SunPAC Opening Celebrates Sunnybank Arts and Culture

Sunnybank’s cultural scene will be boosted tremendously with the opening of SunPAC, a multicultural performing arts centre, providing the area with a much-needed event venue.

DSCN3770Lord Mayor Graham Quirk attended the open day celebrations on Saturday to cut the ribbon and officially open the centre.

The free event provided an array of local and professional entertainment, venue tours for visitors as well as having activities for the kids.

State Member for Sunnybank, Peter Russo, describes the facility as a “first class contemporary venue” that will cater for a number of community and commercial events and functions.

Located on McCullough Street, Mr Russo believes SunPAC is a “great addition” to the surrounding sporting complex and Michael Callaghan, General Manager of the Sunnybank Community and Sports Club, also seconds this notion.

“It’s something that has been missing and compliments the sporting precinct.

“There will be increased traffic … but in the end it’s better off that the parkland is being used rather than just sitting idle.”

Brendan Mitchell, the Marketing and Box Office Coordinator of SunPAC said the centre will “provide a local feel” while putting forward “quality shows” to the community and wider area.

Mr Mitchell believes SunPAC will be ideal for South-side residents as they will be able to experience “world class entertainment” without needing to travel to the CBD.

DSCN3691Mr Callaghan said the project’s cost is “around the $11 million mark” with the sports club contributing approximately $6 million and Brisbane City Council contributing just under $5 million.

The construction of the multicultural performing arts centre, which began in June of 2015, also included upgrading the Sunnybank Community and Sports Club with a shared foyer that connects to the SunPAC facility.

Initial discussions between Brisbane City Council and the Sunnybank Community and Sports Club regarding the establishment of the SunPAC centre started around three years ago, said Mr Callaghan.

“It was a part of our community involvement aspect that we do here … we were happy to be involved.”

Mr Russo has said the centre is “prioritised toward community events” however, may attract artists and performers that are presently in CBD venues.

One of the key features of SunPAC is its’ ability for community groups to self-cater for events which is especially useful for multicultural groups that are abundant within the Sunnybank area.

This self-catering feature has already been utilised with a Taiwanese Moon Festival Dinner, that would otherwise have been held in a local restaurant, taking place at SunPAC.

Emily Hanrahan, an 18-year-old dancer, describes Sunnybank as a “very [culturally] diverse place” and she believes SunPAC will bring these groups together.

SunPAC’s “architecturally pleasing” facility, as Miss Hanrahan described it, contains a 300 seat theatre that also has the capacity to become a 200 person sit down dinner setup and can accommodate for small or large events.

DSCN3742SunPAC also has a foyer and a meeting room, which can both be hired out, as well as a green room, prop room, rehearsal room, dressing rooms, stage, box office and underground parking.

A range of events have been scheduled for the coming year, including genres such as cabaret, comedy, theatre and dance shows.

Miss Hanrahan performed at the opening with her dance team from Alichia’s Dance and Fitness Academy who rehearse at the Sunnybank Primary State School hall.

She said that “there’s not enough places around that have cultural activities on” and has expressed how much she thinks the space will benefit the area’s arts scene.

Tickets for SunPAC’s upcoming shows are now available to be purchased on their website as well as more details of their 2017 season.

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This piece was written for KJB121: Journalistic Inquiry, a unit in my Journalism degree at QUT.

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