Within the Harvey Cultural and Recreation Centre (HRCC) complex is is the Function Room, a venue which has stages performing arts amongst other events. HRCC aimed to increase performing arts shows frequency and sophistication for both local and touring content.
Spirited Thinking were engaged to assess the venue and provide options and budgets and, recommendations. This led to an engagement to lead the upgrades which included building works, a roof interior design refresh, upgrades for power and data, creation of a new rack room also a secure technical equipment storage, stage and back stage refresh, including increasing the Proscenium height and improvements to stage lighting bar locations.
Due to the skills gap, Spirited Thinking offered technical support extending to assisting with production advice on using the upgraded facility, providing designs for productions (stage lighting and sound) and technical operators. These extended services were delivered as training opportunities specifically intended to up-skill in-house people and local contract specialist technical operators.
Spirited Thinking’s process and report provided the required advice and costing estimates. The process (and report) simply explained background, needs, options, requirements and reasonings to meet their intention for increasing Cultural presentation.
“These gave us a huge level of confidence to approach the centre Board and Shire Council.” David Marshall, OAM, says.
Funding of four times the original amount anticipated was proposed and which received full support in a single board meeting following receiving Spirited Thinking’s report. In the next council meeting the proposal received full council support for immediate funding and funding for the next 2 years of upgrades and a plan for beyond.
By way of chance, a few months later a State grant round opened up and as the management now had a masterplan in hand, commitment from the council, this was easily converted into a grant application which totally more than $350K and was successful.
The technical upgrades were tended under a Spirited Thinking Specification for Works and together with building works have significantly improved cultural presentation to wide acclaim from its first users and touring show.
This upgrade is a quintessential case study for how to turn a venue and community around for performing arts, says Peter Jago, Design Lead for Spirited Thinking Pty Ltd.
“Spirited Thinking were a game-changer for the project” says David Marshall, OAM, HRCC Manager. “The outcome is far beyond our original expectations.”
“Brilliant install, fit very well for the space.” Christian Lovelady, Freelance Lighting Designer and touring operator for the Djuki Mala Oct 2020