City of Karratha

First year of Red Earth Arts Precinct an overwhelming success

03 May 2019

The Red Earth Arts Precinct’s first year of operation has been heralded as an overwhelming success.

Since the $56 million facility was officially opened at a community open day which attracted thousands of residents, the precinct has created unprecedented opportunities to host local, state, national and international events.

More than 44,000 tickets have been issued to events at the state-of-the-art precinct during the past year, with an additional 85,000-plus visits to the library.

The precinct’s striking design is an abstraction of the Pilbara landscape and reflects Karratha’s iconic rocky red hills.

The facility has received numerous prestigious awards. These include the 2018 Master Builders Excellence in Construction Award’s Best Regional Project in WA, 2018 Master Builders Building Excellence Awards Best Kimberley-Pilbara Regional Project, Commercial Industrial Building over $15M and various awards for excellence in innovation, craftsmanship and energy efficiency. It is a finalist for the 2019 Architecture Awards, announced in June.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said the Red Earth Arts Precinct has been well received by the community and placed Karratha on the national arts and culture map.

“Council’s vision was to create a modern hub for arts and cultural experiences and the first year has been an overwhelming success,” Cr Long said.

“This contemporary facility demonstrates how the arts enrich communities and has strengthened Western Australia’s touring circuit, which previously lacked a high standard venue between Broome and Geraldton.”

“The Red Earth Arts Precinct beckons residents and visitors with an appetite for the arts to embrace the wide variety of entertainment on offer and enhances the liveability of our city.”

“This facility has attracted a growing number of high profile conferences, which stimulate the local economy and generate interest in the many opportunities to work, live and invest in the City of Karratha.”

Past conferences include the Performing Arts Connections Australia national exchange and conference and the World Heritage Summit and Southern Deserts Conference, with the Developing Northern Australia conference to be held in WA for the first time in July and the WA Regional Tourism Conference heading to the Pilbara for the first time in September.

Fast facts:

  • 187 movies screened in the cinema
  • 17,160 boxes of popcorn, 2758 bottles of Coca-Cola, 1779 glasses of white wine and 1941 boxes of Maltesers sold
  • 49 live shows in the auditorium
  • 466 tickets sold to the sell-out Vast concert
  • 10 minutes – time it took to sell out The Waifs concert
  • 1047 tickets sold to locally-produced play Pilbara Pan
  • Two rehearsal rooms used by three dance and theatre groups on average each week
  • 56,000-plus items have been borrowed from the library
  • Nearly 30,000 hours logged on the public use computers
  • 37 loans – Moana DVD (most popular library item)
  • 23 loans – I will never not ever eat a tomato (most popular children’s book)
  • 23 loans – The Barefoot Investor the only money guide you’ll ever need (most popular adult’s book)

The construction of the Red Earth Arts Precinct was supported by the Australian Government’s National Stronger Regions Fund, State Government’s Royalties program administered by the Pilbara Development Commission, the Woodside-operated North West Shelf Project, Rio Tinto, Lotterywest and the City of Karratha.