Gippsland’s new home for performing arts

02 March 2022

The state-of-the-art Gippsland Performing Arts Centre is set to electrify the region’s performing arts scene and create world-class professional training opportunities for artists across Gippsland.

The new Centre will be a standout performing arts facility for the region. With a unique design that celebrates the history of the Latrobe Valley, it features a 750-seat theatre, 25-metre-high fly tower, meeting rooms, a café with indoor and outdoor access, an amphitheatre and outdoor event spaces.

Conveniently located in Traralgon’s central business district, the Centre is the jewel in the crown of Latrobe’s $42 million creative precinct which was supported by $12 million from the Victorian Government.

Bringing the community together

Councilor Kellie O’Callaghan, Mayor of Latrobe City, is confident that the precinct has something to offer everyone.

“Whether you’re looking to participate as a creative, as a performer, in your local community groups, or whether you’re a school that’s looking to really enhance the great production that you’ve brought together, you’ll be able to see that showcased here at GPAC,” she explained.

Alison Teychenne of the Latrobe Orchestra hopes the precinct will drive ideas about how creative groups can work together.

“I think in a regional area we do tend to look after our own groups and this could be a centrepiece for more collaborative projects between community groups,” she said.

Providing performance and training opportunities

For Bec Cole, Director of Creative Arts at Latrobe City Council, the new precinct offers a wealth of creative opportunities.

“Not only will we have an excellent performing arts centre where you can see a range of really exciting shows, but the broader precinct itself will support people in creative industry development,” she explained.

“This means we’ll have a range of public programming and education opportunities to support the next generation of artists coming through,” added Bec.

One local artist who hopes to put the new facilities to good use is Simon Hemming of the Latrobe Theatre Company.

“It goes without saying that we’d love to become a centre of excellence where the performing arts are concerned,” he said.

“To have the ability to teach in a theatre like this, to have the latest technology available to us, is something we could have only dreamed of,” he added.

The power of partnerships

Delivery of the Gippsland Performing Arts Centre and the creative precinct was supported by $12 million in funding from the Victorian Government.

The project also received a $20 million investment from Latrobe City Council and $10 million from the Commonwealth’s National Stronger Regions Fund.