzenhoff.

Q is an opportunity to champion the development of the performing arts, investing in the next generation of artists in Auckland. Q Theatre aims to create a place bringing creative people together, to spark off one another. It will be a facility that is an exciting destination for Aucklanders and its visitors, bringing life to Queen Street, supporting local businesses as a result and generating an annual GDP of $2m for Auckland City.

ENDS

Q Theatre – the facts

Q has been identified by Council as the priority investment in performing arts infrastructure. The need is critical and no other project is positioned to deliver as readily as Q. A dedicated group of leading citizens, arts industry, and private trusts have achieved the following, in partnership with Auckland City:
- raised $5.095 million to date (which includes the second largest ever grant from ASB Community Trust);
- has lodged resource consent;
- has detailed architectural plans and costings developed by a world class international architectural team;
- has developed business plans that have been audited by numerous independent analysts and Council Treasury;
- has united significant numbers of the performing arts industry behind the vision; and
- is positioned to attract major Lotteries funding from central government.

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