City seeks input on how a creative Ballarat could look in the future

CREATIVE STRATEGY: Mayor Samantha McIntosh and Bryce Ives. Picture: Michelle Smith
CREATIVE STRATEGY: Mayor Samantha McIntosh and Bryce Ives. Picture: Michelle Smith

Former Arts Academy director Bryce Ives is excited about Ballarat’s artistic future – and the opportunity for the city’s creative organisations and residents to have an input in to what that future will look like.

“As a practicing artist and somebody deeply part of the creative community here, this vision should propel Ballarat to 2040,” Mr Ives said.

Speaking at the launch of the public consultation process for the council’s Creative City Strategy, Mr Ives said he believed arts could activate the city in the same way its history does.

“I want to see creative entrepreneurs not making a choice to leave, but to stay or to relocate here to build new industries,” he said.

Mr Ives, who is member of the strategy’s project control group, said he hoped the strategy would act as a road map for the artistic success of the city.

“I’d like to see a platform that drives major creative ambition.”

When complete, the Creative City Strategy will guide the future development and investment in Ballarat’s  arts and culture precinct, and includes a feasibility study to examine expanding the Art Gallery of Ballarat.

COLOUR: Alfie, 3, channels his own creativity as he helps complete a community mandala in Alfred Deakin Place. Picture: Michelle Smith

COLOUR: Alfie, 3, channels his own creativity as he helps complete a community mandala in Alfred Deakin Place. Picture: Michelle Smith

Mr Ives called on Ballarat’s artistic and creative community to have their say on the city’s creative future and offer their ideas on what the city might look like in the coming decades.

The first of three public consultations on the Creative City Strategy will be held on Thursday with a community drop-in session at the Ballarat Mining Exchange from 2.30pm to 8.30pm.

Traditional arts will be included in addition to other creative sectors including theatre, public art, film, live music, visual arts, architecture, design, gaming, fashion, digital services, arts education and grassroot-level events. It will also examine how arts and culture and the creative sectors can play an integral part in Ballarat’s overall economy and culture.

Mayor Samantha McIntosh  said the city’s artistic future was as important as its past.

“This is such an important part of us as a growing city. We know we have a special built form, a wonderful past and deep legacy of history which we see as we walk down the street, but arts can help activate businesses, provide economic opportunities and create new attractions for tourists and people coming to Ballarat.

Interested individuals and groups can also have a say online at mysay.vic.gov.au.