The PerfEx Mission:
"To bring to completion the construction of a centre for the performing and visual arts, to meet the current and future needs of the Batemans Bay Community"
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On the 29th April the Eurobodalla Shire Council purchased the Batemans Bay Bowling Club from the Catalina Club although settlement did not occur until early in the 2016/17 financial year. The Council sought Expressions of Interest from the public as to how the Bowling Club site could be used in its current state and secondly what should be provided when the current building is demolished and replaced. The deadline for submitting the responses to the Council Strategic Planning Department’s Divisional Manager, Jeff Morgan, was 10th June, 2016.
Arts and Cultural Groups come together as a strong, united voice
On the morning of Monday 16th May, altogether , 32 representatives, including many Presidents from 13 organisations gathered to show the strength of support for use of the Bowling Club by the Arts’ and Cultural Groups. The PerfEx convened gathering proved the strength of unity within the Arts’ Community for our combined vision for both the interim and future use of the Batemans Bay Bowling Club. An article and this photo were featured in the Bay Post.
PerfEx convenes public meeting at the Batemans Bay Soldiers’ Club
Community Meeting at Batemans Bay Soldiers' Club
Realising that the development of the Bowling Club site would affect so many more in the Community than just the Arts and Cultural groups, PerfEx convened a meeting at the Batemans Bay Soldiers’ Club on the evening of Tuesday 31st May, to which were invited all possible stakeholders in the complex. This included the tourism and business sectors, education and training, the Indoor Aquatic group, as well as Arts and Cultural groups. Ideas were voiced, Minutes taken and signatures gathered to form the basis of three dot-point community driven submissions: one for the interim use of the Bowling Club building; one for the shared vision for the re-development and one for the shared vision for the Indoor Aquatic Centre. Altogether, there were 56 attendees at the meeting with 15 organisations and 11 businesses represented. Overall, it was an extremely positive meeting and PerfEx received many positive emails of thanks afterwards for the opportunity to have their views heard.
Friday 10th June, Expressions of Interest deadline day!
PerfEx Members Vanessa Hurst, Jeannie Brewer and Sue Mackenzie handing over hard copies of the three submissions to Council’s Jeff Morgan on Friday 10th May.
By the skin-of-our-teeth, PerfEx submitted two of its own proposals to the Expressions of Interest. The first, our interim use of the Bowling Club proposal, suggests that the current auditorium would be used not only for performance, but for events and large conferences, even weddings as the current commercial kitchen could be leased to cater and a coffee shop open for use by everyone. Visual artists are excited about the potential gallery and workshop spaces, even the prospect of giving art classes to our youth. The many art forms will be included, with a special display for our aboriginal heritage. A retail space is planned selling top quality art, handcrafts and quality produce which would all be attached to a Tourist Information Centre, which we are suggesting be relocated, allowing Council to sell the existing Visitor’s Information site. The museum wants display space and storage, U3A wants meeting rooms; film makers want studios and work spaces; Adult Education want hospitality and hands on tourism spaces. Council could consider the possibility of selling the Community Centre site, if sufficient meeting room spaces can be catered for. Some alterations will need to be made, but local builders have expressed an interest already in helping us.
We envisage a facility abuzz with people of all ages and abilities using the centre on a regular basis, catering for their cultural and artistic needs. The existing greens are ideal for outdoor entertainment, markets and festivals.
The second proposal sets out our vision for the Master Plan; an iconic building for the gateway to the Shire with state of the art inclusions for the performing and visual arts, whilst catering for M.I.C.E; (Marketing, Incentives, Conferences and Events) placed as we are, only 2 hours from Canberra, equidistant between Melbourne and Sydney, in a stunningly beautiful location. In fact, we think 'The Gateway' is a great name for it! We endorse Council’s suggestion of including a Visitors’ Centre as tourism and the Arts go hand in hand. In fact research shows that Arts’ and Culture feature near the top of tourists’ preferred activities.
The next PerfEx St Cecilia Scholarships Award will be given at this year’s concert at St Bernard’s Church Batehaven on Sunday 20th November, 2016.