Estimates - Lara Giddings - 31 May 04

3.3 Art Industry Development -

Mr FINCH - You mentioned the Business and Arts Foundation before. Could you expand on the concept, Minister, and what you intend for it to do.

Ms GIDDINGS - The Australian Business Arts Foundation tries to link business to opportunities to sponsor, or get involved in, the arts industry. It is a fantastic way of bringing the two together, because both can support each other. The arts in itself is an industry. It creates jobs and particularly in Tasmania is a fundamental part of our overall industry. It is also a way that business can do some good with their profits when they are looking for ways that they can sponsor something worthwhile, giving them the benefits of having their names linked into an industry which benefits all of us. So it is a relationship that works well both for the arts and business. I do not know if there is more you want to add, Lyn?

Ms UPTIN - They are also looking at philanthropy, and are working with KPMG on providing in different forms of support to the arts through business advice. So it is an arts advice arm as well. It is a national program.

Mr FINCH - Okay. I noticed, too, that a unique cultural brand for Tasmania is mentioned here. Can you just expand on what your thoughts and philosophies are on trying to get a Brand Tasmania?

Ms UPTIN - Well, certainly Tasmania Together asked that we work towards establishing Tasmania as a culturally rich place, nationally and internationally. So we are striving to do that. The brand features are to do with the cultural life of Tasmania and ensuring that the message of Tasmania is out through the arts. Ten Days on the Island has been a fantastic vehicle for doing that. It instantly achieved national awareness for Tasmania, in the best possible way, in a very positive image of excitement, energy and creativity. It creates the message that Tasmania is a culturally rich place to come and live in. Today more and more people around the world are looking for places like Tasmania to set up their businesses in. Some recent interesting publications have been about how creative places attract new business.

Mr FINCH - Yes. Everything is in place for Ten Days On the Island. When will the next one be?

Ms GIDDINGS - 2005.

Mr FINCH - 2005.

Ms GIDDINGS - That is right.

Mr FINCH - So that is not under threat?

Ms GIDDINGS - No, not at all. Ten Days on the Island has been a fantastic festival for this State, and very supportive of it. The 2001 and 2003 festivals had great success. It has required government support, as well as other sponsorship. That is a positive, in my view - nothing to be frowned upon. We support sport, and a number of other areas. I think it is important that we support our cultural industries as well, and Ten Days on the Island is one of those.

We have withdrawn some in-kind contributions that we used to provide but have increased the actual dollars that we put into the festival. On the whole, though, the amount is the same. It is just that in-kind support used to be an office space, and that sort of thing. That has now been withdrawn, and they now operate wholly and solely on their own. They have their own board, and they are their own company, to which we now provide funding of $2 million. They have increased their sponsorship by something like 400 per cent on the last festival in 2003.

The planning for the 2005 festival is well under way. They are not ready to let us know exactly what that festival will include, as they have to settle contracts and the like before they can start talking about what will be in the program. They anticipate announcing the program in November of this year, and the festival will be held in April of next year.

Mr FINCH - I am curious about Brand Tasmania, which we talked about before, and about projecting our artistic image out to the Australian community and internationally. In Launceston, of course, we have the Wood Design Collection which travels around with Gary ... who takes it internationally.

Has any thought been given to promoting our Tasmanian artists and craftspeople by selling their work interstate? This may relate to what exhibitions we have going to the Australian mainland, and might be a tourism question.

Ms GIDDINGS - Can I answer that? I have more copies. I have another booklet to table called Design Island. It has been taking our craft and design work interstate; and we have had an exhibition at the Sydney Opera House, from 23 March through to 16 May. That exhibition also will now tour to Hobart and Launceston. The Hobart opening will be at TMAG on 17 June. The exhibition has involved part of the Arts Tasmania, called Arts at Work. Arts at Work worked with the designers exhibiting in the Design Island exhibition to develop a range of saleable merchandise. Of the 18 exhibiting artists, 10 have merchandise to be marketed. Arts at Work is looking at using these 10 makers - plus artists who have developed production work through Arts at Work's other initiatives, Island Additions and Thylacine Additions - to market these items interstate and overseas. Already, through that exhibition in Sydney, we have had some markets become available for our arts and craft design artists. I will table that as well.

Mr FINCH - I hasten to point out that that question was not provided to me by the Minister

Mr WING - Thank you, Madam Chair. About three, possibly four, years ago at this table, we had a discussion with former Premier Bacon about some of the people involved in Tasmania in the performing arts and entertainment going overseas to show other countries the culture and performing artists we have here. Mr Bacon showed quite a lot of interest and enthusiasm, and I think as well. At that time there was talk that there might be a group going to Adelaide, I think, for the Adelaide Festival.

The Launceston-Ikeda Sister City Committee is interested in arranging for some artists to go to the sister city in Ikeda, suburb of Osaka, in Japan, where the Australian Expo is going to be held, I think, in October of next year. They are interested in sending some artists such as Tas Dance, and three well known artists - Di Griffith, John De Jong, and Michael Stops - as well as young artists, Tom Ward and Ben Austin; Kerrie knows very well, having compared them at the concert to combine a visit to Ikeda with the Expo, with a view to performing at both. I am just wondering, if that can be arranged, what interest or encouragement the Government may feel like giving, and whether consideration would be given to some support?

Ms GIDDINGS - If those artists wanted to approach Arts Tasmania, there may be some small level of support that we could provide for them to travel overseas. Alan Campbell, who works in my export area of Economic Development would the appropriate person to contact to find out what assistance we could provide from an Economic Development point of view. That is where our relationships with other countries are. He is also our contact point for the Aichi World Expo. So if there was any support that the State Government could provide - it may not be in dollars, but rather, for example, in assistance while overseas, or assistance in contacting the right people - then I am sure Economic Development could provide that. Arts Tasmania may be able to provide some level of support for those artists, although I hesitate to say so.

Mr WING - Good. This would seem a test case, in the hope that more Tasmanian artists - perhaps some members of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and other artists - could go to other countries. It was felt there might be a good opportunity to start with a sister-city relationship, so that people in the sister-city could help with accommodation, entertainment venues et cetera.

Mr Peter Stackhurst, the Launceston chairman of the Sister-City Committee, discussed this with Mr Campbell about two or three months ago. So it could be advanced through Mr Campbell and -

Ms GIDDINGS - through Arts Tasmania as well.

I am aware that Tas Dance is taking its latest production interstate, too. They are performing in Melbourne -

Mr WING - It has been there.

Ms GIDDINGS - It has been there.

Mr WING - Two or three weeks ago.

Ms UPTIN - Can I just add that every second year we take companies to the Australian Performing Arts Market, which coincides with the Adelaide Festival you are referring to. Tasmania has done extremely well in those festivals, but securing economic outcomes is still some time off. There is some work yet to be done getting those companies so that their product is well-honed and able to make gains . It is a project that we are working on with the Australian Council and with Austrade, who are also interested in increasing Australian cultural economic exchange.

Mr WING - I am only entitled to two questions, this is a comment if I may -


CHAIR - We only need a member to move away from the table and you can -

Mr WING - It is not a question.

It is intended it be accompanied by a promotion of Tasmanian products, and Tasmania as a State, with perhaps films of Tasmania being shown, and products being available in the foyer.

Ms GIDDINGS - Again, I think Alan Campbell is the appropriate person, because he is dealing with what Tasmania contributes to that World Expo. If it fits in with what we have already planned then I doubt there is going to be much problem.

If it is an addition to what we have planned, we may have to look at it a bit more closely but I am sure we can work with you on that.

Mr WING - Thank you, Minister. Thank you, Madam Chair.