HORSHAM Town Hall and Horsham Regional Art Gallery have celebrated their first year in the $20 million refurbished complex.
Sponsors, board members and supporters gathered in the art gallery on Thursday night to mark the milestone.
Horsham Rural City Council Mayor Pam Clarke said previous councillors had faced a difficult fight to get the project approved.
“It was the most difficult time that council has had in many, many years,” she said.
“There were a lot of objections to this facility and I commend the councillors at the time because they had a really difficult time of it.
“They have been the stalwarts, they have worked so hard to make sure this facility was built.”
Town Hall venue manager Shana Miatke said the new complex’s first year had been a big success.
“20 per cent of our audience have come further than a 50-kilometre radius from Horsham,” She said.
“Approximately 20,000 tickets have been sold for performances.
“I’d like to thank the amazing team behind those results.”
Since February 2016, more than 50,000 had visited the town hall and art gallery specifically to see an exhibition or show.
The art gallery had more than 11,200 visitors for more than 80 public programs and 92 children’s programs and 75 programs run with schools.
The town hall had hosted 23 performances and 150 events.
Cr Clarke said the new town hall had allowed bigger and more prestigious events to visit Horsham.
“The first week this facility opened, everybody in the line for the automatic teller and every body in the faces were talking about it.
“The town was buzzing, the restaurants were full, the cafes were full and the pubs were full.
“We had a lot of criticism about why we didn’t build it on the edge of town or by the river; the reason Regional Development Victoria gave us $5 million was to build it here because it generates so much activity in the business district.”
Cr Clarke thanked all the workers and volunteers for their efforts during the first year.
Art gallery director Adam Harding said the Wilson Street location had allowed more of the gallery’s collection to be shared with the community.
“Our facility is a place of ideas and shared experiences,” he said.
THE TOWN HALL IN DECEMBER, 2015
THE TOWN HALL IN APRIL, 2013