Parramatta Council launches Culture and Our City discussion paper

Cultural dreams: Parramatta Council wants to bring more arts and culture into the CBD, including more live music. pictured is Darren Percival and last month's Live and Local launch. Picture: George Gittany
Cultural dreams: Parramatta Council wants to bring more arts and culture into the CBD, including more live music. pictured is Darren Percival and last month's Live and Local launch. Picture: George Gittany

Parramatta isn't well known for its arts and culture. But it could soon be.

Parramatta Council has released a grand vision to unleash the City’s cultural potential and make it a hub of creativity and innovation. 

Its Culture and Our City discussion paper sets out a plan to strengthen the cultural and social fabric of the region.

The discussion paper outlines 30 potential action items, including:

  • Growing Parramatta’s events and festivals program;
  • Determining key delivery partners for a redeveloped Riverside Theatres;
  • Developing local film industry partnerships to deliver studios and production facilities and a master list of iconic filming locations across Western Sydney;
  • Establishing an Aboriginal City Scape Cultural Walk;
  • More affordable rehearsal studios and other cultural facilities; and
  • Further develop a Live Music Strategy;

The paper was developed in consultation with more than 350 artists, cultural organisations, industry stakeholders, residents and community members. 

It’s now on public exhibition for the wider community to comment on.

“Parramatta is already a vibrant and wonderfully diverse place and this discussion paper is about channelling that energy into making our city truly world-class with people, ideas and creativity at its core,” council administrator Amanda Chadwick said.

“There are a number of really exciting initiatives already in the works in Parramatta, including the establishment of a world-class museum by the state government. This discussion paper will work to complement this and support the development of a new Parramatta cultural precinct. It is so important that this process reflects the aspirations and distinctive identities of the whole community and that’s why we want to hear directly from the local community.”

Late last year, former long serving Parramatta councillor and lord mayor Paul Garrard called for a regional art gallery to ensure western Sydney finally gets its fair share of the arts.

“Building a city is like a work of art – you’ve got to get it right,” he told the Sun at the time.

“Even with the Powerhouse Museum coming, there’s still a mindset in Sydney’s eastern suburbs that we don’t deserve these things. Western Sydney is deprived of arts opportunities. Parramatta could be become the state’s art capital.”

Mr Garrard suggested Parramatta Square or the river foreshore as possible sites.

“They are building Australia’s next great city here, so Parramatta is not short of opportunities of building things,” he said.

“There’s plenty of beautiful places around the city of where it could go. At a time when Parramatta is deprived of political leadership in the council, we need to get this issue on the political agenda and keep up the pressure.”

Take our online poll about arts and culture

The cultural plan will be released in June.

Submissions can be made by visiting bit.ly/ParramattaCulturalDiscussion or email culturaldiscussion@cityofparramatta.gov.nsw.au

Submissions close April 7.

  • Discussion paper: cityofparramatta.nsw.gov.au/culture-and-our-city.