The 2017 finalists for the Drover Awards have been announced!

With long distances between cities and towns and relatively low population densities, touring regional Australia is no mean feat for performance companies. Compared to other countries, touring regional Australia requires a massive commitment in terms of time and resources.

That’s why APACA’s Drover Awards are so important. Acknowledging the achievements of the companies that have made this commitment, the Drover Awards recognise excellence in the field of regional touring.

The winners of the 2017 Drover Awards will be announced at the APACA conference, Thursday 24 August, at Sydney’s Luna Park, with Federal Arts Minister, Mitch Fifield presenting one of the key awards.

Congratulations to the following artists and companies who have been selected as finalists for the 2017 Drover Awards.


Drover award for ‘Performing Arts Centre of the Year’

Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre

With a diverse and exciting program, this regional performing arts centre is renowned for the exceptional level of professionalism of the entire staff. With a proactive approach, attention to detail, quick responses to requests and a welcoming, courteous and attentive manner, BREC’s team delivers excellent service. Highly engaged in the local community, the centre supports local artist initiatives and a focus on audience development in the region over the last few years is now bearing fruit.

Dubbo Regional Theatre

Dubbo Regional Theatre  is a dynamic performing arts centre with a welcoming atmosphere and an inclusive ‘arts for all’ approach  to programming. Led by Linda Christof,  this performing arts centre’s team is professional and responsive.  Marketing and technical requests are dealt with efficiently. Linda and her team are exceptional in working side-by-side with producers to enhance the theatrical and educational experiences for local audiences.

Princess Theatre – Launceston

The Princess Theatre is an excellent venue, with a brilliant crew, good audience reach and development, and wonderful hospitality. Under a passionate and motivated manager, there is clear evidence of great relationships with both the local community and sponsors/partners.


Drover Award for ‘Tour of the Year’

Australian Theatre for Young People’s Sugarland
Tour Producer: Performing Lines for Blak Lines

Australian Theatre for Young People’s Sugarland had a phenomenal impact on regional communities. Performed with great integrity by its young cast, this work is so important in the path to a post-colonial society and has a real respect for our first nations people and their culture.

Monkey Baa’s The Peasant Prince
Tour management: Arts on Tour

Adapted from the novel Mao’s Last Dancer, Monkey Baa’s The Peasant Prince is a beautiful and very accessible production. The multicultural theme and audio visual elements within the set design were appreciated by regional audiences, as was the accompanying Q&A session. Venue staff found the Monkey Baa team very professional and patient, not only in the lead up to bump-in but while resident in theatres.

Patch Theatre’s The Moon’s a Balloon

With professional and efficient tour staff, Patch Theatre’s tour of The Moon’s a Balloon used innovative and effective audience engagement techniques. The production itself was highly creative, engaging and greatly enjoyed by regional audiences.

This tour used a unique strategic approach in terms of planning, promotion and audience engagement. By including a national coordinator and broad regional participation, the level of audience engagement with this work was extended beyond traditional means, thereby also extending the appreciation of the work by audiences.

Sydney Dance Company’s “Counter Move”
Tour management: Arts on Tour

Sydney Dance Company’s “Counter Move” double bill gained excellent traction with regional audiences. In addition to the performance, the company offered workshops and pre-show talks which were greatly appreciated by regional communities. Venue staff appreciate the show’s strong marketing kit, the professionalism of the touring team and the company’s understanding and accommodation of any limitations.


About the Drover Awards

The Drover Award for Performing Arts Centre of the Year recognises the achievements of an outstanding presenting organisation and is awarded to the presenter who works with the producer to provide consistently outstanding production, marketing and management services. In addition, this presenter will have achieved exceptional success in audience development and community engagement.

The Drover Award for Tour of the Year recognises both the production company with an outstanding commitment to touring and the tour coordinator or producer delivering exceptional touring services. It rewards the commitment to form strong partnerships and to work collaboratively to develop audiences and enrich the cultural lives of all Australians. The Tour of the Year is awarded for overall excellence in touring, recognising the quality of the production, the marketing campaign and the people making it happen.

A third award, the ‘Touring Legend’, recognises an outstanding contribution to performing arts touring in Australia. This will be presented by the Federal Arts Minister, Mitch Fifield at the conference gala dinner at Sydney’s Luna Park on Thursday 24 August.

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