Bulmba-ja arts centre opens its doors to Cairns community

Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch and Member for Cairns Michael Healy today welcomed the Cairns community to the official opening of the newly redeveloped Bulmba-ja arts centre.

“Today marks the opening of Bulmba-ja, a name which means ‘house’, selected by representatives from the two groups who are recognised native title claimants for the area, the Yirrgandydji and Yidinji Traditional Owner groups,” Minister Enoch said.

“This is a terrific opportunity for Cairns locals to engage with some of the local arts and cultural organisations based at Bulmba-ja, which will now have a renewed focus on contemporary First Nations art and storytelling from across the region.”

Member for Cairns Michael Healy said the $5.9 million redevelopment of the former Cairns Centre of Contemporary Arts (CoCA) was funded by the Palaszczuk Government and resulted in 28 full time equivalent jobs.

“This incredible redevelopment of Cairns CoCA into Bulmba-ja continues the Palaszczuk Government’s investment in the arts in Cairns, which has included $15 million for the Cairns Performing Arts Centre, support for the redevelopment of the Munro Martin Parklands, and funding for local artists and arts organisations,” Mr Healy said.

“These investments will play an important role in supporting arts and cultural tourism to Cairns and far north Queensland in the years to come.”

Visitors can engage with the work of Bulmba-ja tenants JUTE Theatre Company, NorthSite Contemporary Arts, Miriki Performing Arts and The Pryce Centre for Culture and Arts.

Rita Pryce, Director of the Pryce Centre, said the company’s move to Bulmba-ja was a perfect fit for the Pryce Centre.

“The Pryce Centre for Culture & Arts has been able to create global pathways for remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth with identified talent and who show a commitment and dedication to the arts,” Ms Pryce said.

“Our Culture, and most importantly its protocols, is the foundation of everything we do,” Ms Price said.

“By empowering The Pryce Centre team through the tenancy, Arts Queensland is helping to create a culturally safe platform for our First Peoples to share their stories through the arts that are unique to this part of the world.”

Minister Enoch said a unique integrated LED façade on the building featured works by First Nations artists in Far North Queensland and this year would display a series of five digital artworks commissioned by NorthSite Contemporary Arts.

“I encourage members of the community and tourists to experience Bulmba-ja’s exciting new features including a new foyer, flexible office space, a yarning circle, upgraded theatre equipment and new studio spaces for arts activities and participation,” Minister Enoch said.

/Public Release. The material in this public release comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.