12 April 2012
Premier officially opens the West Australian Ballet Centre
On 12 April 2012, the Premier of Western Australian, the Hon. Colin Barnett MLA, will cut the ribbon on a new era for West Australian Ballet as it throws open the doors of its stunning state of the art facility, the West Australian Ballet Centre.
Previously the WA Royal Institute and Industrial School for Blind (and later 'Senses'), the building has been an iconic landmark in Maylands since its foundation in 1898 - and coincidentally, dedicated to Queen Victoria in the 60th year of her reign. A successful $12 million fundraising campaign to create the new West Australian Ballet Centre has ensured that this heritage listed building with continue to benefit current and future generations of Western Australians, including our talented dancers and the wider community.
Partners in the project have included the City of Bayswater, who at a special council meeting on 8 March 2010 made an historic decision to support the establishment of a State ballet centre by purchasing the Maylands building for WAB, supported with a $5.3 million grant from Lotterywest. The Government of Western Australia allocated a further $2million matching grant towards the fundraising campaign, which was led with a $500,000 from Wesfarmers. Other major contributors include the Wright and Forrest families, the Australian Children's Trust, along with the building industry, including Probuild and architect Sandover Pinder, who together with consultants and construction companies contributed more than $2 million in services to the project.
West Australian Ballet's long-held wish of a professional ballet facility is now more than a reality, it is a dream come true! This magnificent new centre houses all of the operations of the company, including the three-light filled studios for training and rehearsals, a wardrobe and production centre, and administration. Whilst WAB will continue to perform in His Majesty's Theatre and other venues in Perth, there will be 'studio' style performances and events presented in the centre that will be open to the public. The first of these is an evening celebrating John Cranko's Life hosted by Artistic Director Ivan Cavallari on Monday 23 April.
City of Bayswater Mayor, Cr Terence Kenyon, said the City was delighted to see West Australian Ballet moving into its new home.
"This is an exciting event and it marks the start of what I hope will be a long and fruitful relationship between West Australian Ballet and our community," he said.
Premier Barnett said: "I congratulate West Australian Ballet on the opening of their outstanding new venue which will provide state-of-the-art training and rehearsal facilities for our State Ballet Company and will be a lasting asset for dance in WA."
WAB Chairman, Bret Mattes, said: "The West Australian Ballet Centre is a unique new cultural asset for the State, which will benefit generations of Western Australians. The opening of this fantastic new facility is also an important opportunity to recognise that a rich cultural life goes hand in hand with economic development and business sustainability. As individuals and capital become more mobile, cities are in competition for people, investment and visitors. Talent attract capital. Successful cities are those that attract intellectual capital and creative people. And creative people want to live in places the prize diversity and offer a variety of cultural experiences. The visionary people and organisations that contributed to this new facility recognise this, and want Perth to be a successful city that makes people want to come to this wonderful State for more than its weather and beaches. I applaud their vision and commitment, and heartily thank everyone who was contributed to this project."
Says artistic director, Ivan Cavallari: "since I arrived in 2007 we have been working towards this important day. We have an elite and very special company of dancers who can now be nurtured, trained and rehearsed in a professional facility, among the best I have seen in the world. This is very exciting for my dancers and the Western Australian ballet community."
West Australian Ballet general manager, Steven Roth believes: "this is a time for great celebration and acknowledgment that the arts in Western Australia can stand up to the best the world has to offer. We see this as an important day not for dance, but for the whole community. Our programs and training have been constrained by space issues for many years, and now this facility makes the world of difference to the delivery of ballet performance and training in this State - something that all Western Australians will be proud of."
Tickets are also still available for Ivan Cavallari's presentation John Cranko's Life, part of the Monday Vernissage series, Monday 23 April. Phone West Australian Ballet for details on (08) 9214 0707.
Don't miss West Australian Ballet's upcoming 60th anniversary performance season Diamonds, 11 - 26 May 2012, His Majesty's Theatre with WASO. A dazzling program of ballet gems featuring the exquisite Dying Swan. Visit waballet.com.au to find out more.
For further information please contact:
Rosita Stangl, Publicist
West Australian Ballet
Ph: 9367 8884 or