Congratulations to the Queensland Ballet on the announcement today of a $5 million grant to overhaul their premises in the Thomas Dixon Centre. This $5 million dollar grant is the largest The Ian Potter Foundation has ever made to a Queensland-based organisation, and sits within our 10 largest grants. It is our third largest Arts grant.
"As Artistic Director, Li Cunxin has breathed new life into Queensland Ballet and is on his way to achieving his ambition for the company to rank among the leading Australian arts companies and, beyond that, one of the world’s best ballet companies," said Lady Potter announcing the grant in Brisbane this morning. "However, this ambition cannot be realised without improved, expanded facilities. We hope this grant will help the Ballet create an environment in which it can thrive – a place for creativity to flourish and on a practical level, a place for everything to go!"
The Ballet's current facilities are stretched to capacity and this funding will enable a refurbishment that will include overhaul of four studios, two new studios, a dedicated dancer wellness centre and upgraded production facilities, wardrobe workroom and administration spaces. This will allow the company to accommodate a larger ensemble of dancers, expand dancer training programs and enhance community initiatives.
The grant was announced at a Queensland Ballet press conference at the Playhouse in Brisbane where the company is currently performing The Nutcracker. At the conference, Queensland Premier and Arts Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk, also announced new funding of an additional $1.2 million annually for the Ballet's expansion and importantly, extended the Ballet’s contract at the Thomas Dixon Centre in West End for another 50 years, giving them scope for this refurbishment.
Queensland Ballet Artistic Director, Li Cunxin said he was humbled by the shared belief in the future of Queensland Ballet. “We have a bold vision for Queensland Ballet to truly connect meaningfully with our audiences and communities in Queensland, Australia, the Asia Pacific and beyond. We thank the people of Queensland supporting us through the Queensland Government. Thank you also to The Ian Potter Foundation for sharing our vision and enabling it to become a reality.”