Tuesday 30 July 2013

Australia Council Congratulates Helpmann winners
The Australia Council has acknowledged those nominated and the winners of this year’s Helpmann Awards, which recognise Australia’s distinguished artistic achievement and excellence in the live performance sector.
Now in its 13th year, the Helpmann Awards recognise Australia’s distinguished artistic achievement and excellence in the live performance sector. Australia Council Chair Rupert Myer and Chief Executive Officer Tony Grybowski attended last night’s awards ceremony. “The Helpmann Awards provides a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge the fantastic work that is being created by our performing artists and arts organisations both here and overseas every year,” Mr Grybowski said. “This year has been particularly strong, with some great productions and performances, and on behalf of the Australia Council, we congratulate this year’s worthy winners.” Mr Myer acknowledged Australia Council Deputy Chair Robyn Archer and her band, who were recognised in the cabaret category for her performance of Que Reste-T-Il at the Famous Spiegel Garden and ToulouseLautrec Cabaret and Curator Dinner at the National Gallery of Australia. “The Australia Council congratulates Robyn and her pianist Michael Morley and accordianist George Butrumlis on their award,” Mr Myer said. “Robyn is a shining example of the immense talent we have in this country. She has performed and directed at numerous venues right across this country and we are fortunate to have the vast experience she brings to our new governing board.” Speaking from Japan, Ms Archer said was thrilled to be recognised by her peers. “Having been raised in my singer/stand up father’s atmosphere of fading Australian vaudeville, and later accidentally encountering Brecht, Weill and Eisler through Justin Macdonnell, the late Wal Cherry and the late John Willett, all in Adelaide, I will always be in debt to this suite of gentlemen for pointing me towards the discovery of strong, challenging and inspiring material to last a lifetime,” Ms Archer said. “I thank my very dear musician colleagues, especially Michael Morley and George Butrumlis, my producers and peers, and my audiences for continuing to give me the opportunity to perform songs that signify the essence of classic cabaret – tough lyrics and often complex composition, alongside big gut-busting belly laughs. “I thank all involved in the Helpmann Awards for this honour and congratulate them for acknowledging that cabaret is no lesser art, but is, as the great cabarettist Peter Altenberg claimed, ‘the art of small forms’.” To support the performing arts, the Australia Council provides annual funding to the 28 Major Performing Arts organisations, which includes dance, theatre, opera, orchestra and chamber music, and 140 key organisations across Australia. In 2012 the Australia Council provided $96 million to the Major Performing Arts companies and around $25 million to the key organisations. A recent Australia Council report on the Major Performing Arts companies found: 3.6 million Australians attended a performance, workshop or school activity by a Major Performing Arts company last year, an increase of 118,000 compared to 2011.

Combined box office income increased by $28 million to $203 million, with all artforms except theatre reporting increases. The Major Performing Arts sector employs 8,400 people, including 4,600 artists. There were 108 new Australian works.

Media contact Karen Smith 02 9215 9030 k.smith@australiacouncil.gov.au

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The Australia Council for the Arts is the Australian Government’s arts funding and advisory body

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