The Orange theatre took out the ‘Drover Award’ for the ‘Performing Arts Centre of the Year’ at a presentation ceremony in Melbourne last night hosted by the Australian Performing Arts Centres Association. The theatre, operated by Orange City Council, was one of four finalists competing for the prestigious award, including Manning Entertainment Centre in Taree, Bendigo’s Capital Venues and the Cairns Civic Theatre. Orange City Council’s Community Services Committee Chair Ron Gander said the honour was well deserved by the staff at the theatre. “The Drover Award is a leading, industry award, and it a big deal for the staff and recognition of all the hard work they do to attract and retain producers and audiences,” Cr Gander said. The Drover Award for Performing Arts Centre of the Year recognises the achievements of outstanding presenting organizations in regional areas. It is awarded to the theatre that works with producers to provide consistently outstanding production, marketing and management services and community engagement. Cr Gander said because the venues up for the award were nominated by producers, the Civic Theatre’s win was “a real boon for the Orange community”.

“It affirms the theatre’s reputation in the eyes of producers as a fantastic venue to host a production,” Cr Gander said. “It makes the Orange Civic Theatre even more attractive for producers.” Orange Civic Theatre Performing Arts and Venues Manager Michelle Pearce said the theatre’s success at the award ceremony on Thursday night in Melbourne was down to all employees at the venue. “From the front of house staff to back of house staff, to the cleaners and fantastic volunteers we have,” she said. “Everyone works so hard and just gets in and does the job and they’ve all had a hand in this.” Ms Pearce has also accepted a board position with the Australian Performing Arts Centres Association. “I’m going to be able to have a seat at the table to make decisions about the future direction of performing arts,” she said. “Again, it’s a real honour and I’m delighted to be offered that position.”