bw-home-icon[1] Cultural Facilities Corporation home u Annual Report 2013-14


B. Performance Reporting


B.1 Organisational Overview   9

B.2 Performance Analysis  23

B.3 Community Engagement and Support 79

B.4 Ecologically Sustainable Development 81


B.1 Organisational Overview

B.1.1 Vision, mission and values

The CFC’s 2011-16 Strategic Plan provides the overarching framework for the organisation’s planning activities, including for the development of its annual corporate plans. 


The Strategic Plan identifies mission or purpose statements for the organisation as a whole, as well as for its two program delivery divisions : the Canberra Theatre Centre and ACT Museums and Galleries (which in turn comprises two sections : CMAG and the Historic Places).   


The mission or purpose statements identified in the Strategic Plan are supported by statements as to what the CFC is seeking to achieve in a number of “areas of focus”, as set out below.


Mission/Purpose for the CFC


To enable our distinctive institutions to provide enriching cultural experiences that contribute to Canberra’s identity


Area of focus

What we want to achieve

Strategy and planning

A clear direction for our future


An accountable, resilient and dynamic organisation

Human resources 

An employer of choice for staff and volunteers

Financial management  

Long-term financial sustainability

Infrastructure and systems

Support for the delivery of high quality cultural experiences


Engagement of our stakeholders

Growing and leveraging off our assets 

Growth in targeted areas where we can add value

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Mission/Purpose for the Canberra Theatre Centre


To be Canberra’s leading performing arts centre


Area of focus

What we want to achieve


A diverse program that creates a leadership position for the Canberra Theatre Centre and an identity for Canberra

Marketing and audience development

A loyal and growing audience

Community initiatives

Connect the whole community with the performing arts

Growing and leveraging off our assets

A performing arts centre for the future


Mission/Purpose for ACT Museums and Galleries


To engage our community by presenting Canberra’s stories, diverse visual culture and heritage


Area of focus

What we want to achieve

Programming, story-telling, interpretation  

Programming that reflects Canberra’s unique identity

Marketing and audience development


A loyal and growing audience

Stewardship of assets

Places and collections that allow us to tell the many stories of Canberra

Growing and leveraging off our assets         

Growth in targeted areas where we can add value




The CFC has identified a set of values to support its mission and underpin its activities.  These values are as follows.


·         We regard cultural activity as essential for a vibrant, diverse and healthy community, and vital for social and economic development.

·         We recognise that cultural activity makes a valuable contribution to the promotion of the ACT as an attractive destination for business investment and tourism.

·         We seek to engage the community in a greater understanding of the value of the arts and our cultural heritage.

·         We are committed to ensuring that the cultural and heritage places and collections, which we hold in trust for the broader community, are researched and interpreted, and that they are both made accessible now and are conserved for future generations.

·         We acknowledge and respect the cultural diversity of the region and the richness this brings to the ACT’s arts and heritage.

·         We acknowledge that our staff and volunteers are highly valued assets of the CFC and continue to recognise their contribution and further develop their skills.

·         We place major importance on maintaining professional standards in the management of our facilities and on delivering excellent programs.

·         We are committed to providing a full and balanced program of visual arts, performing arts, and social history that is diverse, accessible, and of a high standard.

·         We value cooperative and strategic partnerships across all areas of the CFC’s activities.

·         We are committed to developing and supporting local arts and heritage practitioners and initiatives, recognising this important source of expertise and creativity.

·         We actively seek to engage our communities in our programs and activities.

·         We recognise the financial support of the ACT community, through ACT Government funding, and the need to maximise the cultural return on this important investment.

B.1.2    Role, functions and services


The CFC was established under the Cultural Facilities Corporation Act 1997 (the CFC Act), which came into operation as from 1 November 1997.


The functions of the CFC, as set out in the CFC Act (Section 6) are :


·         to manage, develop, present, coordinate and promote cultural activities at designated locations and other places in the ACT;

·         to establish and research collections;

·         to conserve and exhibit collections in the possession or under the control of the CFC;

·         to undertake activities, in cooperation with other people if appropriate, to exercise its other functions; and

·         to exercise other functions given to the CFC under this Act or another Territory Law.


The CFC Act (Section 7) requires that the CFC, in exercising its functions, must consider :


·         any cultural policies or priorities of the Executive known to the CFC; and

·         other cultural activities in the ACT.


The CFC is responsible for :


·         the Canberra Theatre Centre;

·         CMAG;

·         the Nolan Collection Gallery @ CMAG; and

·         three Historic Places : Lanyon, Calthorpes’ House and Mugga-Mugga.


The CFC’s functions therefore include the performing arts, the visual arts, social history and cultural heritage management.  The organisation delivers a range of cultural services to the community by providing activities such as theatre presentations, exhibitions, and education and community programs, and through conserving and presenting significant aspects of the ACT’s cultural heritage.

Additional information about the CFC can be found at the following websites :


· covering the Canberra Theatre Centre; and

· covering CMAG, the Nolan Collection Gallery @ CMAG and the Historic Places.


Clients and stakeholders


The CFC is part of the portfolio responsibilities of the Minister for the Arts. During 2013-14 it was within the co-ordination responsibilities of the Community Services Directorate. 


The CFC’s other clients and stakeholders include :


·         the community of the ACT and region;

·         visitors to the ACT;

·         the arts, cultural, heritage, education, business and tourism sectors, including other cultural organisations;

·         national producers of performing arts, including commercial and funded companies; and

·         the diplomatic community.

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B.1.3    Organisational structure, environment and planning framework


Organisational structure


The CFC is organised into two program delivery divisions: the Canberra Theatre Centre  and ACT Museums and Galleries, together with a central finance/corporate section. 


An organisation chart is provided at Appendix 4.


Organisational environment


During 2013-14, the CFC had close working relationships with a number of ACT Government agencies including artsACT, ACT Heritage, Libraries ACT, the Chief Minister and Treasury Directorate, the Economic Development Directorate, the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate, the Community Services Directorate and the Education and Training Directorate.


Planning Framework


As noted in Section B.1.1, the CFC has adopted a five-year Strategic Plan that provides the overarching framework for the organisation’s planning activities, including for the development of its annual corporate plans. 


The Strategic Plan includes statements as to what the CFC is seeking to achieve in a number of “areas of focus”.   It also identifies strategies to guide the organisation in working towards each “area of focus”.


The CFC’s 2013-14 Corporate Plan identified the actions the CFC intended to take during the year to implement these strategies.  Results relating to these actions are reported in detail in Section B.2.


The CFC’s accountability indicators and targets for 2013-14 were identified in the CFC’s 2013-14 Statement of Intent, which was tabled as one of the 2013-14 ACT Budget papers.  The Statement of Intent also identified the CFC’s strategic objectives and indicators.


The CFC reported on the implementation of its 2013-14 Corporate Plan, and the achievement of its 2013-14 accountability targets, strategic objectives and indicators, in a series of quarterly reports that were tabled in the ACT Legislative Assembly and are summarised in this annual report.


An amendment was made to the CFC Act, effective 1 July 2014, which removed the requirement for the CFC to prepare quarterly reports in addition to annual reports. This brought the CFC into line with most other agencies.


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B.1.4    Summary of performance in achieving objectives and targets


B.1.4.1 Performance outcomes – Accountability Indicators

2013-14 was an active and successful year for the CFC, in which the organisation achieved good results against the majority of its accountability indicators.  For example, during the year the CFC :



The above visitor/patron figure reflects attendance numbers recorded by the CFC and audited by the Auditor-General.  It should, however, be noted that the actual number of people who experienced the CFC’s venues, collections and activities during 2013-14 was higher than this, for a number of reasons, including the following.


·         During the period July to September 2013, the Tuggeranong Arts Centre operated from the former Nolan Gallery building within the grounds of Lanyon, while the Centre’s own premises were undergoing a major refurbishment.  These visitors to the Lanyon estate were not included in the CFC’s attendance totals, since they were not captured by the traffic counter used to record visitors to Lanyon, located at the car park entry to the homestead.

·         Visitors to the changing program of exhibitions in CMAG’s Gallery 4 are not recorded as this is an external space, outside the main building on Civic Square, allowing visitors the opportunity to view exhibitions throughout the day and night.  As a result, visitors are not captured by the automated door counters at CMAG’s main entrance doors.  Exhibitions in Gallery 4 proved to be popular during 2013-14, with many visitors viewing exhibitions such as Cloud : Clare Martin; Hamilton Darroch : Sun Trap; and ‘byrd’ Placeholder.


The CFC did not achieve its 2013-14 target for numbers of days of venue usage at the Canberra Theatre Centre, with a result 12% below target.  This was due to three main reasons : a larger volume than expected of children’s theatre shows, which usually have several performances a day, contributing to the larger theatre patron numbers than expected but resulting in fewer actual days of usage; a number of cancellations of bookings for the Courtyard Studio; and a longer downtime than anticipated in The Playhouse for seat replacement works.


Detailed performance results and variance explanations are included in the Statement of Performance at Attachment 1 to this report. 


B.1.4.2 Performance outcomes – Financial Management


The CFC achieved good trading results in 2013-14, as is reflected in its financial results for the year and its performance against its financial accountability indicators. 


The CFC achieved a better than budget financial result for 2013-14, with an operating deficit of $1.709m, which was 13% better than the budgeted deficit of $1.959m.  It should be noted that, due to its large assets holdings and consequent significant depreciation expenses, the CFC always expects to have an operating deficit, since it is not funded for depreciation but receives capital injections through the capital works program.  Since the operating deficit for 2013-14 was lower than depreciation expenses for the year, the CFC achieved a cash surplus.


The better than budget result for the year can mainly be attributed to higher than budgeted revenue from Grants, Donations and Sponsorships together with higher than budgeted revenue for Venue Hire, Ticket Sales and Associated Revenue.  The good trading results in 2013-14 allowed the CFC to make an addition of $150,000 to the Theatre Reserve at year end.  This reserve was established by the CFC at the end of the 2011-12 financial year, to assist it in managing fluctuations in the performing arts industry and to offset the financial risk associated with major theatre programming ventures for the Canberra Theatre Centre.


The CFC achieved an own-sourced revenue figure of 46.2% as a proportion of total revenue for 2013-14, against a target of 40.8%.  The better than target result relates mainly to higher than expected volumes of venue hire at the Canberra Theatre Centre, and a grant received from the Commonwealth to acquire a heritage asset.  The CFC achieved a Cost to Government per estimated visitor/patron of $23.21 against a target of $24.92, the better than target result reflecting the above-target number of estimated visitors and patrons.


The CFC also completed all its 2013-14 capital works and capital upgrade projects by

year-end, and acquitted 100% of its capital funding for the year. 


A full analysis of the CFC’s financial results and financial position is set out in the Management Discussion and Analysis at Attachment 1 to this report.


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B.1.4.3 Performance outcomes – Strategic Objectives/Indicators


Strategic Objective 1 – The Canberra Theatre Centre is Canberra’s leading performing arts centre


Strategic Indicator 1 : Quality and extent of the Canberra Theatre Centre’s programs, activities and facilities


During 2013-14, major outcomes in relation to this Strategic Objective and Strategic Indicator were as follows.


·         The Canberra Theatre Centre (the Centre) was a key player in the Centenary of Canberra celebrations.  The Centre’s 2013 Subscription Season Collected Works Australia celebrated Canberra’s 100th birthday with works from each state and territory presented throughout the year, in association with the Centenary of Canberra.  Highlights of the second half of the 2013 Season included :  BIG hART’s Hipbone Sticking Out; Sydney Dance Company and Australian Chamber Orchestra’s Project Rameau; and Arts Project Australia’s Brief Encounter.


·         The Centre’s 2014 Subscription Season built on the Centenary year by continuing to present work from major national and international performing arts companies.  Highlights of the first half of the 2014 Season included : Michael Coppel, Louise Withers, Linda Bewick in association with Mousetrap Productions Ltd London’s A Murder is Announced; Sydney Theatre Company and the Australian Defence Force’s The Long Way Home; Bell Shakespeare’s Henry V; and Kila Kokonut Crew’s The Factory, a musical from New Zealand.


·         The range of performing arts experiences available to Canberra audiences was extended by commercial venue hire presentations throughout the year, including Slava’s Snow Show; Festival of Russian Ballet; and Shadowland.  Comedy was again very popular, with shows including Anh Do, An Evening with Hoges, Canberra Comedy Festival, and Melbourne Comedy Festival Night.


·         Younger audiences were able to attend high quality presentations such as The Cat in the Hat; Babies Proms; The 13-Story Treehouse; and Mr McGee & the Biting Flea.  The Centre collaborated with other major venues to develop a consortium touring model to bring the UK production of Angelina Ballerina the Mousical to Australia.  The Canberra season of the show took place in December 2013.


·         As in previous years, the Canberra Theatre fulfilled the function of Canberra’s “town hall” with events and performances including a number of graduation ceremonies, departmental meetings, and awards ceremonies, as well as many dance school end-of-year productions. School and youth productions continued as regular users of the Canberra Theatre, including seasons of Wakakirri National Story Festival; and Youth Dance Festival 2013. 


·         Productions by local performing arts companies continued to represent the majority of usage of the Centre’s venues, especially in the Courtyard Studio, which hosted  productions such as Free Rain Theatre Company’s A Month of Sundays and Everyman Theatre’s One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest.  The Centre also hosted and supported a major production of The Phantom of the Opera by Free Rain Theatre Company, which was presented in the Canberra Theatre. 


·         During the year, the Centre continued its commitment to theatre education initiatives, including through its Vocational Education and Training program, work experience scheme, and a range of other activities to support theatre education.   The Centre again collaborated with ACT schools and colleges in presenting Fast+Fresh, a series of 10-minute plays written, directed and acted by ACT school students.  The 2014 program attracted a record 17 schools from the ACT and two schools from NSW, with a total of 44 plays entered.  The Centre also hosted the annual summer school of the National Institute of Dramatic Art.


·         Access initiatives continued to be an area in which the Centre provides leadership.  Both its 2013 and 2014 Subscription Seasons included live captioning and audio description of selected performances, to assist patrons with hearing and vision impairments to enjoy live theatre.  Live captioning was again made available via a smart phone app.  Other access initiatives at the Centre include tactile tours of the set of certain performances, wheelchair spaces in the auditoria, and the Centre’s participation in the Companion Card program, whereby carers are entitled to a free ticket when accompanying a Companion Card holder to the theatre.


·         The Centre also continued its Social Capital program throughout 2013-14.  This initiative provides complimentary theatre tickets to those who might not otherwise have the opportunity to attend theatre performances.  It also continued its longstanding association with the Duntroon Royal Military College Band in presenting the Music at Midday concert series, which raises funds for charity, while also providing an enjoyable day out for many of Canberra’s senior citizens.


·         During the year, the second stage of a program of major capital upgrades to the Centre was implemented.  This three-year initiative was funded through the 2012-13 ACT Budget and is aimed at retaining the Centre’s functionality and status as a professional performing arts facility.  The second stage of the program involved a full replacement of seating in The Playhouse as well as new chillers and a range of improvements to patron and performer amenities.


Further details regarding outcomes against Strategic Objective 1 and Strategic Indicator 1 are provided under Section B.2.


Strategic Objective 2 – ACT Museums and Galleries engage our community by presenting Canberra’s stories, diverse visual culture and heritage


Strategic Indicator 2 : Quality and extent of ACT Museums and Galleries programs and activities


During 2013-14, major outcomes in relation to this Strategic Objective and Strategic Indicator were as follows.


·         ACT Museums and Galleries was a key player in the Centenary of Canberra celebrations.  CMAG presented a series of special exhibitions to mark the Centenary year, including 2113 :  A Canberra Odyssey, which explored scenarios of how Canberra might be in 2113.  CMAG’s foyer also acted as a city-centre Centenary Information Hub, with trained Centenary volunteers present every day, Centenary program touch screens and a display of Centenary memorabilia.  The Historic Places presented  Life on the Limestone Plains, a special three-program series showing the changing face of life in Canberra, and Artefact Chat,  an outreach resource for primary schools, in which students learned about the heritage of their community using the Historic Places as case studies to focus on oral history.


·         Throughout the year, CMAG continued its focus on the visual arts and social history of the Canberra region, including through a series of exhibitions with associated education and community programs.  As part of this focus, CMAG supported and promoted the work of artists with special connections to the Canberra region, including Indigenous artists and early career artists. 


·         A particular highlight for the year was the major exhibition Elioth Gruner : the texture of light, presented in partnership with Newcastle Art Gallery, where the exhibition will tour early in 2014-15.  This exhibition represented CMAG’s most ambitious project to date featuring the work of a significant landscape artist whose oeuvre includes a major focus on the Canberra region.


·         Other exhibition highlights for the year included Splinters Theatre of Spectacle : Massive love of risk – an exhibition about an art performance troupe based in Canberra from 1985-1998;  Lens Love : the tender gaze of six Canberra-region photographers; and A Bird in the Hand! Bob Graham : A Retrospective.


·         The Open Collection series, presenting the collections of private individuals or organisations, continued to be a popular aspect of CMAG’s exhibition program, providing a valuable means of exploring the world of collecting and making this accessible to the community. In 2013-14 this series featured subject matter as diverse as : the history of punk in the nation’s capital; growing up in Downer; and the visual art and music of Ed Radclyffe, a member of the country-rockabilly trio The Fuelers.


·         CMAG’s ramp showcase, leading up to the Open Collection Gallery, was regularly programmed with exhibitions, including a number celebrating cities with which Canberra has a particular relationship, including Canberra’s sister city Nara.  The Canberra-Nara display was accompanied by a screening in CMAG’s foyer of images appearing in tweets that mentioned either city, and was visited by a delegation comprising the Mayor and citizens from Nara.


·         During the year, Gallery 4, CMAG’s gallery space on Civic Square, continued to host work by Canberra regional artists commissioned specifically for this space.  Exhibitions in the series during 2013-14 included Cloud : Clare Martin; Hamilton Darroch : Sun Trap; and ‘byrd’ Placeholder.


·         Community and education programs associated with CMAG’s exhibition program provided opportunities for visitors to increase their understanding and enjoyment of the exhibitions, with CMAG maintaining its reputation for providing excellent children’s programs.  The family program CMAG on Sunday continued in popularity, accompanied by a version of the program designed for very young children, T is for Toddler.   Program highlights for the year included curator and artist floor talks, film screenings, seminars and studio workshops. 


·         In addition to the many programs presented by CMAG, the venue hosted a wide range of other events, including performing and visual arts events of the 2014 You Are Here festival, and Canberra’s Capital Arts Patrons Organisation fundraising exhibition and auction of works, held at CMAG in 2013 for the first time as part of a new five-year partnership.


·         The Nolan Collection Gallery @ CMAG continued to provide a permanent display area for the Foundation Collection of 24 major works by Sir Sidney Nolan.  These works provided the inspiration for a series of education programs provided by the CFC as an outreach initiative in schools. During the year, two new initiatives were completed with special funding from the Commonwealth Government to support the CFC’s management and interpretation of the Nolan Collection.  This special one-off funding, to mark Canberra’s Centenary, allowed the CFC to develop new “stop motion” education programs inspired by Nolan’s Kelly series, and to digitise all the works in the Nolan Collection.


·         Major events at Lanyon during the year included the Lanyon Christmas Carols and Picnic, the Open Gardens Australia Plant Fair and The Great Lanyon Easter Egg Hunt.  The annual Sylvia Curley Oration was again held at Mugga-Mugga, in honour of the remarkable woman who donated this property to the people of Canberra.  The 2014 Oration was delivered by historian and heritage consultant Dr Lenore Coltheart, who spoke on the topic of the “soul” of the city.


·         At all three Historic Places, an active schedule of community and education programs was presented, focusing on topics as diverse as conservation, archaeology, horticulture, garden history, photography, sketching, gardening, landscape drawing, cooking jams and preserves, the convict life, domestic work of the past, and children’s rhymes and games. 


·         Linkages to tertiary institutions continued to be an important aspect of the work of the Historic Places, including cooperative programs with the Canberra Institute of Technology, University of Canberra and Australian National University.  Through these partnerships, a number of specialised tours were provided to students of subjects such as horticulture and cultural heritage management. 


·         Permanent exhibitions at all three sites assisted with their interpretation, and included Within Living Memory, The Convict Years and The Cunningham Photographic Exhibition at Lanyon; the Calthorpes' House Orientation Exhibition; and Getting It Together at Mugga-Mugga. 


·         2013-14 saw the first year of a staged program, funded through the 2013-14 ACT Budget, of upgrading roads within the Lanyon historic precinct.  This program follows on from the completion of the major conservation project undertaken in recent years across all three Historic Places sites, in order to facilitate access to, and within, the precinct for visitors and site residents.


·         The CFC continued its long-standing association with the National Trust through the valued services of National Trust volunteers, who provided 349 hours of service at Lanyon throughout 2013-14.  Volunteer programs also continued to operate at Mugga-Mugga and at Calthorpes’ House.  In total, volunteers provided nearly 1700 hours of service to the Historic Places throughout the year, working on tasks such as guiding, assisting with community and education programs, and gardening.  The work of the volunteers is important in involving the wider community in conserving and interpreting these significant sites.


Further details regarding outcomes against Strategic Objective 2 and Strategic Indicator 2 are provided under Section B.2.


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B.1.4.4 Performance outcomes – other key results


In addition to performance outcomes under the Strategic Objective and Indicators identified above, other major performance outcomes for the CFC in 2013-14 included the following.


City planning


Throughout the year, the CFC took an active role in initiatives to plan the future direction of Civic and the future provision of a major new theatre in the city centre.  This role encompassed the CFC’s participation in the City Plan and City to the Lake projects, including through the provision of a detailed submission into the development of the City Plan.  A further major focus for the CFC during 2013-14 was to undertake, in conjunction with other agencies, a study to explore the most appropriate location for a major new theatre within the cultural arc identified in the City Plan around the north eastern perimeter of City Hill.  One particular outcome for the year was the increased recognition that the new theatre facility needs to be “national” in character, in the sense of having an appropriate status and significance for the nation’s capital.




In 2013-14, the CFC again placed a particular emphasis on fundraising and philanthropy.  Under the leadership of the Board, the CFC identified and implemented a range of fundraising projects for the year through a 2013-14 Fundraising Strategy, and engaged a Development Manager to assist in implementing the strategy.  The Centenary of Canberra year provided a focus and impetus to the CFC’s fundraising activities.  These efforts resulted in a range of new sponsors and supporters, including Hindmarsh as the new Principal Sponsor of the Canberra Theatre Centre.  A full list of major funding, sponsorship and support is at Appendix 10 of this report.


Arts leadership – partnership with The Childers Group


In keeping with its commitment to providing cultural leadership in the ACT and region, in 2013-14 the CFC explored a number of ways in which it could extend this leadership role.  One result of these efforts is a new partnership with independent arts advocacy body The Childers Group.  This will lead to a jointly-presented Arts Leadership Forum early in 2014-15.


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B.1.5 Outlook


B.1.5.1 Current and future priorities


Specific priorities for the CFC in 2014-15 include the following.


·         Celebrating the Canberra Theatre's 50th birthday in 2015, including through high profile programming, and a number of community and celebratory activities.

·         Participating in the commemoration of the Centenary of World War One.

·         Major exhibitions at CMAG, including an exhibition to coincide with the 2015 Cricket World Cup and a major Chinese contemporary ink art exhibition.

·         Implementing the final year of a two-year capital works project to facilitate increased use of the Lanyon Heritage Precinct, through major road upgrades.

·         Undertaking the final year of a three-year capital project at the Canberra Theatre Centre of essential upgrades to support continued hirer and community use.

·         Implementing the first year of a further two-year capital project at the Canberra Theatre Centre to address additional priority work health and safety, lighting and amenity upgrades, in order to maintain the Centre as a “fit for purpose” venue on the national touring circuit.

·         Exploring future options for CMAG’s foyer and address to Civic Square through a design concepts study.

·         Participating in precinct accommodation strategies for Civic Square, taking into account forthcoming accommodation pressures on South Building, due to the additional ministry and MLAs.

·         Working with the independent arts advocacy organisation, The Childers Group, to deliver an Arts Leadership Forum.

·         Working with other agencies in undertaking studies into the economic impacts for Canberra of a major new theatre and of a major performing arts presentation.


In addition to the above specific priorities for 2014-15, further priorities for the CFC in the coming and forward years include the following.


·         Playing an active role in initiatives to plan the future direction of the city centre and the future provision of cultural facilities in Civic, including through undertaking further studies into the preliminary design and costing for a major new theatre in the city centre, in accordance with the City Plan and within the framework of the City to the Lake project. 


·         Continuing to pursue the need to retain sufficient car parking in the vicinity of the Canberra Theatre Centre, to enable ready access for theatre patrons and thus protect the financial viability of the Centre.


·         Building the profile of Lanyon as a heritage tourism destination and introducing new options for visitor experiences, including through working with VisitCanberra to promote major events at Lanyon, and studying heritage tourism options for Lanyon.


·         Focusing on sponsorship and philanthropy, including through the continued implementation of the CFC’s fundraising strategy.  Under the guidance of the Board, the CFC will seek to build on the CFC’s considerable success in the past in attracting corporate sponsorship, philanthropic support and donations of major works of art, including through a new fund to acquire Canberra Region Treasures. 


Apart from the areas identified above, the main ongoing priority of the CFC is to achieve its vision and mission, by providing cultural leadership through a high standard of service to the community.  In keeping with this priority, the CFC will continue to promote the value of a vibrant cultural life, not only in terms of serving the existing community of the ACT, but also as a contribution to Canberra’s economic development and its attractiveness as both a business and tourist destination into the future. 


B.1.5.2 Current and future challenges


2013-14 was a busy and successful year for the organisation, with no major problems experienced in either operational or financial terms.  Minor challenges during the year related to factors such as the resourcing pressures, for a small organisation, of servicing the CFC’s major contribution to Civic planning initiatives and the higher volume of activity generated by the CFC’s extensive participation in the Centenary of Canberra. 


As in previous years, major capital works projects presented some challenges in terms of the need to ensure operational continuity during the works programs.  For example, the seat replacement works in The Playhouse resulted in a longer downtime than anticipated and represented one of the contributing factors to the below-target venue usage rates discussed under Section B.1.4.1.  By year end, however, all capital projects had been successfully implemented and the CFC had fully expended all its 2013-14 capital funding.


The key challenge facing the CFC in the future, as in previous years, is the ongoing variability and unpredictability of the performing arts business, which impacts directly on the CFC's main non-government income source: its theatre-related revenues.  


The variability of this revenue source arises from such factors as : the unpredictability of performing arts product becoming available to tour, which is tied in with the national economic forecast; changing patterns in the confidence felt in the Canberra market by presenters of commercial theatre productions; and variability in the willingness of patrons to expend discretionary income on theatre tickets.  For example, Federal Budget cuts and their impact on the ACT economy may result in a downturn in ticket sales. 


The CFC seeks to manage the variability in its main non-government income source by seeking new revenue opportunities, such as entering into shared risk partnerships to bring productions to Canberra.  Programming choices also provide a means of addressing the risk of reduced ticket sales in an uncertain economic climate.  For example, the Canberra Theatre Centre’s programming in 2015 will focus on more “family friendly” and commercial product, in an attempt to manage the risk to ticketing income resulting from Federal Budget cuts impacting on the ACT economy. 


At a broader level, the creation of a theatre reserve at the end of 2011-12 is a further means by which the CFC is seeking to manage the unpredictability of its income levels.  As noted under Section B.1.4.2, the CFC was able to make an addition of $150,000 to the Theatre Reserve as a result of good trading results in 2013-14.

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B.2 Performance Analysis


The CFC’s 2013-14 Statement of Intent was prepared in accordance with Section 61 of the Financial Management Act 1996. The Statement of Intent provides the CFC’s strategic objectives and indicators. The Statement of Performance found at Attachment 1 provides details of how these strategic objectives and indicators were achieved in 2013-14.  These are summarised under Section B.1.4.


The following section analyses in detail the CFC’s performance against the strategies and actions set out in the CFC’s 2013-14 Corporate Plan, which in turn is based on the CFC’s 2011-16 Strategic Plan.


Actions for 2013-14 are arranged under each “area of focus” within the three areas of the organization : the CFC itself; the Canberra Theatre Centre; and ACT Museums and Galleries, comprising CMAG and the Historic Places.


Under its 2011-16 Strategic Plan and 2013-14 Corporate Plan, the CFC has adopted the following purpose statements –





Where there are overlaps between different “areas of focus”, reporting has been consolidated under the most relevant area, to provide a more cohesive picture of performance during the year.


Performance genres presented at the Canberra Theatre Centre are shown in graphic form and may be found at Appendix 7.  Appendix 8 provides a full schedule of exhibitions, programs and events held at CMAG and the Historic Places during the year.




Purpose : To enable our distinctive institutions to provide enriching cultural experiences that contribute to Canberra’s identity


Area of focus :




What we want to achieve :

A clear direction for our future



Strategies to achieve this :    

·         Engagement of key stakeholders in developing a strategic plan

·         Linkage of strategic plan to annual corporate plans and performance management throughout the organisation

·         Regular reporting on progress against the strategic plan


Actions in 2013-14 to achieve these strategies :

Action Number

Description of Action

Results during the year

B.2.1.1 (a)

Develop a Corporate Plan for 2013-14 linked to the 2011-16 Strategic Plan.


·         The 2013-14 Corporate Plan, which was linked to the 2011-16 Strategic Plan, was endorsed by the CFC Board at its
27 June 2013 meeting.

B.2.1.1 (b)

Implement the ACT Government Service’s new performance management system throughout the organisation and ensure all performance agreements link back to the 2013-14 Corporate Plan.

·         Implementation of the performance management system linked to the Corporate Plan continued throughout the year, to ensure all staff understand how their role relates to the organisation’s corporate goals.


B.2.1.1 (c)

Report on progress in achieving the 2013-14 Corporate Plan in the 2013-14 Annual Report.


·         The four Quarterly Reports for 2013-14 recorded progress towards achieving the 2013-14 Corporate Plan, and formed the basis for the CFC’s 2013-14 Annual Report.





Purpose : To enable our distinctive institutions to provide enriching cultural experiences that contribute to Canberra’s identity


Area of focus :




What we want to achieve :

An accountable, resilient and dynamic organisation



Strategies to achieve this :

·         Governance systems that provide a high standard of accountability

·         A Board that is skilled, diverse, well-informed and committed to continuous improvement

·         A focus at Board level on performance as well as conformance

·         A Board that is at full strength


Actions in 2013-14 to achieve these strategies :

Action No.

Description of Action

Results during the year

B.2.1.2 (a)

Review and if necessary update the CFC’s Governance Charter.

·         The Audit Committee conducted a review of its Charter at its 28 November 2013 meeting and recommended to the Board that no changes be made at that time.  The Board agreed to this recommendation at its
11 December 2013 meeting.

·         The CFC’s Governance Charter was reviewed and updated at the
26 February 2014 meeting of the Board.

B.2.1.2 (b)

Seek filling of the Board’s current and forthcoming vacancies in a timely manner.

·         Action is underway to make appointments to the two vacancies on the Board.

B.2.1.2 (c)

Ensure Board meeting agendas are arranged to focus on performance as well as conformance, and seek continual improvement in the presentation of Board agenda papers, to ensure efficient use of resources.

·         Board meeting agendas are now arranged to focus on performance as well as conformance. For example, during 2013-14, topics discussed included :

-        Civic planning matters;

-        theatre vocational training;

-        Centenary of Canberra outcomes and legacies;

-        strategic discussions with The Childers Group;

-        theatre programming; and

-        fundraising.

·         The format of Board agenda papers and Minutes has been improved to clarify matters requiring decision and matters requiring follow-up action.

B.2.1.2 (d)

·         Arrange for the CFC's external auditors to meet with the Board at the conclusion of the audit of the 2012-13 Financial Statements and the 2012-13 Statement of Performance.

·         Invite the CFC’s external auditors to each Audit Committee meeting.

·         A representative of the ACT Auditor-General’s Office attended the
29 October 2013 Board meeting and briefed Members on the audit of the CFC’s 2012-13 Financial Statements and 2012-13 Statement of Performance

·         Representatives of the ACT Auditor-General’s Office attended the meetings of the Audit Committee on 12 July,
26 September and 28 November 2013 and on 30 January, 28 March and
22 May 2014.

B.2.1.2 (e)

Assess possible projects for an internal audit program for 2013-14, focusing on key areas of risk, as identified from : the Strategic Risk Management Plan; the Fraud Control Plan; the work of the Audit Committee; and external audits.

·         These matters were considered by the Audit Committee in setting the internal audit/quality assurance program for 2013-14 on 28 November 2013.

B.2.1.2 (f)

·         Ensure the CFC’s Strategic Risk Management Plan and Fraud Control Plan reflect the new ACT Government Service risk management model and are kept up to date. 

·         Conduct annual fraud awareness training for staff.

·         Remind staff of their responsibilities with regard to fraud control, including through emails from the CEO and CFO.

·         The Strategic Risk Management Plan and Fraud Control Plan were reviewed by the Audit Committee on 28 March 2014.

·         The revised and updated Plans were then approved by the Board on 10 April 2014.

·         The CEO’s “start the year” email for 2014 reminded staff of their responsibilities with regard to fraud control.

·         CFC did not hold any fraud awareness training in 2013-14 due to the majority of staff attending training in 2012-13 or 2011-12.  Staff were, however, issued with the revised Fraud Control Plan which provides a basis for fraud prevention strategies and fraud detection within CFC.


B.2.1.2 (g)

Provide CFC staff with updated training in records management.

·         All staff have been advised of the Records Management Program and their responsibilities to keep accurate records.

·         CFC officers have been designated as the CFC’s records managers, to assist staff and ensure compliance with records management procedures.

·         A staff representative from CFC attended a Records and Information Management Community of Practice session held in October 2013.






Purpose : To enable our distinctive institutions to provide enriching cultural experiences that contribute to Canberra’s identity


Area of focus :




What we want to achieve :

An employer of choice for staff and volunteers



Strategies to achieve this :


·         Leadership and motivation from the Board, CEO and senior management team

·         Human resources systems, processes, procedures and policies that focus on continuous improvement

·         Human resource planning that identifies, seeks and develops the skills we need

·         A workplace that is safe and rewarding for staff and volunteers


Actions in 2013-14 to achieve these strategies :

Action No.

Description of Action

Results during the year

B.2.1.3 (a)

Ensure Board Members, the CEO and senior managers attend a range of activities across the CFC’s different venues.


·         Board Members, the CEO and/or senior managers attended a range of CFC activities throughout the year, including: theatre opening nights; CMAG exhibition openings; floor talks; special programs at the Historic Places; and a range of other events and activities.

B.2.1.3 (b)

·         Ensure a supportive working environment, including by :

-        continuing to implement the Respect, Equity and Diversity (RED) framework; and

-        raising awareness amongst CFC staff about the new Code of Conduct for the ACT Government Service, including through linkage of all performance agreements to the new Code.

·         Two RED contact officers have been appointed and have undertaken support training.

·         All CFC staff members have been made aware of the new Code of Conduct for the ACT Government Service, and a linkage to the new Code is being introduced into all CFC performance agreements.

·         The CEO has undertaken training for senior executives in the new Code.

B.2.1.3 (c)

·         Ensure sound human resource management, including by :

-        implementing the Human Resource Management Plan;

-        implementing the ACT Government Service’s new performance management system;

-        updating human resource policies on the CFC's shared drive;

-        providing staff with a range of training, professional development and networking opportunities; and

-        recognising staff contributions and achievements, including through award schemes such as the Don Aitkin Award.

·         A review of the CFC’s Human Resources policies was commenced during the year.

·         CFC staff participated in a range of training/staff development/
networking programs in 2013-14. Details are provided at Appendix 11.

·         CFC staff members are regularly invited to sit on judging panels, open exhibitions and deliver lectures at other institutions. For example, in 2013-14 the following activities were undertaken.

·         The CEO:

-        was a panel member in the Local Selection Committee for the Australian Government’s Creative Young Stars program.  The program provides financial help for students and young people to participate in artistic, cultural, academic or community based activities, events or training;

-        was a panel member for the judging of the ACT Chief Minister’s Inclusion Awards 2013; and

-        opened the 2014 Radford College Art show.

·         The CEO and her Executive Assistant both participated in speaker panels at the 2013 conference of the Executive Assistant Network.

·         The CEO and CMAG’s Assistant Director Curatorial and Exhibitions both served as voluntary guides at the Government House Picnic Day.

·         The ACT Museums and Galleries Director:

-        was a speaker and presented papers at the ANU Conference, Shaping Canberra, and ANU Workshop, Building an archival memory of Canberra;

-        was a speaker at a Canberra-Brasilia event for the Centenary of Canberra;

-        welcomed delegates at the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) Conference;

-        assisted in briefing participants at the C100 Canberra CBD Limited time Capsule project;

-        contributed to judging and presenting an award at the Master Builders Australia Centenary of Canberra Young Artist Award; and

-        was a judge and presented prizes at the Braidwood Heritage Art Show in May 2014.

·         CMAG’s Assistant Director, Exhibitions and Collections:

-        assisted in judging the Life’s Reflections photographic competition; and

-        assisted in the assessment of works of art for potential acquisition by the ACT Legislative Assembly.

·         CMAG’s Senior Visual Arts Curator opened the exhibition I Heart Video Art at Australian National Capital Artists Gallery in June 2014.

·         The presentation of the 2013
Don Aitkin Award
 took place on 9 December 2013.  Emeritus Professor
Don Aitkin AO attended and the 2013 Award was presented to four high-achieving CFC staff members/volunteers, two from ACT Museums and Galleries
, one from the Canberra Theatre Centre, and one from the CFC corporate team as follows :

-     Kate Gardiner, Education and Community Programs Manager, ACT Museums and Galleries;

-     D’Arcy Wentworth, Lanyon Guide and volunteer;

-     Gill Hugonnet, Programming Manager, Canberra Theatre Centre; and

-     Maria Wallace, Executive Assistant to the CEO, CFC.


B.2.1.3 (d)

·         Continue to implement workplace health and safety and injury management improvement strategies, with support from Shared Services and with regular reports to the CFC Board, including on key workplace safety risks and controls.

·         Undertake an updated Gap Analysis to identify any areas that need attention in relation to workplace safety.

·         A report on workplace safety is provided at all Board meetings.

·         The CFC Work Health and Safety (WHS) Committee met in August and November 2013 and in February and May 2014 to discuss WHS issues across the organisation.

·         Staff Work, Health and Safety Representatives met in July (two meetings), September and October 2013 and in May 2014 to discuss WHS issues from their areas.

·         A briefing on the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 was provided by Worksafe ACT in November 2013, for all new starters and CFC staff who were unable to attend the session held in the previous year.

·         The ACT Work Safety Commissioner,
Mr Mark McCabe, attended the
26 February 2014 Board meeting to provide a short presentation/

discussion focusing on identifying areas of specific responsibility for boards in WHS matters.

B.2.1.3 (e)

·         Hold regular meetings of the Agency Consultative Committee (ACC), to ensure effective management/staff/union consultation and well-informed decision-making, and to encourage sharing of information.

·         Participate in negotiations for a new Enterprise Agreement.

·         An ACC meeting was held in November 2013 to discuss a number of matters relating to consultation and information sharing.

·         The new ACT Public Service Cultural Facilities Corporation Enterprise Agreement 2013-2017 came into operation on 26 May 2014. This was one of the first Agreements to be finalised in the current round.

B.2.1.3 (f)

Provide volunteers with training, support and recognition, including through award schemes such as the Don Aitkin Award.

·         During 2013-14, National Trust volunteers provided 349 hours service at Lanyon, while other volunteers provided 1345 hours service at Lanyon, Calthorpes’ House and Mugga-Mugga.

·         Historic Places volunteers attended a Volunteers Professional Development Day at the Museum of Australian Democracy in September 2013. They also attended training during the year including :

-        First Aid;

-        Fire Warden;

-        Emergency Evacuation;

-        Pruning and Floral Arrangement;

-        Education Program Presenters meeting;

-        Manual Handling; and

-        Preventative conservation/procedures.

·         A celebration breakfast was organised at Lanyon in December 2013 to thank volunteers at the Historic Places for their work through the year.

·         Refer to B.2.3.2 (d) for information regarding Centenary of Canberra volunteers at CMAG, and B.2.1.3 (c) for information regarding the
Don Aitkin Award





Purpose : To enable our distinctive institutions to provide enriching cultural experiences that contribute to Canberra’s identity


Area of focus :




What we want to achieve :

An organisation with long-term financial sustainability



Strategies to achieve this :

·         High standards of financial management and reporting

·         Maximisation of government income

·         Maximisation of own-sourced income

·         Analysis of own-sourced income and margins from operational activities to identify ways to grow revenues

·         A fundraising strategy that guides how we will develop new income sources through fundraising

·         Long-term positive cash flow

·         Adoption of reserves policies

·         Efficient work practices


Actions in 2013-14 to achieve these strategies :

Action No.

Description of Action

Results during the year

B.2.1.4 (a)

·         Achieve financial outcomes that :

-        minimise the cost to Government per visitor/patron;

-        maximise own-sourced revenue;

-        maintain appropriate working capital; and

-        allow, where possible, business upgrades funded from internal resources.


·         For 2013-14, the CFC achieved a cost to government per estimated visitor/patron of $23.21 compared with a target of $24.92, and 46.2% own sourced revenue, compared with a target of 40.8%.

·         Further details and variance explanations are provided in the Statement of Performance at Attachment 1.

·         Reports on cash flow analysis are discussed at each meeting of the Audit Committee of the CFC Board.


B.2.1.4 (b)

Implement and monitor a 2013-14 internal budget based on agreed budget principles and incorporating strategies to address a potential downturn in the ACT economy and consequent impact on theatre related revenues.


·         The 2013-14 internal budget, which included strategies to address salary and CPI increases, and a potential downturn in the ACT economy, was developed during the first quarter of the year.

·         The internal budget was monitored by the Audit Committee of the CFC Board.

·         A mid-year review of the internal budget took place in February 2014.

·         Progress against the internal budget was reported to each Audit Committee and Board meeting during 2013-14.

B.2.1.4 (c)

Develop well-researched and argued bids for the 2014-15 ACT Budget process, for strategic initiatives that support the CFC’s operations or improve/extend CFC programs, and which lead to better cultural outcomes for the community.

·         CFC bids for the 2014-15 ACT Budget process were finalised and submitted in January 2014.

·         The CFC received $1.850m in the 2014-15 ACT Budget for a new,
two-year capital project for Canberra Theatre Centre


B.2.1.4 (d)

Increase the CFC’s fundraising efforts under the Board’s leadership, through implementation of the CFC’s
2013-14 Fundraising Strategy


·         The CFC’s 2013-14 Fundraising Strategy was endorsed by the Board prior to the start of the 2013-14 year.

·         At the 29 August 2013 meeting, Board Members selected priority fundraising projects that they would each champion in 2013-14, and these were progressed throughout the 2013-14 year.

·         The Board hosted an end-of-year function following its
11 December 2013 meeting, to thank sponsors, donors and supporters for their efforts during the year.

·         The CFC’s Development Manager attended the 26 February 2014 Board meeting for discussions with Board members about fundraising approaches.

B.2.1.4 (e)

Implement an upgrade to the payroll system to introduce electronic timesheets.


·         Contact was made with the successful vendor to plan a timetable for implementation.

·         InTACT was contacted to assist with project management of the project, which will be undertaken with capital upgrade funding in 2014-15.




Purpose : To enable our distinctive institutions to provide enriching cultural experiences that contribute to Canberra’s identity


Area of focus :




What we want to achieve :

Support the delivery of high quality cultural experiences



Strategies to achieve this :

·         High standards of asset management

·         IT systems that deliver business outcomes

·         Periodic reviews of administrative, financial and customer service systems


Actions in 2013-14 to achieve these strategies :

Action No.

Description of Action

Progress during the year

B.2.1.5 (a)

Monitor IT assets across the CFC to ensure effective use of IT assets and to explore opportunities for cost reductions in IT expenditure.


·         A full IT asset review and analysis of other business licences and programs was completed in 2012-13. IT costs continued to be assessed in 2013-14, to ensure that costs are contained.

·         During 2013-14, fortnightly meetings were held between the CFC and the Community Services Directorate - IT Customer Support Manager, which provided an opportunity to review all areas of IT for potential savings.

B.2.1.5 (b)

Implement new Business Continuity Plans and Disaster Recovery Plans covering each area of the CFC.


·         A new Business Continuity Plan and IT Strategic Plan were finalised and communicated in 2012-13. The IT Strategic Plan was reviewed in March 2014 and the CFC commenced a review of the Business Continuity Plan in late 2013-14.

·         New Disaster Recovery Plans were finalised following testing through a mock disaster recovery session in August 2013.

B.2.1.5 (c)

Implement cyclical maintenance programs at each site, to ensure the upkeep of assets across the CFC.

·         Cyclical maintenance needs were taken into account in assessing priorities for the 2013-14 Capital Upgrade program.


Refer also to Actions under Areas of Focus B.2.2.4 and B.2.3.4.




Purpose : To enable our distinctive institutions to provide enriching cultural experiences that contribute to Canberra’s identity


Area of focus :




What we want to achieve :

Engagement with our stakeholders



Strategies to achieve this :

·         A communication strategy that delivers our business objectives by providing timely, accurate and relevant information that influences the attitudes and behaviour of our stakeholders

·         Regular engagement with our stakeholders

·         Periodic consultation with our stakeholders


Actions in 2013-14 to achieve these strategies :

Action No.

Description of Action

Results during the year

B.2.1.6 (a)

Use the CFC’s Communication Strategy to identify key messages and target audiences.


·         The CFC’s Communication Strategy continued to be used in 2013-14, as a basis for identifying key messages in speeches, reports etc.

B.2.1.6 (b)

·         Ensure regular contact between the CFC’s CEO and :

-        the Minister’s office; and

-        the Community Services Directorate, as the CFC’s parent Directorate.


·         The CFC’s CEO held regular meetings with the Minister’s Arts Advisor throughout 2013-14, and also held a number of meetings with the Community Services Directorate during the year.

B.2.1.6 (c)

·         As from 1 July 2013, implement new operating arrangements and new memberships for the CFC’s three advisory committees, recognising that these committees not only represent an important source of expert advice to the CFC, but also involve the wider community in the work of the organisation.

·         Provide support for these committees, including through provision of secretariat services.


·         New memberships for the CFC’s three advisory committees took effect from
1 July 2013. The appointments are for a three-year term.

·         A media release about the new appointments was issued on
5 September 2013.

·         The first meeting of the three new committees was held as a plenary workshop on 4 November 2013.  The workshop included presentations by the CFC’s Chairman and CEO, together with breakout sessions to allow the committees to meet individually.

·         The workshop was followed by drinks to welcome new and continuing committee members.

·         Individual advisory committee meetings were held as follows :

-        Historic Places Advisory Committee, 30 April 2014;

-        Canberra Theatre Centre Advisory Committee, 13 May 2014; and

-        Canberra and Museum and Gallery Advisory Committee, 4 February and 19 May 2014.

·         The final meeting of the 2013-14 year for the Committees comprised a plenary session on 23 June 2014, where the three committees came together for a 2014-15 corporate planning workshop, followed by drinks with Board Members.

B.2.1.6 (d)

Further develop collaborations with relevant cultural and tourist bodies including : the ACT Cultural Council; peak national bodies dealing with cultural matters; the national cultural institutions; other cultural organisations; tourism organisations; and diplomatic missions, in order to extend the CFC’s profile and involvement in cultural and tourism sector initiatives.


·         The CEO hosted an end-of-year dinner function at Lanyon in December 2013 for the combined Oxford and Cambridge Societies of the ACT.  The guests included a number of senior members of the diplomatic community, including the British High Commissioner and the Canadian High Commissioner.  The evening included a candlelit tour of Lanyon homestead, decorated for a Victorian Christmas.

·         The CEO is a member:

-        of The Australiana Fund Canberra Committee;

-        the Tourism, Sports and Arts Task Force of the Canberra Business Council;

-        the Advisory Council of ArtSound FM;

-        the ACT Inclusion Council;

-        the Canberra Regional Council of the Australian Institute of Management; and

-        the Working Group for the Australia Forum and City to the Lake Project.

·         The Canberra Theatre Centre Director is a member:

-        of the Live Performance Australia Executive Council;

-        the Executive Committee of the Australian Performing Arts Centres Association; and

-        the Executive Council of the Association of Asia Pacific Performing Arts Centres.

·         The Director, ACT Museums and Galleries is a member:

-        of the ACT Arts in Health Committee; and

-        the Australia Council for the Arts Pool of Peers.

·         CMAG’s Assistant Director, Exhibitions and Collections is a member:

-        of the ACT Legislative Assembly Art Advisory Committee; and

-        of the DISACT (Disaster ACT)
Disaster Recovery Committee.

·         The Canberra Theatre Centre’s Education Officer is a member of the ACT Drama Teachers Association Board.


Refer also to Actions under Areas of Focus B.2.2.2 and B.2.3.2.

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Purpose : To enable our distinctive institutions to provide enriching cultural experiences that contribute to Canberra’s identity


Area of focus :




What we want to achieve :

Growth in targeted areas where we can add value



Strategies to achieve this :

·         Reinvestment of trading surpluses into asset development or building up reserves

·         Additional responsibilities in key areas such as historic places – with sufficient resources to carry these out

·         Involvement as a key player in Canberra’s development as a city and in Civic’s development as the city’s heart


Actions to 2013-14 to achieve these strategies :


Action No.

Description of Action

Results during the year

B.2.1.7 (a)

Work with other agencies on initiatives to plan future directions of the city centre and the future provision of cultural facilities in Civic, including a major new theatre, within the framework of the City Plan and through participation in the City to the Lake project.

·         The Board discussed Civic planning matters at each of its meetings in

·         Mr Alastair Swayn, the ACT Government Architect, attended the Board’s 29 October 2013 meeting with three of his former students to make a presentation on a project to design a new performing arts centre for Canberra.

·         During the year, the CFC worked closely with the Economic Development Directorate and the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate on the CFC’s plans for a major new theatre, in the context of the City Plan and City to the Lake studies.

·         The CFC made a substantial and detailed submission on the draft City Plan during the consultation period for this document.

B.2.1.7 (b)

·         Continue to ensure that the CFC’s needs are addressed in development of the Civic Square precinct, including through :

-        pursuing the outcomes of CFC-commissioned studies into future development of the precinct and into car parking needs of theatre patrons;

-        exploring how the CFC’s activities can support businesses such as cafes and restaurants, and how those businesses can contribute to a cultural precinct; and

-        ensuring impacts for CMAG’s northern façade are addressed in any redevelopment of the adjacent car park site.

·         The CFC Chairman and CEO conducted a round of meetings to brief key stakeholder agencies on the outcomes of the study it commissioned in
2012-13 into future directions for the Civic Square
 precinct, with a view to building these outcomes into the new City Plan.

·         The CFC, in association with the Economic Development Directorate and Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate, undertook a study in late 2013 and early 2014 exploring the most appropriate location for a major new theatre within the Civic Square precinct.

·         Mr Colin Stewart, the consultant engaged to undertake the study, attended the Board’s 11 December 2013 meeting to make a presentation on the study.

·         The CFC continued to pursue outcomes of these studies in its discussions with other agencies.


B.2.1.7 (c)

Explore opportunities for cooperative activities in the Civic Square Precinct, including cooperative activities between CMAG and the Canberra Theatre Centre, and with the Civic Library.  Build partnerships with the CFC’s cultural neighbours in the North Building, including The Theo Notaras Multicultural Centre, Craft ACT, and the National Trust.

·         Works by various artists celebrating Canberra’s Centenary continued to be displayed throughout the latter half of 2013, as part of the partnership with Craft ACT at CMAG .

·         Ordinary/Extraordinary : Exhibition in a Suitcase is a continuing CMAG outreach program developed in collaboration with Craft ACT. The program is designed to enable teachers and students to access contemporary craft and design in the class room. 

·         In a cooperative activity between CMAG and the Canberra Theatre Centre, a group of theatre patrons had a pre-show tour of an exhibition at CMAG on 21 May 2014.

·         The CMAG Café has an agreement with the Civic Library whereby patrons are able to bring takeaway coffees into the Library.

B.2.1.7 (d)

Participate in consultation on the development of a Conservation Management Plan for North Building.


·         The CFC continued to consult with

Mr Eric Martin, the consultant developing heritage management advice for the North Building.
Mr Martin attended the Board’s
29 October 2013 meeting to brief the Board on the progress of his work.

B.2.1.7 (e)

Explore the opportunity for managing an additional property as an historic place.  For example, engage with ACT agencies planning for a major redevelopment of social housing in central Canberra to identify if a 1960s property can be presented as a house museum, in order to demonstrate the importance of government housing in attracting public servants to Canberra. 


·         The CFC has been in contact with relevant agencies to explore this opportunity in the context of the redevelopment of Northbourne Avenue housing areas.

·         A meeting to discuss this further will be held early in 2014-15.



Refer also to Actions under Areas of Focus B.2.2.4 and B.2.3.4.



Purpose : To be Canberra’s leading performing arts centre


Area of Focus :




What we want to achieve :

A diverse program that creates a leadership position for the Canberra Theatre Centre and an identity for Canberra



Strategies to achieve this :

·         Regular visits from leading performing arts companies

·         Nurturing local performing arts companies including national advocacy

·         Active participation in local creative development, including links with partner venues

·         Support for those who take the financial risk in presenting at the Centre

·         A calendar of events that delivers a diversity of genres and appeals to a diverse audience


Actions in 2013-14 to achieve these strategies :

Action No.

Description of Action

Results during the year

B.2.2.1 (a)

·         Provide high quality programming through the Centre’s 2013 and 2014 Subscription Seasons, in order to bring leading performing arts companies to Canberra and develop a strong “artistic footprint” for the Centre.

·         Present the remaining productions in the 2013 Subscription Season, which celebrate the Centenary of Canberra.


·         The following 2013 Subscription Season productions were presented in the first half of the 2013-14 year:

-     BIG hART’s Hipbone Sticking Out,
3-6 July 2013;

-     Bangarra Dance Theatre’s Blak,
11-13 July 2013;

-     Ilbijerri Theatre Company’s Jack Charles V The Crown,
17-19 July 2013;

-     QL2Dance’s Hit the Floor Together,  31 July to 3 August 2013;

-     Everyman Theatre’s Home at the End, 4-14 September 2013;

-     Sydney Dance Company and Australian Chamber Orchestra’s Project Rameau,
12-14 September 2013;

-     Black Swan State Theatre Company’s Shrine, 26-29 September 2013;

-     Jigsaw Theatre Company’s Michael Francis Willoughby in Elohgulp,
29 September - 12 October 2013;

-     Arts Project Australia’s Brief Encounter, 2-5 October 2013;

-     Sydney Theatre Company’s The Wharf Revue, 15-19 October 2013; and

-     Bell Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors, 30 October to 9 November 2013.

·         The Centre launched its 2014 Subscription Season on 24 September 2013 to an audience of around 800. The 2014 program, Collected Works 2014, comprises 14 shows featuring productions from Australia’s major companies, including :

-        Bangarra Dance Theatre;

-        Bell Shakespeare;

-        Sydney Dance Company;

-        State Theatre Company of South Australia;

-        West Australian Ballet; and

-        Sydney Theatre Company.

·         The Centre delivered the following productions in the 2014 Season Program, Collected Works 2014, during the second half of 2013-14 :

-     Michael Coppel, Louise Withers, Linda Bewick in association with Mousetrap Productions Ltd London’s A Murder is Announced,
22-28 February 2014;

-     Sydney Theatre Company and the Australian Defence Force’s The Long Way Home, 17-22 March 2014;

-     Sydney Dance Company’s Interplay, 10-12 April 2014;

-     Andrew McKinnon’s Admission One Shilling, 20-21 May 2014;

-        Belvoir’s The Government Inspector, 28-31 May 2014;

-        Bell Shakespeare’s Henry V,
14-28 June 2014; and

-        Kila Kokonut Crew’s The Factory,
24-25 June 2014.

·         As of 30 June 2014, the Centre had 2283 subscribers for its 2014 season, and sold 15,202 tickets to Collected Works 2014 productions.

B.2.2.1 (b)

Explore opportunities for enduring legacies from the Centenary, including relationships with companies such as BIG hART, leading to a new production in 2015.

·         The Centre continued to partner with BIG hART in relation to a project based in Cooma.

·         During 2013-14, BIG hART conducted creative development for this project, working with the Cooma community.

B.2.2.1 (c)

Program productions outside the Subscription Seasons and through shared risk ventures with commercial presenters, in order to keep the venue active and increase the range of performing arts available to the Canberra community.

·         The Canberra-based theatre company Free Rain had a major success with its production of The Phantom of the Opera in the Canberra Theatre.  The Centre shared in the risk to enable this production to be realised.

·         The National Theatre of London’s production of The Cat in the Hat was produced by Andrew Kay and Associates. The Centre shared in the risk to enable this production to be seen by Canberra audiences.

·         The Centre shared the risk on TaikOz’s production of A Crimson Sky.

·         The Centre presented a sell-out season of Sydney Opera House’s Babies Proms.

·         The Centre collaborated with Sydney Opera House, the Victorian Arts Centre and Adelaide Festival Centre, amongst others, to develop a consortium touring model to bring the UK production of Angelina Ballerina the Mousical to Australia. The Canberra season of this production was held in December 2013.

·         The Centre presented Harmonious, a unique piece of musical entertainment from one of the world’s greatest harmonica players.

·         In addition to the above, the Centre delivered  the following programs outside the 2014 Subscription Season :

-        Christine Dunstan Productions’ The 13-Storey Treehouse, 15-17 May 2014;

-        Baba Brinkman’s The Rap Guide to Evolution, 11 June 2014;

-        Fast+Fresh, 27 May to 7 June 2014;

-        Patch Theatre Company’s Mr McGee & the Biting Flea, 27-28 June 2014; and

-        Pilobolus’ Shadowland, 21-22 June 2014.

B.2.2.1 (d)

Support existing and develop new relationships with venue hirers, to expand their use of the Centre’s venues and services, and to increase the range of performing arts available to the Canberra community. 

·         The Centre’s marketing team provided a range of value-added kits, guidance and actions in order to support venue hirers, build stronger relationships, and enhance the hirers’ experience.

·         During March 2014, the Canberra Comedy Festival played in the Centre for the first time – taking over the Courtyard Studio for a week and also playing in the Canberra Theatre and The Playhouse.  The Centre is keen to develop an ongoing relationship with the Festival.

·         Other successful venue hires in 2013-14 included :

-        Horrible Histories – Awful Egyptians;

-        The Glenn Miller Orchestra;

-        Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow; and

-        The APIA Good Times Tour.

B.2.2.1 (e)

Support local creative development and nurture local companies, including through :

·         promoting local productions in national touring forums;

·         programming events that showcase local talent;

·         holding master classes, workshops and forums for local practitioners to engage with visiting companies;

·         providing marketing support for local companies and other venue hirers that use the Courtyard Studio.

·         The Centre co-presented Taikoz, which presented three drumming workshops.

·         The Centre’s marketing team provided significant support to local and other venue hirers such as :

-        Everyman Theatre (Home At The End);

-        Jigsaw Theatre Company (Elohgulp);

-        Urban Theatre Projects (Catalogue of Dreams);

-        Short+Sweet Theatre;

-        Hannah Gatsby;

-        Jigsaw’s Michael Francis Willoughby in Elohgulp;

-        Everyman Theatre (Musical of Musicals, the Musical);

-        Free Rain Theatre (A Month of Sundays); and

-        Short+Sweet Dance and Cabaret.

·         Bell Shakespeare’s National Teachers Forum and workshop were held at the Centre in November 2013.

·         National Institute of Dramatic Art master classes were held in the January 2014 School Holidays. Through a Canberra Theatre Centre scholarship, three places were offered to students enrolled at the Canberra Youth Theatre.

·         The Melbourne International Comedy Festival held its Canberra talent search for the next winner of ACT Class Clowns in the Courtyard Studio in March 2014.  Entrants from schools across the ACT competed for a chance to travel to the National Finals in Melbourne.

·         The Interplay school matinee included a pre-show demonstration and post-show Q&A.

·         Fast+Fresh included six playwriting master classes with Alex Broun and 44 dramaturgical feedback sessions with Peter Wilkins.

·         A Rap Guide to Evolution master class was held with Baba Brinkman for five members of The Galilee School.

·         A Workshop for Evatt Preschool was presented by Patch Theatre Company in relation to Mr McGee & the Biting Flea.

·         Pre-show arts and crafts activities were held for all patrons prior to The 13-Storey Treehouse and Mr McGee & the Biting Flea.

·         The Canberra Youth Theatre Ambassadors attended Interplay, The Government Inspector and The Factory, taking part in the pre-show forums and post-show Q&A’s.

·         James Batchelor was sponsored for his new dance work Island.

·         A-List Entertainment used the Courtyard Studio for Kitty Flanagan to develop a new show, The White Board.

B.2.2.1 (f)

Participate in industry organisations e.g. Live Performance Australia, OZPAC, Australian Performing Arts Centres Association.


·         The Director of the Centre participated as an Executive Council member for Live Performance Australia, Australian Performing Arts Centres Association and the Association of Asia Pacific Performing Arts Centres.

·         The Director was also a member of the Helpmann Awards Regional Touring/Children's Presentation Panel.

·         The Programming Manager was a member of the Helpmann Theatre Panel.

·         The Education Officer attended the Major Performing Arts Group Education Forum.


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Purpose : To be Canberra’s leading performing arts centre


Area of focus :




What we want to achieve :

A loyal and growing audience



Strategies to achieve this :

·         Loyalty, engagement and repeat attendance is promoted by all areas of the business working together to create a high quality experience for patrons; increased sophistication of patron knowledge to drive repeat attendance; use of social media and other means to engage audience; value-adding through meet-the-artists, director forums etc.

·         Market data is used to target audiences and influence programming

·         Research is commissioned to better understand our existing audiences and target others


Actions in 2013-14 to achieve these strategies :

Action No.

Description of Action

Results during the year

B.2.2.2 (a)

·         Provide value-adding opportunities that enhance the overall patron experience, including :

-        pre-show forums, post-show question and answer sessions; and

-        “meet the artist” opportunities, including on opening nights.


·         In 2013-14, the following value-adding opportunities were presented :

-        Hipbone Sticking Out featured a talk by Scott Rankin, a special preview of a dress rehearsal for subscribers, and a post-show Q&A session;

-        Blak included a pre-show forum with Stephen Page and Daniel Riley McKinley; and the Centre collaborated with the Canberra Institute of Technology Design Faculty to put together a Semester 2 Design Assessment based on Bangarra Dance Theatre design, facilitating access to Bangarra creatives;

-        Jack Charles V The Crown included a screening at CMAG of the documentary Bastardy, a pre-show forum and a post-show Q&A session;

-        Hit the Floor Together included a post-show Q&A session;

-        Home at the End included a Writer and Director Talk and a post-show Q&A session;

-        Project Rameau included pre-show forums prior to each performance and school matinee, and a Q&A session;

-        Shrine included a pre-show forum and a post-show Q&A session;

-        A drumming workshop was presented in association with Taikoz;

-        Michael Francis Willoughby in Elohgulp included a post-show Q&A;

-        Brief Encounter included a
post-show Q&A;

-        The Wharf Revue included a
post-show Q&A;

-        A Murder is Announced included a post-show Q&A;

-        The Long Way Home included a post-show Q&A, and a panel discussion at Parliament House;

-        Interplay included a pre-show Forum – a group booking was also given a tour of the Elioth Gruner : the texture of light exhibition at CMAG;

-        Admission One Shilling included a morning tea, and a post-show Q&A.

-        A free talk was held for Henry V at Parliament House in collaboration with the Department of Parliamentary Services and Bell Shakespeare; and

-        The Government Inspector included a post-show Q&A.

B.2.2.2 (b)

Ensure customer/patron satisfaction with their visit to, and experiences of, the Centre’s venues and presentations, including by surveying audiences.  Use information gained from surveys to improve facilities and services.


·         The Centre achieved a 96% approval rate with patrons, based on post-performance surveys for a range of productions.

·         Post-performance surveys were conducted on the school groups attending two children’s performances, resulting in a 90% approval rating.

·         The Centre’s marketing team has established a range of social media channels through which patrons can raise concerns or suggestions. These are monitored on a daily basis, and where necessary, acted upon in order to enhance patron experience.

B.2.2.2 (c)

·         Ensure Front of House business operations and customer services are kept at a high standard. 

·         Analyse Front of House data and act on this, both to increase commercial returns and to improve the patron experience. 


·         A new Front of House Manager was appointed during the year and commenced reviewing all areas of operations to seek to improve performance and increase customer service, including Fire Warden and First Aid training, and bar operations.

·         Staffing requirements were reviewed and a recruitment program implemented, including training to ensure all Front of House staff are fully trained and aware of their roles and responsibilities.

·         A review of the existing Point of Sale system was undertaken and a new system was implemented in the Link Bar to improve inventory management, efficiency and reporting capabilities.

B.2.2.2 (d)

·         Maintain and develop Box Office services by ensuring that ticketing system capabilities are fully utilised to meet business and customer needs. 

·         Provide ticketing services to other venues/sites where appropriate.

·         Ticketing services were provided to the following external venues :

-        The Abbey (Sweet ChariTea);

-        Museum of Australian Democracy (The Hansard Monologues);

-        Belconnen Theatre (Allo Allo and Daylight savings);

-        St Paul’s (Best Choral Music);

-        Albert Hall (1940’s Dance);

-        Civic Square (Empire);

-        National Arboretum (Voices in the Forest);

-        Canberra Symphony Orchestra (CSO) for the 2014 CSO Proms Concert;

-        Canberra International Music Festival (various external venues); and

-        Vivaldi Restaurant (Heartstring Quartet).

·         The Box Office and Front of House areas undertook a test of scanning tickets for the performance of Harmonious.

B.2.2.2 (e)

Use the Centre’s venue branding to promote the productions presented at the venue as being of a consistently high and reliable quality, and to support venue hirers in marketing their product.  Ensure all connections with the Centre’s brand are authentic.

·         The Centre’s marketing team undertook weekly brand advertising in The Canberra Times, maintained a flow of information and brand through various venue screens, and branded all advertising and promotional collateral produced.

·         In addition to maintaining brand consistency and credibility by promoting its Subscription Season in 2014, the Centre began to expand its branding exposure to include select, high-calibre productions from hirers.

·         The Centre provided marketing support to assist third party presenters of contemporary music to achieve higher patron attendance and sold-out shows.  This is expected to lead to the potential to attract larger name acts in future.

B.2.2.2 (f)

Develop e-business through web-based marketing and undertake research to assess audience attendance patterns. 


·         e-business activity was increased in volume through e-newsletters and dedicated emails for both the Centre itself and Canberra Ticketing. 

·         Internal and external research was undertaken across all performances to assess attendance patterns and satisfaction levels.

·         Evaluation of post-show survey questions was used to assess patrons’ preferences and media habits, and therefore to provide greater insight into audience characteristics.

·         A Digital Strategy for the Centre was developed.

·         Facebook promoted posts, Google Adwords and Display Ads were an integral part of marketing campaigns in 2013-14.

B.2.2.2 (g)

Implement a groups booking initiative to enhance income and support venue hirers.


·         A group bookings initiative, including charities, social groups, charters, corporate, playgroups and independent groups, was implemented in 2013-14. Shows attended by groups included A Murder is Announced and The Long Way Home.

·         Ideas are also being explored to increase ticket sales for groups with additional experiences added onto shows.





Purpose : To be Canberra’s leading performing arts centre


Area of focus :




What we want to achieve :

A connection between the whole community and the performing arts



Strategies to achieves this :

·         Initiatives that address special needs in the community

·         Programs that reach out to those who might not otherwise have the opportunity to experience live theatre

·         Connections with the education system and schools

·         Workshop facilitation


Actions in 2013-14 to achieve these strategies :


Action No.

Description of Action

Results during the year

B.2.2.3 (a)

·         Implement access initiatives, including through facilities and services such as :

-        captioning services and audio loops for patrons with hearing impairments;

-        audio description and tactile tours for patrons with vision impairments;

-        the Companion Card scheme, whereby a carer attending theatre with a patron can access a complimentary ticket; and

-        designated spaces in the auditoriums for wheelchair access. 

·         Encourage venue hirers to provide targeted access for patrons with special needs.

·         Participate in access recognition programs that recognise and promote accessibility of venues for people with disabilities.  


·         The following access initiatives were facilitated during 2013-14 :

Tactile tour, audio description and captioned performances

-     Hipbone Sticking Out;

-     Shrine;

-     Brief Encounter;

-     The Wharf Revue;

-     The Comedy of Errors;

-     A Murder is Announced;

-     The Long Way Home;

-        Admission One Shilling;

-        The Government Inspector; and

-        Henry V.

Audio loops and Companion Cards

-        Audio loops (FM Radio Assisted Hearing System), and Companion Cards (National Companion Card Program) for people who require their carer to be present when visiting the theatre) are available for all productions presented at the Centre.

·         The Centre also provides designated spaces in the auditoria for wheelchair access.

·         The Centre’s marketing team continued to promote access facilities through all marketing channels.

B.2.2.3 (b)

Implement the Social Capital Program whereby tickets purchased by the Centre are distributed to special interest organisations, providing scope for people who would not normally attend live theatre the opportunity to do so.


·         During the year, the Centre’s Social Capital program distributed 708 tickets to the value of $30,447.50 to the following charities and organisations :

-        Wiradjuri Echoes;

-        Menslink;

-        St Vincent de Paul;

-        NAISDA Dance;

-        Healing Foundation;

-        Solid Young Fellas;

-        Room to Move Inclusive Community Dance;

-        Carers ACT;

-        Barnardos;

-        CYS Ambassadors;

-        Marymead;

-        YWCA of Canberra;

-        Camp Quality;

-        ACT Eden Monaro Cancer Support Group;

-        Lifeline;

-        The Woden School;

-        Canberra Youth Theatre; and

-        Maori Culture Club (Canberra & Queanbeyan).

B.2.2.3 (c)