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Affiliated Associations

Ballarat Arts Foundation

For just over two decades, the Ballarat Arts Foundation (BAF) has worked in partnership with the community for the purpose of enriching the creative life and cultural future of Ballarat. Our annual awards and grants program gives critical financial support to local artists to help them take the next step in their career. We present performance opportunities, exhibitions, workshops, and masterclasses throughout the year with, and for, our alumni, and the community to raise funds and share artistic expertise that enlivens our culture. Through high-profile events and activities, Ballarat Arts Foundation also contributes to the growth of a sustainable arts industry in Ballarat.

Ballarat National Theatre aims to provide opportunities for Ballarat Arts Foundation to raise money for their work through special performances during our theatre seasons. We also have many alumni (recipients of BAF Awards) that have contributed to our company.

Creswick Theatre Company

The Creswick Theatre Company was formed by a group of local theatre enthusiasts in 1981 as Creswick Amateur Theatre and staged our first production in the Creswick Town Hall.

Over the years, the Creswick Theatre Company (CTC) became an incorporated body and moved to our permanent location in the Creswick Courthouse on Raglan Street. CTC is operated voluntarily by interested members who give their time and resources freely. Income from each production is returned to the group for use in the next production and for necessary building maintenance.

CTC produces a variety of theatrical entertainment from well-known musicals such as HMS Pinafore, Oliver, Salad Days, Brigadoon, Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat, Guys and Dolls and more. We have been incredibly lucky to stage plays, pantomimes and musicals from playwrights Carol B. Cole and Deborah Martin who moved to the district.

CTC prides itself on providing audiences with quality and value-for-money entertainment. We have provided opportunities for many actors and off-stage personnel, many of whom have moved on to bigger and better things.

Anyone with an interest in theatre will be given an opportunity to become involved, regardless of experience. Assistance with set building, lighting, sound, costumes or other front-of-house or backstage roles are as important to us as our performers.

Royal South Street Society

The Royal South Street Eisteddfod, also known as The Grand National Eisteddfod of Australasia, is held annually in Ballarat, Australia and is administered by the Royal South Street Society. South Street began as a debating competition run by the South Street Society in 1891 and attained "Royal" status in 1962. It soon grew and now includes public speaking, acting, singing, music, dance and calisthenics. Since 1965 it has been held in Her Majesty's Theatre Ballarat, Australia's oldest continually operating theatre. It was purchased after the South Street Society ran an appeal. Today Her Majesty's is the main venue for the Eisteddfod, but it was gifted to the City of Ballarat in 1987 to enable government funding for major upgrades, restorations and maintenance work.

Ballarat National Theatre is a sponsor Section 654 - BALLARAT NATIONAL THEATRE PRIZE
Competitors are assessed for their ability in taking Direction as an Actor
Competitors prepare a monologue of not more than one minute in length.
Immediately after performing this monologue the competitor draws a prompt from a hat and must perform the monologue again, applying the direction of the prompt.
Examples of prompts might be: Busting to go to the bathroom; in love with the chair; you can only shout or whisper
Prizes: First $100, Second $50, Third $25. HM & HC Ribbons and Medals

Victorian Drama League (VDL)

The VDL’s mission is to support community theatre in Victoria and act as a hub for bringing like-minded theatre people together. It was established in 1952 and currently has over 400 members who all share a common love of theatre and includes individuals, theatre companies, schools and play reading groups. While the majority of its members are from Victoria, it has a growing membership base in all states and territories across Australia.

The VDL offers a variety of services and resources to its members to support this mutual love of theatre including:

  • Hosting the annual VDL Awards event
  • Providing production reviews for member companies
  • Maintaining a library of scripts and plays
  • Providing script critiques of new and original plays
  • Opportunities to advertise productions, festivals and auditions

Creative Ballarat

Ballarat is working to become the city of the sustainable and resilient practitioner, and are supporting all forms of artist, maker, creative and producer. Whether you are seeking to develop a fine arts practice and devote yourself to being a professional practising artist, or wanting to grow your creative business, the City of Ballarat wants to see you succeed. Designated a UNESCO Creative City of Crafts & Folk Art they are steadily working towards economic resilience through support of the micro and artisanal.

Through Creative Ballarat you’ll be able to find opportunities for makers, creatives and artists alike. We’re working to create a clearinghouse of opportunities - expressions of interest, open jobs and other briefs - and support networks you can call on. You can also find out what kind of happenings are going on around town, perfect for the local creative. Creative Ballarat profile their growing community of artists, makers, performers and producers, building a better city for all.

Over two years the City of Ballarat was focused on the development of its Creative City Strategy. This strategy is one that embraces the energies of makers, crafters, artists, innovators, entrepreneurs and problem solvers, linking them closer to the engine room of the city’s heart.

Creative Ballarat know that a creative city is one that can wear the changes in economic forces, delivers new ideas, drives businesses to grow and delivers greater community cohesion and well-being. The creative sector in Ballarat is crucial to the city's prosperity, helping create better people and better places to live and work. It is creative thinking that helps all sectors to blossom and underpins a healthier, happier and wealthier city. The City of Ballarat is dedicated to embedding creativity within its very fabric.

Ballarat Light Opera Company (BLOC Music Theatre)

BLOC Music theatre has been entertaining Ballarat audiences for over 63 years, having staged over 112 productions.

The genesis of BLOC Music Theatre was the entertainment committee of the Dawson Street Baptist Church. This group organized the performance of the operetta “In Waltz Time” at the newly opened Civic Hall. The show played two nights, in the “Lower Civic Hall”, opening on Wednesday night the 19th June 1957, the program cost one shilling and the whole venture was in aid of the City Baptist Centenary Fund.

They now stage at least 2 musical productions per year including a junior production.

BLOC Music Theatre houses one of Australia’s largest open-to-the-public costume collections. BLOC has a large number of "Show lots" if you're looking to costume a whole show or simply looking for an outfit for a party or upcoming event. They also offer set and prop hire with whole show sets, large set pieces, set fundamentals and stage dressings. BLOC Music theatre may have just what you're looking for your next show, concert or performance.

Ballarat Lyric Theatre

Ballarat Lyric Theatre Inc was formed in 1963. Its goals then and now are the same and may be stated as the following:

“Ballarat Lyric Theatre is an amateur theatre company whose purpose is to produce musical theatre productions in the Ballarat region with the intent of nurturing, developing and promoting talent, as well as cultivating an appreciation and enjoyment in all aspects of theatre art.

Her Majesty's Theatre

Known locally as Her Maj, every season we aim to have at least one production that raises money for Her Majesty's. They also support us with the administration of ticket sales for our productions.

Her Majesty’s has been a central part of the cultural life of Ballarat since it first opened its doors in 1875. Australia’s best-preserved theatre building, it has been continuously used as Ballarat’s home of live performances ever since. It has been owned and operated by the City of Ballarat since 1987 and functions as Ballarat’s premier performing arts centre.

The Theatre was first known as the Academy of Music, a name calculated to overcome religious and temperance scruples against patronising a “theatre.” The Academy had a flat floored auditorium suitable for dances and dinners, and a fully equipped stage. It was built to supersede Ballarat’s Theatre Royal (1858), which stood around the corner of Sturt Street, near where the Myer Department store sits today. While very grand, the Royal had become outdated and no longer met the technical requirements of the touring companies.

“Ballarat, as the premier city of the Victorian goldfields, should have a theatre worthy of its status”

The Academy was built by the wealthy Clarke family at the initiative of a group of local people who felt that Ballarat, as the premier city of the Victorian goldfields, should have a theatre worthy of its status. They guaranteed to rent it from the Clarkes at 10% of the construction cost, which was £13,000.

The building of Ballarat’s handsome new theatre was supervised by Clarke’s architect, George “Diamond” Browne. It was ready ahead of schedule and opened on 7th June 1875. The first production was a comic opera by the French composer Lecocq, “La Fille de Madame Angot,” presented by the Royal Opera Bouffe Company run by W. S. Lyster, Australia’s first opera impresario.

Soon after the Academy opened, the large Supper Room above Lydiard Street was leased to William Bridges, a former miner, who ran it as an art gallery, displaying an excellent collection of European and Australian artworks, including his own tapestries. After Bridges moved his operations to Melbourne in 1883, the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery was formed. The Gallery Society ran the Gallery from the Academy from 1884 until 1890, when the present Art Gallery in Lydiard Street North was opened.