Country Arts SA
Port Adelaide, SA 5015
Country Arts SA is a statutory government authority that owns, manages and programs FOUR South Australian regional theatres:
- Middleback Theatre, Whyalla
- Northern Festival Centre, Port Pirie
- Chaffey Theatre, Renmark
- Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre, Mount Gambier
it also manages and programs for the:
- Hopgood Theatre, Noarlunga
COUNTRY ARTS SA PROGRAMMING NOTES
- Eachof the five Arts Centres has an Annual Season which is programmed centrally from our main office in Port Adelaide by the Arts Programming Manager in conjunction with the Venue Managers. The Arts Programming team then coordinates the tours that present at each Arts Centre.
- The venues are also available for Commercial Hire at any time and we put a fair bit of Community Hire business through them as well, which is all managed locally by the Venue Managers.
- Traditionally, we have purchased national tours for 2 weeks and do 6x one night stands at each venue working around the state to achieve maximum efficiencies. However, this approach has proven hit and miss (funnily enough) so now each venue has their own unique program tailored to their community's tastes.
- Every year has a reletively even mix of theatre, music, dance, family and film. Comedy and tribute shows are usually left to the commercial hirers!
- We source shows from a multitude of avenues: Straight buy-ins, Tours from the Major companies (BELL, Circus Oz, Oz Opera, Oz Ballet) Roadwork and Blaklines Consortiums, partnerships with companies and a majority of our program is sourced through the Long Paddock process.
- About 85% of our full annual program is funded by Playing Australia.
- We also try out a new initiative each year such as Adelaide Cabaret Festival Roadshow or partnering with other major festivals to get world-class shows into the regions. If they work, we then attempt to roll them out incrementally to our other venues.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR ARTISTS &/OR PRODUCERS
- Our programming policy is currently shifting. In the future, we are interested in moving away from straight buy-ins of one night stands into a program that includes a mix of residencies, deep engagement mechanisms, some national tours, co-commissions, live art and creative developments generated by us the Presenter in collaboration with artists &/or Producers interested in regional practice.
- Over the next 6 years Country Arts SA will be focusing on creating opportunities for engaging our regional artists to work with other national artists. We are interested in discussing these pathways with visiting artists into the each of our regions - especially the Riverland, Mt Gambier, Whyalla and Roxby Downs.
- We are looking to work with a dance & physical theatre company in a 6 years strategic partnership that will deliver workshops and professional development opportunities in the off years to a commitment of TWO major presentations.
- Country Arts SA Programs with our organisational core values always at hand, which are:
- Creative Risk Taking
- Active Engagement
- Cultural Leadership
- The Riverland has a Population of 20,981 – spread over a pretty large catchment of Renmark & Paringa + Loxton & Waikerie + Berri & Barmera
- There are slightly more women than men and the median age is 40.
- There's also lots of families (5,722) but the largest age demographic is 50 – 54 years old which makes up most of our audiences
- There are 5,549 people under the age of 20
- There are 3,253 people between 20 and 34
- There are 7,177 people aged between 35 and 60
- There's quite a transient seasonal backpacker market following the fruit picking trail. Everything from apricots to oranges are picked between January and December each year.
- Best to avoid touring during grape vintage harvest - February to April.
- The Riverland is one of the most culturally diverse regions in Australia with over 55 languages spoken and 35 cultures lived and celebrated here. This mainly due to the population of migrants and refugees that moved here for the agricultural industries.
- The TAFE campus in Berri teaches everything from Wine & Viticulture through to Accounting, Food Technology and Agriculture. No arts or humanity courses.
- Country Arts SA collaborates as much as we can with the Riverland Youth Theatre Company. This ranges from making the Chaffey available for their major works, presenting some of our shows in their home Hall and assisting each other in various community engagement activities.