• arts & culture

20 September 2018

A record 13.2 million people visited Victoria’s state-owned cultural institutions in the 2017-18 financial year, drawn by blockbuster exhibitions, new attractions and diverse programming for all ages.

Nocturnal at Melbourne Museum_April 2018_credit_Cesur Sanli

Wax’o Paradiso play to a full house in April 2018 as part of the event series Nocturnal at Melbourne Museum

Tabled in parliament today, the annual reports of Victoria’s nine creative industries agencies revealed another year of success and growth, with overall visitation numbers up 12% from the previous year.

A key drawcard for audiences has been a stellar roster of exhibitions across the various organisations.

The National Gallery of Victoria has had a run of blockbusters with Van Gogh and the Seasons, NGV Triennial of Art and Design, The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture, Hokusai and MoMA at NGV, all drawing big crowds.

ACMI also attracted record numbers with highlights including the home-grown Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition Wonderland, Wallace & Gromit and Friends exhibition and the popular television culture festival, Series Mania.

Museums Victoria recorded its highest ever number of memberships and opened two ground-breaking new  STEM-focused permanent exhibition at Scienceworks, Beyond Perception and Ground Up, which helped attract record visitors to the Spotswood museum. Melbourne Museum also had a strong year with Vikings: Beyond the Legend and new offerings such as live music program Nocturnal.

Arts Centre Melbourne drew new audiences with the Shakespeare summer season of the Pop-up Globe, the musical Dream Lover, which had a record-breaking season, and the opening of the Australian Music Vault, celebrating the story of Australian music.

2017-18 is the third consecutive year the agencies have collectively broken visitation records, signalling increased economic impact for the state. Visitor satisfaction is also high, ranking from 90% to 98% across the board.

Volunteers played an important role in this success donating almost 100,000 hours of their time, or the equivalent of a 35 years working life, to help these organisations flourish.

In the screen industry sector, Film Victoria supported 66 film, television and digital games projects in 2017-2018. This investment generated $212.7 million in direct Victorian production expenditure and created 8,245 additional employment opportunities for the local industry, up from 7,715 the previous year.

Major redevelopments at State Library Victoria and Geelong Performing Arts Centre progressed significantly during the year, with both expected to be complete during 2019. Funding was also announced for ACMI’s redevelopment and the first stage of a transformation of the Melbourne Arts Precinct, with initial planning work underway for those projects.

Annual reports are now available online