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Sydney Multi-Arts Venue Carriageworks Has Entered Voluntary Administration

The home of art exhibitions, wine festivals and the popular Saturday farmers market has been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
By Samantha Teague
May 05, 2020
By Samantha Teague
May 05, 2020

One of Australia's largest contemporary multi-arts centres has gone into voluntary administration as the industry is hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. After being forced to close in late March and standing down almost half its core staff in mid-April, Carriageworks in Sydney's inner city has this morning, Tuesday, May 5 announced the appointment of Phil Quinlan and Morgan Kelly of KPMG as its administrators.

In a statement, the Eveleigh multi-arts centre said, "the sudden cancellation or postponement of six months of activities due to restrictions on public gatherings has resulted in an irreparable loss of income." Upcoming events set to take place at Carriageworks included Sydney Writers' Festival, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and Semi Permanent, all of which have been cancelled or postponed in line with the government's restrictions on mass gatherings. The ongoing Farmers Market, which saw up to 5000 Sydneysiders visit each Saturday, has also been put on hold during the pandemic.

Carriageworks Night Market by Daniel Boud.

On the closure, Carriageworks CEO Blair French said in a statement: "Since opening in 2007, Carriageworks has enjoyed the support of both the NSW and Federal Governments, and the generosity of its many partners and donors. With restrictions on social gatherings likely to remain in place for some time to come, the Board determined that it had no alternative but to place the company into Voluntary Administration."

While Carriageworks relies partially on government funding, it generates 75 percent of its revenue from "on-site events and programs".

Carriageworks administrator Quinlan said that "all options are on the table" for the future of the arts organisation, with stabilising its financial position and allowing it to "continue its important role for Australian arts and culture" being one of them. French echoed this sentiment, saying, "the Board remain hopeful that the Carriageworks facility will be able re-open to artists and community alike once NSW emerges from the effects of the current pandemic."

Top image: Jacquie Manning

Published on May 05, 2020 by Samantha Teague
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