West Gippsland Arts Centre (WGAC) was built in 1982 to provide a regional performing arts centre for the people of Gippsland. The project was inspired by local activists and supported strongly by the Hamer state government. The project cost $4.5 million at the time and was jointly funded by Local and State Governments as well as receiving $450,000 in local contributions through community fundraising. The original plan was for a venue of 750 – 800 seats, with a balcony and stalls seating. It was also intended to have a mechanised fore-stage platform. Budget shortfalls, caused by building delays, led to the balcony seating and mechanised stage lift being cut from the design, reducing seating capacity to 490. However, the very high quality and well equipped stage infrastructure was defended from cuts and even today WGAC still boasts one of the very best stage facilities in all Victoria. The Arts Centre provides our community with entertainment, stimulation, excitement, a point of social gathering, a place for families to share experiences, for children to take their first bow, and for the community to see the world of touring performing arts shared by Australians in cities and towns elsewhere. WEST GIPPSLAND REGIONAL ARTS CENTRE UPGRADE PROJECT A once in a generation project to refurbish the West Gippsland Arts Centre is underway, and it is ready for you to play your part. This project will honour the commitment and investment of all those behind the arts centre’s conception and growth over the last 30 years, by ensuring it will continue to be a leading regional arts centre for the next 30 years and more. It will serve our community right now to enable it to better provide entertainment, stimulation, excitement, a point of social gathering, a place for families to share experiences, for children to take their first bow and for the community to share in the world of touring performing arts enjoyed by Australians in cities and towns elsewhere. It will respond to the growth of our local population, to help ensure we remain a vibrant and liveable place. It will strengthen our capacity to be a strong centre for the creative industries and will provide job opportunities both directly and indirectly as it serves to stimulate the local economy, and bring visitors and tourists. The West Gippsland Regional Arts Centre (WGRAC) upgrade project honours the efforts of the original founders and workers, and aims to ‘get the job finished’. Our aim is to finally achieve the original vision for this important regional facility. For more information about the upgrade, check the website.