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AUSTRALIA COUNCIL COMMITS TO CONSULTANCY FOR SYDNEY DANCE COMPANY’S FUTURE

The Australia Council’s major performing arts board together with the board of Sydney Dance Company will seek assistance from an independent consultancy in continuing efforts to secure a solid financial footing for the company.

Australia Council for the Arts CEO Jennifer Bott said the consultancy would consider all options for the company’s future.

‘Our aim is to identify measures that will enable a joint plan with Sydney Dance Company for its future financial stability, one that is compatible with its recognised artistic standards,’ Ms Bott said.

Ms Bott said the McRae Report, a detailed review of the company’s operations undertaken in late 2004, would be used by the consultancy as a benchmark for further analysis and recommendations.

‘The McRae Report has been valuable in providing the Australia Council and Sydney Dance Company with an expert view of the Company’s finances.

‘It contains a wealth of insight and information about the company’s operations, and we expect the consultancy to use this material as the foundation for its investigations.

‘The fundamental role of this consultancy will be to examine whether there are other business options or modes of operation which the Company can adopt to achieve an improved, more stable financial position  – without compromising its artistic standards.’

It is expected the consultancy will work with one or more arts sector specialists in an advisory capacity in undertaking the analysis and developing recommendations. The consultancy is expected to start in July and conclude within three months.

It is anticipated that the consultancy findings will be presented to the Australian and NSW governments – the company’s two major funding sources – for their consideration.

In the interim, the Australia Council has brought forward the company’s scheduled grant payments to ensure cashflow while it undertakes a managed change process.

Sydney Dance Company has provided the Australia Council with its audited 2004 accounts, in which the Directors confirm the Australia Council’s financial support ‘will be sufficient to allow the company… to continue as a going concern while it undertakes the managed change process necessary to recover from its net deficit position’.

The Australia Council will also provide Sydney Dance Company with a project grant to assist the Company’s management with production and touring arrangements during the consultancy period.

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