Background Paper


Cultural infrastructure and facilities provide Canberrans the ability to access the arts and engage with art and cultural programs and practice.

The ACT Government is committed to providing quality cultural facilities and infrastructure which facilitate the development of a dynamic and diverse arts ecology, act as a home to great art and great artists, and provide the community access to the arts as participants and audiences.   We are increasingly aware of the role cultural infrastructure and facilities can play in enhancing the vibrancy and the liveability of the built environment.  This is an important consideration as the ACT Government undertakes a number of transformative urban renewal projects.

What is our objective

Our objective is that we continue to provide facilities which accommodate the needs of the Canberra arts ecology and the community, and clarity on the strategic role and management of our cultural facilities and physical assets.  This objective must be achieved in context of our existing investments in arts and cultural infrastructure, government priorities, and resources available.

What we know

Creative Places

artsACT is currently responsible for 16 dedicated arts facilities across the city.  The Cultural Facilities Corporation (CFC) manages the Canberra Theatre CentreExternal Link, Canberra Museum + GalleryExternal Link, and a number of ACT Historic Places.  The ACT arts ecology is further supported by several National Cultural Institutions, facilities operated by the education, not for profit and private sectors, as well as other facilities located across the Canberra Region.

Financial information 2015-16

ACT Government Priorities

Strategic direction for Canberra’s arts facilities was documented in the 2003 Arts Facilities Strategy (PDF 1.2MB) PDF This Strategy has shaped the direction of investment in arts infrastructure for more than 10 years.  Other key documents include the ACT Government Infrastructure Plan 2011-2021External Link and the 2015 ACT Arts Policy.

The current ACT Government cultural facilities priority is the development of the Kingston Arts Precinct that will be a major visual arts hub. Future priorities are subject to budget considerations.

Creative Spaces

Arts Hubs and Cultural Precincts

Six arts hubs have been identified by the ACT Government to build the vibrancy, support best practice and to increase access and participation in the arts:

The central location of The Canberra Theatre Centre and the Canberra Museum and Gallery at Civic Square provides a focal point for cultural activities in the city.

As part of many urban renewal projects such as Braddon, Kingston, West Belconnen, City to the Lake and the activation of Civic there have been discussions about the role of these areas as, ‘cultural precincts’, with ‘arts and culture being a central part of their redevelopment, and the basis to attract people to these urban spaces.

Art in Public Places

Connected to the discussion on urban renewal is how art is facilitated in the built environment, and what role the arts can play in enhancing the livability of our city.  Areas currently being considered are:

What you have told us

During the preparation of the 2015 ACT Arts Policy the following issues where raised about cultural infrastructure and facilities:

In addition, ACT Legislative Assembly has recommended the ACT Government consider the geographical spread of arts facilities, in particular the provision of facilities in Woden, Weston Creek and Gungahlin.

For Discussion

Creative Places

Ensuring that we continue to provide facilities that accommodate the needs of the sector and the community

Consolidating the work of arts hubs and clarify the strategic role of ACT Government cultural facilities

Creative Spaces

Continuing to promote and manage the ACT Government’s public art collection

Integrating the arts into Public Spaces and Urban Renewal

An ongoing conversation

We met with artsACT facilities managers in late February 2016 to discuss building management issues and the outcomes from the CBRarts Forum.

We welcome community and arts sector viewa as we develop our strategy for cultural infrastructure. We will also use the artsACT eNews and Twitter accountExternal Link (@artsACT1) to share updates, and provide information on this website.

Please note: If you do not wish your input to be made public please advice artsACT when making your submission.
You can download the full PDF version of the document here:
Creative Places Creative Spaces - Background Paper (PDF 629KB)PDF