Arts and creative organisations have been amongst those who have felt the full impact of the economy hardship wrought by the COVID–19 crisis so it is a relief to see some money starting to flow to the sector, Don Punch MLA, Member for Bunbury said.
“The Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre is benefitting from the COVID relief funds made available by Lotterywest with a total of $295 615 being granted to the organisation”, said Mr Punch.
“Two grants have been awarded to BREC to recognise the impacts of the state of emergency and the difficulties these have created.
“$206 000 has been provided to address the financial impacts of cancelled event and while I recognise this is only a fraction of the funds lost by BREC during the lockdown and following restricted period, it does provide some degree of reimbursement to help the organisation move forward.
“BREC has also received $89 615 to support the organisation to remain resilient, that is to adapt and innovate to the changed business environment brought on by COVID-19.
“I really feel for Fiona and the staff at BREC as well as the members of the Board as it must feel like years of hard work to increase the sustainability of the organisation have been undone over-night and I cannot think of more worthy recipients of this funding.
“So many aspects of the business of BREC have been effected by the pandemic, the closure requirements, then the social distancing the limited the capacity of the facility and the restrictions on interstate movements that have prevent touring shows from planning their return and so I expect BREC to feel those effects for quite some time to come.
“The Staff and Board at BREC have done a great job of a long period of time expanding what BREC has to offer, increasing its income streams and extending the creative programme on offer to the community and I hope this funding will help them plot a path back to doing what they do best, providing a service to the people of Bunbury and the South West region.
“The COVID-19 Relief funding being provided by Lotterywest is playing a vital role helping our arts and creative sector weather the storm of this pandemic and that is something that is essential for the social and economic health of our region.”
Fiona de Garis, Executive Director of BREC said, “This support will help us open our doors sooner and jumpstart our stages with stories, song, dance, comedy, and good cheer to bring our community back together. We hope to welcome everyone back very soon”.