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Regional Arts Development Central West NSW

Ground-Breaking Day for ORC Construction


In what is literally a ground-breaking day, the Orange Regional Conservatorium (ORC) celebrates the turning of the first sod by the Prime Minister, officially launching the construction of its highly anticipated state-of-the-art facility.

Media release 27 January 2024

And what better way than to have the Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, manning the spade in recognition of the significance of the project!

As the Prime Minister appreciated, the event signals a transformative journey for the ORC. David Shaw, the recently appointed Executive Director, expressed his
enthusiasm, stating, “Today, the ORC takes a leap forward in its capability to enhance the region’s music, arts, and culture. We witness the commitment to quality, inclusion and innovation as the ORC continues to grow and support our community.”

Pam Ryan, the ORC Chair, said, “This groundbreaking ceremony is a testament to the dedication and vision of everyone involved, not least our retired director, Donna
Riles. It also serves as recognition of the longtime commitment of our Conservatorium community. The Con doors originally opened 30 years ago in a small cottage and here we are on this groundbreaking day at the site of our magnificent future home.”

The cutting-edge facility promises to be a cultural hub, fostering creativity and artistic expression. Boasting world-class amenities, the ORC aims to enhance the region’s
cultural landscape and provide a nurturing environment for aspiring musicians and artists. The $33 million investment underscores the commitment of local, state and federal government to the arts and their confidence in the ability of the ORC to help shape the cultural identity of Orange. The ORC is grateful to all three tiers of government for their generous, ongoing support. It is a truly combined effort.

As the construction progresses, the ORC community eagerly anticipates watching their vision take shape, heralding a new era for the Conservatorium and the vibrant arts community we serve.”

Orange’s performing arts scene is celebrating as work begins on the new $33.5 million world-class cultural hub for the region.

The new Orange Regional Conservatorium and Planetarium project will include:

  • 275-seat auditorium (with capacity built in for additional 48 seats or additional stage);
  • 65-seat planetarium auditorium;
  • 40 practice studios and rehearsal spaces;
  • front and back-of-house facilities including main lobby, bar and kitchen; and
  • office space, amenities and ancillary spaces.

The $33.5 million project is funded by $10 million from the Australian Government $5 million from the NSW Government’s Creative Capital Funding program and up to $18.5 million from Orange City Council.