In recognition of our 20 year partnership with West Australian Symphony Orchestra (WASO) Wesfarmers announced an expanded partnership which will focus on regional and international touring, as well as the development of WASO's education and community program.
Wesfarmers has supported the arts in Australia for more than three decades. Our engagement in the cultural life of the Western Australian and broader national community embraces our long-term support for a wide range of premier performing and visual arts organisations and the ongoing development of The Wesfarmers Collection of Australian Art.
In 2017, the Wesfarmers Arts program continued to build on the contribution made by our arts partnerships and our art collection to the life of the company and our engagement with the community. Wesfarmers provided $3.1 million in support of the activities of 12 leading arts organisations, including the National Gallery of Australia, Perth International Arts Festival, Art Gallery of Western Australia, West Australian Ballet, West Australian Opera, West Australian Symphony Orchestra (WASO), Black Swan Theatre Company, Awesome Children’s Festival, Form Contemporary Craft and Design, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, through the nationally touring ACO Collective, as well as the Western Australian tours of Bell Shakespeare Company and Musica Viva Australia.
During the year, Wesfarmers Arts and WASO celebrated 20 years in partnership with the announcement of an expanded long-term partnership which will focus on regional and international touring and the development of WASO’s extensive and award-winning Education and Community Engagement program.
Two new partnerships were announced with Western Australia’s flagship contemporary dance company Co3 and Yirra Yaakin Aboriginal Theatre.
A highlight of the year came with the announcement of Wesfarmers partnership with the National Gallery of Australia to present the 3rd National Indigenous Art Triennial: Defying Empire. The exhibition, opened by the Prime Minister on 26 May 2017, commemorates the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum that recognised Indigenous people as Australians for the first time. It explores the ongoing resilience of Indigenous Australians since first contact, through to the historical fight for recognition and ongoing activism in the present day, bringing the work of 30 contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists from across the country into the national spotlight.