Need for a Cultural Centre
The demand for a Cultural Centre came from the many cultural groups who live and work in the Queanbeyan community. Despite having a very active arts community, Queanbeyan had not had its own dedicated theatre since the 1970s and had very limited public exhibition space to host local, travelling or permanent exhibitions. The rapid population growth and increased size of the City since the 1980s increased the need for this facility.
In November 2000, Council engaged consultants to prepare a preliminary design brief for the proposed Cultural Centre. The consultants undertook extensive consultations with the community in late 2000 and 2001 to ascertain the present and future cultural requirements of the Queanbeyan community and surrounding region.
Funding for the Centre
The State Government were very supportive of the project and during 2002 and 2003 provided a total of $1,125,000 in grants. The Federal Government also committed $550,000 in May 2004 through the Regional Partnerships Program for the proposed Centre. The local Queanbeyan Players undertook considerable fundraising and raised $50,000 for the project.
Development of final designs and plans
In December 2003 Council resolved to progress the design and construction of the Cultural Centre in stages, commencing with the theatre and exhibition space component of the project, and to allocate $1.5 million from unrestricted cash funds to match the other funds secured for the project.
On 17 December 2003, Council accepted a tender from the architects Bligh Voller Nield for the design of the theatre and exhibition gallery component of the Cultural Centre. In January 2005, Council agreed to proceed with the plans, tenders and contracts for the construction of the Centre. On 29 August 2005, the final design plans for the Centre were approved by Council. The Development Application was lodged on 17 October 2005 and placed on public exhibition. An external assessor was engaged to independently assess the development application.
The final report and recommendations from the external assessor were presented to Council on 21 December 2005 and Council approved the development application for the Cultural Centre to proceed.
Construction and naming of the centre
On 2 August 2006 Council endorsed the final estimates for the construction of the Centre and approved Project Coordination to project-manage the construction of the facility. The construction commenced in December 2006.
On 12 December 2007 the logo of The Q Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre was adopted by Council for branding and marketing of the facility.
The Centre was completed in February 2008 ready for the official opening by His Excellency, the Governor General on Saturday 1 March 2008.