State Government Confirms Palais Rejuvenation, Announces $500k of New Music Works Funding

Work is to start on the $20 million upgrade of the Palais Theatre in St Kilda to be completed by early next year. The State Government has appointed Built Pty Ltd, a construction company with extensive experience with complex heritage buildings, to deliver the project. It is a joint project with the City of Port Phillip.

Built will consult with Heritage Victoria as it renovates the 90-year old theatre, which draws 250,000 visitors a year. These include upgrading the electrical and fire protection systems, structural stabilisation inside the theatre, and repairs to its exterior. It will create 200 jobs. No events or concerts will be cancelled during the work. The venue will only be closed for 19 days between June 14 and July 8, when no events are scheduled.
Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley said, “Melbourne is recognised widely as one of the world’s great music cities. Venues like the Palais are critical to this, but more important is having the talent and programs to bring them to life.”
The Minister was speaking at the announcement of almost $500,000 worth of grants of its Music Works creative package, to aid Victorian musicians, bands and industry development activities. 45 projects received funding. “Through Music Works, we are investing in all aspects of our local industry, from artists and record labels to venues and education programs,” he pointed out. To see the full list of Music Works grant recipients, visit creative.vic.gov.au
These include $10,000 for The Push’s five day Girls Rock! music camp for girls and gender non-conforming youth to increase participation in the music industry. At the same time, PBS 106.7FM got $18,800 for its Diversity and Access Program to increase participation rates by women in broadcast activities at the station.
This year’s LISTEN Conference gets $13,500 to draw female creative minds to explore gender, feminism, music and performance. Web-based music and variety show Amateur Hour has an injection of $25,000 for the production and promotion of season two.
The Push was granted $14,400 for its all-ages songwriter's program Push Songs. El Perro Productions of St Kilda had an injection of $11,600 for GRID (Grass Roots Indie Development), its artist development program to provide musicians and music industry students with skills and knowledge for an indie music career.
As part of its support of regional Victoria’s music community, the Government awarded $25,000 to the City of Ballarat, for the presentation of the inaugural Ballarat SongWays Festival; and the Bendigo Blues and Roots Music Festival, receives support to increase its focus on youth programs. 
Meg Mac receives $15,000 funding for a return tour of North America where she is making waves, Dan Sultan $8362 towards a 14-date US run, Cosmic Psychos $10,000 for a return to Europe, and Emma Donovan $25,000 for her first international touring through Canada.
Others getting support for international tours are The Pierce Bros, Totally Mild, Harvey Sutherland and Bermuda, Rudely Interrupted, Ainslie Wills, Jemma & The Clifton Hillbillies, The Skellingtons,  Nattali Rize, Archer, Golden Syrup and Lanks.
Receiving support for recording and/or music videos are East Brunswick All Girls Choir, Rat & Co, Slum Sociable, The Bombay Royale, Amaya Laucirica, Flyying Colours, Power, Time is Golden, Jim Lawrie, Katie Collins, Leah Senior, West Papua’s The Black Orchid Stringband (through Multicultural Arts Victoria), Puta Madre Brothers, Richard Chew, Rohan Brooks, Pearis, The Mae Trio
Music Works also supported a number of projects to build up association and artists’ networking and skills.
Brunswick creative agency Supple Fox got $14,866 for professional development opportunities abroad, including a residency at UCLA, attendance at the Red Bull Music Academy in Ontario, and industry meetings in New York and Nashville. Evelyn Morris got $7000 for a mentorship with experimental composer and performer Kim Myhr in France and a residency at Kuntlerhaus Boswil, Switzerland.
Tjimba Possum-Burns received $5,000 towards his mentorship program of younger Indigenous singers/rappers through rehearsal, performance, and recording demos of classic Australian Indigenous songs.
Adam Briggs was awarded $7000 to  travel to New Zealand to meet with writers, producers, Red Bull Music NZ, potential promoters and other artist sector experts to grow his networks, craft and audiences internationally. Carla dal Forno received $5100 for two residencies in Europe with a focus on mentoring, collaboration and increasing networks and audiences.
Applications for the next round of major funding through the Music Works Grants program will open via the Creative Victoria Grants Portal from Wednesday July 6 and will close at 5pm Wednesday August 3. Applications will be accepted for projects commencing from November 1.

For more industry news visit Christie Eliezer's Industrial Strength column.