Bold new Bowery gives creative arts a stage

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The new Bowery Theatre at St Albans community centre will open this weekend, completing an 18-month revamp of the old Errington Road building.

The new 200-seat theatre, performance space and community centre cost nearly $9 million, and Brimbank mayor John Hedditch said it will be a culture hub for many years to come.

“This much-needed centre creates a space where the community can come together to share arts, culture, and ideas, and to celebrate the diverse cultures that make up our Brimbank community,” Cr Hedditch said.

“Spaces at St Albans community centre will be used by community groups from diverse cultural backgrounds, as well as for training, dance, and youth activities.”

The theatre itself is named after internationally renowned performance artist and designer Leigh Bowery, who was raised in Sunshine.

The theatre is adorned with the tag: Be Bold, in recognition of the late artist’s many years of flamboyant performance overseas.

“As a locally-raised and educated artist, Bowery is a role model, who exemplifies how much can be achieved with boldness and creativity,” Cr Hedditch said.

“Brimbank council is determined to promote innovative arts opportunities in Brimbank, and we look forward to a program of bold events for all to enjoy at the Bowery Theatre.”

The centre’s atrium has been named after former Brimbank mayor and long-time community advocate, the late Jack Sheridan, who was president of the co-operative that raised $2.5 million to contribute to the revamp.

A committee representing industry, community and council has been established to guide and oversee programs and activities offered at the centre.

Residents are invited to check out the new theatre and community centre at an open day on March 18, 9am-4pm, with musical and cultural performances throughout the day.