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Conference

PAC Australia’s 33rd Conference and National Performing Arts Exchange.

26-29 August 2019, Sunshine Coast, Caloundra, Queensland Australia

The Events Centre, Caloundra will be home for more than 400 delegates including Australia’s leading artists and arts managers taking a practical, real-world problem-solving approach to presenting performing arts across Australia.

We’re proud to be working with Sunshine Coast Council as our hosts of these two extraordinary events.

Reap: more, deeper, different will deliver fundamentals of audience development; reaching more audiences, serving audiences deeper experiences and diversifying our audiences and the work they see. We’ll focus on how to provide the mechanisms, create desire, and find the people that will meet you in the spaces where the amazing stuff happens, where you can take risks and they will lean in and pay attention.

Why we do things in the performing arts industry is critically important, but how we do them is the stuff that arts-workers deal with every day.

This doesn’t mean we’re going back to basics, on the contrary, our communities are changing, the way we react, behave and consume is changing. We can no longer assume that what went before is a solid predictor of what lays ahead. We constantly need to stay ahead of the curve. We need current evidence and we’re going to give you the world’s best practice in audience development to help you find:

More audiences

Deeper experiences

Different audiences

PAC Australia’s conference is acknowledged as one of the most significant annual gatherings of performing arts professionals anywhere in Australia. It will see international, national and local speakers focus on audiences and provide a platform for intensive discussion, learning, debate and networking.

We’re thrilled to announce our first keynote speaker, audience engagement specialist Bryan Joesph Lee, Associate Director of Special Artistic Projects from world leaders The Public Theatre in New York. Mr Lee has an extraordinary list of credits in his professional career, being named Rising Leader of Color and serving on the Board of Governors for Theatre Washington DC.

The Performing Arts Exchange is Australia’s only national multi artform arts market  and the icing on the cake next year is that it will be held in partnership with the Horizon Festival – connecting our creative programs and making sure presenters and artists get to wring every last drop out of a week of performances, pitches and networking.

It’s one thing to identify what we need to do… it’s quite another thing to actually do it.

The 2019 PAC Australia conference and Performing Arts Exchange will deliver practical audience development strategies and an exceptional array of Australia’s best performing arts, so that communities across Australia can Reap the benefits.

PAC Australia acknowledge the Kabi Kabi and Jinibara people, the Traditional Owners of the lands on which the conference is being held. We pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.

Dates: Monday 26th – Thursday 29th August 

2018 Conference

PAC Australia’s 32nd annual performing arts conference “Making Space” and our national Performing Arts Exchange [PAX] took place at the Red Earth Arts Precinct, Karratha between 2 – 6 September, 2018.

With Chris Bendall at the helm as PAX MC and Karilyn Brown as our “thinker in residence” for the conference, delegates from across the country explored a region where the oldest and newest art on the planet co-exists.

With full length works from The Last Great Hunt, Tura New Music, Black Swan State Theatre Company & Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company as well as a spectacular performance from Big hART on site with community in Roebourne, the Performing Arts Exchange brought together producers and presenters from across Australia and New Zealand to maximise touring opportunities and build relationships.

Making Space was all about where we live, and the space that is common to us all, across gender, culture and environment. We asked, how does place inform the art we make and present, and how does that art create identity and shape the places we live?

Check out our Conference Materials page to re-experience the moving keynote addresses from Sigal Cohen, Dr Richard Walley and Dr Gill Hicks.

The five day event culminated in the extra special conference dinner at the historic ghost town of Cossack where the best in Australian touring was commended at our annual Drover Awards ceremony.

The 2018 conference and Performing Arts Exchange was truly an adventure as much it was a conference.

2017 Conference

PAC Australia’s 31st annual performing arts conference “Outside, In” and our national Performing Arts Exchange [PAX] took place at The Concourse, Sydney between August 21-14, 2017 and once again exceeded previous attendances.

The two events saw Robyn Archer return, as PAX MC and “thinker in residence” for the conference. In this role, Robyn’s insightful commentary was an absolute highlight. Her ability to weave together the various intellectual threads presented by speakers into an incisive, intelligent and entertaining whole was awe-inspiring.

Other highlights included Dee Madigan’s keynote address on “Why Creativity Matters (and not just on stage!)”, jam-packed with smart and practical advice for winning over not just the public but funding bodies, potential supporters and staff. Jennifer Whelan’s discussion of unconscious bias and its presence in the arts, and how that impacts on our programming and creative decisions, was another game-changer; engaging and eye-opening. Both these speakers and many others on the program were thought-provoking, especially in relation to the choices we make in the work we present to audiences.

The conference concluded with a gala dinner at Luna Park, with special guest the Honourable Senator Mitch Fifield Federal Minister for the Arts.

Visit the conference materials page for videos and presentation materials from the 2017 event and previous years conferences.