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2007 Media Releases - Balnaves Open House

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Issued Wednesday, 28 March 2007

SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE LAUNCHES BALNAVES FOUNDATION OPEN HOUSE PROGRAM

On Sunday 1 April, an audience of disadvantaged communities from inner-city Sydney will attend the launch of the Balnaves Foundation Open House Program – a new initiative aimed at increasing access to Sydney Opera House performances.

Eight times a year, Sydney Opera House will become an “open house” to these communities, offering subsidised $5 tickets to selected performances. The launch will include the performance of Gyan & Leunig’s Billy the Rabbit at 3pm, with a celebratory afternoon tea for the family audience to precede the event from 2pm.

“I am delighted to be working with Sydney Opera House for the benefit of disadvantaged communities in the Sydney area. It is through initiatives such as the Balnaves Foundation Open House Program that people, who have never seen a performance at Sydney Opera House, can come and experience performing arts at its best” said Neil Balnaves, Founder of the Balnaves Foundation.

“It is essential that performing arts are accessible to the local community of NSW regardless of their social demographic” he added.

A Sydney-based underprivileged and unemployed audience is the target group for the program. Year one of the program will focus on inner city residents closer to Sydney Opera House; Years two and three will expand to greater southern and western suburbs.

The Balnaves Foundation Open House program is also one of the first success stories of the Annual Giving Program, a new philanthropic initiative by Sydney Opera House. Proceeds from the Program will help to sustain its core business and fund various projects such as artistic, education and access initiatives.

“On behalf of Sydney Opera House, I would like to thank the Balnaves Foundation for their commitment and donation to the Annual Giving Program. This is an exiting project which reflects our objectives of engaging with the local community by opening Sydney Opera House to a wider audience” said Dr Norman Gillespie, Chief Executive Officer, Sydney Opera House.

“The Sydney Opera House Annual Giving Team looks forward to working with the Balnaves Foundation, in developing its reputation as a leading philanthropic organisation” he added.

By securing a significant commitment over three years, the Balnaves Foundation donation opens Sydney Opera House to a broader audience that will help to ensure the House remains artistically vibrant and accessible as ever.

The Balnaves Foundation aims to support the arts and medicine in the Australian community with a particular focus on young Australians.

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