Australia's Major Performing Arts (MPA) sector comprises 29 leading performing arts companies in the fields of dance, theatre, circus, opera, and orchestral and chamber music. The MPA companies play a vital role in the development of artists and audiences, as well as being a large employer of artists and arts professionals in Australia.

    The National Framework for Governments' Support of the Major Performing Arts Sector was agreed by Cultural Ministers in August 2011. The Framework continues the partnership between Australian, State and Territory Governments to support artistic excellence and best practice governance and management in the 29 companies designated as Major Performing Arts companies.

    MPA Framework Update
    In 2018, Cultural Ministers Officials undertook research and consultations with MPA companies. In addition, the Department of Communications and the Arts delivered an online survey with the arts sector and broader community, to canvas views on strengthening the MPA Framework.

    Feedback received from MPA companies and the wider sector indicated that there is support for changed arrangements. The consultation contributed to the identification of opportunities to create an enhanced framework to better support Australia’s arts ecology.

    These opportunities were outlined in the Major Performing Arts Consultation Paper. The Consultation Paper proposed a range of features to strengthen the arrangements and provide opportunities to create an enhanced framework that is better positioned for the future.

    There are eight identified Major Performing Arts companies in Victoria: