Queensland Ballet will be pirouetting to newfound success in a transformed Thomas Dixon Centre thanks to a partnership with the Palaszczuk Government.
The first sod has been turned on what will become an internationally recognised artistic centre.
Housing and Public Works Minister Mick de Brenni said Hutchinson Builders would lead the early works stage of the project.
“The project timelines commit the partners to have this project finished before Christmas 2020 – just in time for Queensland Ballet’s 60th birthday celebrations,” Mr de Brenni said.
“The centre will set the bar for Queensland’s world-class dancers, who will have a 400-seat theatre to amaze audiences in.
“This partnership between the Palaszczuk Government, Queensland Ballet, Arts Queensland and the cultural community will leave a legacy of which everyone can be proud.”
The project will also see more dance studios and dressing rooms built, breakout spaces, quality bars and function spaces as well as a fully equipped gym and wellness studio.
Member for South Brisbane Jackie Trad said the project will employ the equivalent of 151 full time workers during construction.
“Our investment in the maintenance of the heritage listed, state-owned Thomas Dixon Centre is essential to ensure its preservation,” Ms Trad said.
“The redevelopment will ensure the Centre’s continued contribution for the next generation of Queensland artists, arts companies and our local community.”
Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said Queensland is the place to be for world-class performers and entertainment.
“The transformed Thomas Dixon Centre will help Queensland Ballet to grow, expand its programs and broaden its reach in the community,” Ms Enoch said.
“The Palaszczuk Government recognises the role arts infrastructure plays in unlocking the potential of the state’s arts sector.
“We are continuing our $125 million in support for the new theatre at Queensland Performing Arts Centre, and in this year’s State Budget we allocated $6 million through the Arts Infrastructure Investment Fund to support priority infrastructure projects including Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts, and Cairns Centre of Contemporary Arts.
“The arts and cultural sector delivers social and economic outcomes to Queenslanders and the sector’s ongoing support is a vital part of developing the Government’s economic plan for the next decade.”
Queensland Ballet Artistic Director Li Cunxin said the project was worth celebrating.
“The transformation will allow us to further collaborate with small to medium arts organisations, focus on the wellbeing of our dancers and staff, extend our reach across Queensland and, together with our new academy building at Kelvin Grove, continue our remarkable growth sustainably into the future,” he said.
Part of the government funding is to match an $8 million pledge from the Ian Potter Foundation with the other $6 million going to preserving the heritage Thomas Dixon Centre building on the site.
Photos from the ceremony can be found here.