Monthly Archives: May 2015

The People’s Hall-Civic Hall Exhibition

The People’s Hall- Civic Hall….From early concepts to future possibilities

Where:         The Backspace Gallery- Camp Street Ballarat

When:           4th-21st June 2015.     12 Noon – 4pm  Thursday-Sunday

Entry:           FREE

Don’t miss this fabulous exhibition on everything Civic Hall related…from Artworks, photography and memorabilia to Cartoons and Costumes.  The Exhibition explores the Civic Hall’s  uses over the four decades that it served the community,  until its closure in 2002.   It is a factual exhibition that shows the reasons for its conception in the 1930’s to the  events and concerts that took place during its heyday and its eventual decline and debate over its future during the past decade.

There are many spectacular items…many never seen before.  The collection is sourced from institutions, community groups and individuals..each telling their own unique story and allowing for the  stripping back of the the many layers of Social and Architectural History to eventually  expose a magnificent tapestry of Local History.

Also join us for Saturday the 20th June for two fascinating talks at 2.00pm

Robin Grow of The Art Deco and Modernism Society of Australia

Learn about this popular Architectural style that is becoming more recognised and also extends to artworks and collectables.  How can we identify an Art Deco building by its features?  All will be revealed by Robin’s expertise and extensive knowledge of this architectural style and that of post WW2  modernist buildings

David Beames…CEO of The Ballarat Cemetery Trust

David will talk about the Crematorium that was designed by HL Coburn and son, the architect who designed the Civic Hall.  Little is known about this magnificent building and its similarity to Civic Hall.  We will also learn how the Cemetery Trust assists in research of family histories and history in general.

Look what was in Saturday’s edition of The Courier…..

Two weeks to go for the opening of The People’s Hall-Civic Hall Exhibiton!

It is only two weeks until our fabulous The People’s Hall- Civic Hall… From Early Concepts Future Possibilities Exhibition  opens at The Backspace Gallery on Thursday 4th June until Sunday 21st June.   We are amazed at the wonderful variety of items that such generous people have been willing to loan for the exhibition and also the assistance from an incredible number of groups and individuals …it just goes to show the enormous  community support for the Civic Hall.

The exhibition will show both sides of the argument as not everyone shares our point of view and the exhibition has to reflect the community as a whole.  Tell your friends, tell your family, tell your neighbours….The exhibition is FREE!!

The Peoples Hall FBT

Ballarat Civic Hall Tours and Art Deco Walks were very well attended at the Heritage Weekend

DSCF0405             DSCF0436

The Civic Hall Tours:

People were amazed at the interior of the Civic Hall and more amazed at the Lower Civic Hall which has not been seen by the public since its closure.  The two halls are integrated by Coburn’s clever and unusual  design of fitting the Lower Hall underneath the stage of the main auditorium maximizing the use of the undulating land.  The upstairs which leads to the Long Room and Dress Circle is so iconic and forms the Art Deco facade seen from the front of the Civic Hall,  the carpet is in excellent condition as is the embossed ceiling of the main auditorium.  Most of the  beautiful light fittings are still intact.

DSCF0423      DSCF0414

Both Halls have been the target of graffiti and vandalism over the years but the structures are robust and solid as they were built on a steel frame and built to last.  The tour showed  no evidence of structural damage or cracking of the plaster.  With re-fitting of toilets, kitchens, disabled access and the usual restorations associated with an older building, there is no reason why the halls could not be useful to the community once more.  

It is all up to us as a community to send a clear message to Council and attend the Open Door Studio and tell Here Studio staff what we like or do not like about the 10 concepts that have been developed following the 1st phase of the Community Design Process.  The Save Civic Hall Group advocate the full retention of both the Main Hall and the Lower Hall for community use.

The Open Door Studio is open for the 2nd phase of the process:

9.00am -5.00am Tuesdays

12.00 noon – 7.00pm Thursdays

1st Saturday of the Month 9.00am -1.00pm

The Art Deco Walks

The Art Deco Walks were as popular as ever and participants were delighted to be able to go into the foyer and see inside the hall.  The rain held off for the walks .  Robin Grow explained the significance of the Civic Hall and gave an insight to designer, Les Coburn’s work as an architect.  We were also educated on the progression of architecture moving from the Victorian Era to Art Nouveau and then into the Art Deco and Modernist period and the reasons for the progression.  Very informative!…we look forward to Robin Grow returning for next year’s Heritage Weekend.

DSCF0468        DSCF0477


Art Deco Walks and Civic Hall Tours this weekend



***Council has just released an amendment to arrangements for the  Civic Hall Tours***

Civic Hall Tours are every hour on the half hour starting at 10.30am on Saturday and Sunday

 10.30,  11.30,  12.30pm,  1.30,  2.30,  3.30

Tours are limited to 8 people per tour and Hard Hats must be worn and Hi Vis vests.

Tours are to be booked at the Civic Hall only, so it may be a good idea to book your tour of the hall at the foyer and then go on to the Art Deco Walk or other Heritage Weekend events and come back.

The Art Deco walks will proceed as advertised….

***The Art Deco Walks are at 10.30am and 2.00pm on both days and are led by Robin Grow, President of The Art Deco and Modernism Society of Australia. The walks leave from the Civic Hall…put on your comfortable walking shoes and be prepared to be enlightened***


Civic Hall…stunning views under mood lighting..



Did you catch the Transition exhibition at the Civic Hall today?  The launch took place last night and the Grand Old Lady looked spectacular in her mood lighting.  The lighting captured and highlighted the ornate Art Deco features…The Embossed ceiling, the gorgeous suspended light fittings, rare, solid Otway Timber floor, original stage and drapes. and the bold geometric pillars.   The scene would have  been complete except for the boarded windows.  Could you imagine watching a concert or wining and dining at a function here at The Civic Hall complete with lighting and all the Art Deco fittings and features?  The hall has a presence that invites you in and leaves you wanting more…

This event marked the end of the 1st phase of the Community Design Process.  The 10 Concepts were on show and will be available for further viewing and feedback from this Tuesday….please post more comments at the Foyer on Tuesdays 9am-5pm and Thursdays 12pm-7pm.  The Here Studio Staff need to know what you liked or did not like about the concepts…they are not set in concrete and the next phase of the process will refine them down to 5 concepts based on your feedback and that of the whole community…so get involved!!

Thank you to Mairin Broidy and her hubby for creating this beautiful portrayal of what could be at the Ballarat Civic Hall.



If you missed seeing the Transition Exhibition there will be another opportunity to view the interior of this magnificent hall  during the Art Deco Tours which commence at the Civic Hall.

Free tours will be conducted by Art Deco & Modernism President and Expert Robin Grow who will walk you through the hall and show you the significant collection of Art Deco buildings that  occupy Ballarat’s CBD.   Both Fascinating and educational…not to be missed!

Tours are on the Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th May, 10.30 am and 2.00pm both days.



While you are viewing the Civic Hall at the Art Deco Tours be sure to catch the TASTER for The People’s Hall-Civic Hall, From Early Concepts to Future Possibilities Exhibition which will be at The Backspace Gallery June 4-21.  It is a free exhibition showing artworks, memorabilia, photographs and euphoria.  The taster is on the right hand side as you go into the Foyer of the hall.