Melbourne's Arts Centre has chosen Horsham as one of two locations at which to host several training programs for people who have or want a career in performing arts.
The first ever Tech Connect will see 100 people trained at "Theatrical hubs" at Horsham Town Hall and Shepparton across the next 12 weeks.
The program has been established through a partnership between the state government and Arts Centre Melbourne, with co-investment from the Helen MacPherson Smith Trust.
Town hall technical operations team leader Shane Podolski said it was a "big coup" for the venue.
"We had the Victorian Association of Performing Arts Centres meeting in February last year, and the technical managers were blown away by the venue, and they said we want to hold it here," he said.
There are several different programs on offer as part of Tech Connect. The first - a Certificate III in Entertainment - took place at the Town Hall on Wednesday.
"After they get the qualification, on March 20, the people in the program will go to Melbourne and do elevated work platform training and working at height safety training at the Sydney Myer music bowl.
"The week after that, they travel to the Victorian Arts Centre in Melbourne and learn how to use fly systems at the state theatre."
Mr Podolski said many town hall staff were taking part in different aspects of Tech Connect, and people were coming from as far away as Ararat, Hamilton, Mildura, Warrnambool and Portland to participate.
"Next week (March 14) is the second program, which white card safety training tailored to venues and live production," he said.
Expressions of interest for this program close on Sunday. Mr Podolski said to contact email@example.com to register.
The final program will is 'Arts Wellbeing Collective', which will take place on March 15 and April 8. The two two-hour sessions are aimed at equipping people with the skills and resources needed to weather then mental toll of working in performing arts.
Tech Connect is the brainchild of Murray Johnstone, manager of technical training and development Arts Centre Melbourne.
"Normally people working in regional performing arts only get access to this level of training when there has been an accident," he said.
"So instead of everyone having to come to Melbourne, and to raise safety standards, we're taking our knowledge to the regions as a registered training organisation.
"My team of trainers are all working technicians in the industry, and we have written the learning and assessments to tailor it to exactly what the industry requires of professionals."
He encouraged people new to and experienced with the entertainment industry to register for a third program being delivered alongside Tech Connect: Two wellbeing sessions on March 15 and April 8.
"The Integrated Arts Wellbeing Collective is a consortium of major organisations including the arts centre, which helps people learn how to recognise the prevalence of mental health issues like anxiety and depression in the industry," he said.
A 2016 study by Victoria University found 44% of industry workers reported moderate to severe anxiety, a rate ten times higher than the general population.
"Hopefully we catch people new to the industry so they're aware of the challenges and how to change things from the moment they begin their career. That sort of preparation hasn't really happened until now," Mr Johnstone said.