By PHILIP CHANDLER
A trust running a Queenstown performing arts centre that’s closing this month is switching focus to supporting young talent.
The Queenstown Performing Arts Centre Trust (QPACT), operating rooms on the corner of Ballarat and Henry Streets since 2001, has been granted notice by its landlord, Queenstown’s council, to up sticks by May 22.
About 90% of the 25 user groups are relocating to the Te Atamira premises opening at Remarkables Park on May 16.
Rather than fold, QPACT’s trustees are setting up a scholarship fund that’ll pay a year’s
tuition fees for up to four young performing arts students — specifically, those whose families would otherwise struggle to afford those fees.
It’s ‘‘very well needed in today’s climate’’, trustee Tracy Cameron says.
Applications for scholarships can be made by either the student or their tutor.
Chairwoman Margaret O’Hanlon says as a charitable trust they’ll apply for funding to keep the scholarship fund topped up.
Her trust’s also made a $15,000 donation to the Te Atamira trust to help with its fundraising.
As they prepare to shut their doors, she and Cameron, both original trustees, are proud of the role the facility’s played.
Cameron: ‘‘QPACT has provided vital, central, affordable premises for a huge number of community groups, businesses, musicians, film industry, dance schools, music tutors, choirs, health groups, theatre groups and more.
‘‘One notable user was [film director] Jane Campion, who hired the entire building exclusively for three weeks in preparation for The Power of the Dog.’’
QPACT’s original trustees raised $150,000 to turn the rat-infested former resort high school manual block into the facility it became.
‘‘We’re sad to actually see the old lady go, it’s bittersweet,’’ says Cameron, who’s
managed the rooms.
However, it had ‘‘outgrown its ability to serve’’, O’Hanlon has said, with dodgy flooring,
poor drainage, frequent roof leaks and poor ventilation.
The trust’s open to offers for chattels like mirrors and curtains.