The Byron Community Centre is planning to turn its iconic verandah into a donors’ bar in a bid to attract desperately needed funding for arts and community projects at the Byron Theatre.
The centre, which receives no ongoing government funding, has lodged a Development Application (DA) for the verandah bar with Byron Council.
The venue would be open from 4pm till 9pm, Wednesday to Sunday, and would cater exclusively to people who have donated a significant sum to the theatre, which then entitles them to a bar membership.
‘We’re looking at creative ways to fund social programs for the benefit of our community,’ the Centre’s General Manager, Louise O’Connell, said.
‘This bar will help to revive the arts and community offerings at the Byron Theatre and in turn support local artists, musicians and community groups.
‘COVID-19 has had a huge impact on these highly valued members of our community, as well as the arts more generally, which play a vital role in Byron’s unique and vibrant culture.
‘This facility will provide a wonderful meeting place in the town centre for members, with all funds directed back into vital arts and community programs in Byron Theatre’.
Ms O’Connell said the decision to turn the verandah into an exclusive bar for members rather than a venue open to all locals came from the need to find a unique way to support the arts.
‘It is simply an opportunity for donors to get something back from their donation to support local community groups and artists’, she said.
‘The Verandah Bar utilises a currently unused space in the Community Centre.
‘We are opening it to donors who want to contribute to the arts, with the benefit of membership being access to the bar’.
The Centre is seeking sponsorship to help get the bar up and running, as well as to support a planned upgrade of the Byron Theatre bar in the downstairs courtyard.