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Byron Shire
May 15, 2021

$627,00 for Brunswick Picture House

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Celebrating the announcement of $627,000 grant to refurbish the Brunswick Picture House. Pete Castaldi, Brett Haylock, the Queen of Melbourne’s Cabaret Scene, the wickedly funny Dolly Diamond, NSW Minister for the Arts Don Harwin, Ben Franklin and Chris Chen. Photo Jeff ‘Dolly’ Dawson.

The young but already iconic Brunswick Picture House received a huge $$627,00 boost from the Regional Arts NSW and other state government agencies for its long planned capital works program this morning.

After a passionate performance announcing the search for funding in July, Ben Franklin, the NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Renewable Energy and Northern NSW joined NSW Minister for the Arts Don Harwin this morning to deliver the good news to a beaming Chris Chen and Brett Haylock, producers of the Brunswick Picture House, at the venue in Brunswick Heads.

The 200 seat capacity not-for-profit theatre had received strong support from the community for its grant application. The producers, with a history of hosting cabaret worldwide, recently purchased and renovated the almost-forgotten historical building, and from 2016 have pursued a strategy of providing an international standard of performances across live music, cabaret, comedy, and circus, in addition to film for all ages curated by Pete Castaldi; programming that has been credited with revitalising not only its home village of Brunswick Heads but also the surrounding region.

The planned works include a new toilet block with the inclusion of a disabled toilet facility, new office and back stage areas, a new roof with a full solar array, long awaited new seats and air conditioning.

‘Everything we have planned in the renovations has been with the goal of increasing the comfort and experience of both our loving and loyal customers, and the stream of amazing local and international performers who pass through our doors’, said Haylock.

Mr Franklin told the receptive crowd that the ‘wonderful’ Brunswick Picture House ‘was becoming very quickly the iconic venue in the entire Northern Rivers’.

Arts Minister Don Harwin in turn praised the advocacy of Mr Franklin on behalf of regional arts and in the Picture House in particular. Saying that he grew up in a small regional town, a little town that loved its arts and culture, Mr Harwin said that he ‘came to politics knowing how much arts means in regional areas’, before announcing the $627,000 grant from the government’s $100m Regional Cultural Fund, which he said was now fully allocated.

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  1. More pork barreling from National’s State candidate Ben Franklin. I am all for funding of the Arts, but a $627,000 to a private business that increases the capital value of their property is difficult to comprehend.


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