Canberra Area Theatre (CAT) Awards

The Canberra Liberals understand the importance of recognising local talent in the ACT and giving exposure to up and coming Canberra artists.”

Nicole Lawder MLA

Shadow Minister for Arts and Tourism


The Challenge

The Canberra Area Theatre (CAT) awards were founded by Coralie Wood and Kate Peters in 1994 and they aim to provide recognition to non-professional artists in the Canberra Region.

In the first ten years of operation the awards were self-funded by the founders. But due to the growth of the awards to now over 80 schools and companies (over 800 attendants), government and industry support are now required to keep the awards running. In addition to a growth in attendance, since its first year the judging panel has also grown from 6 to 21 judges. While the awards currently include Canberra and regional towns in the Southern Tablelands, the CAT Awards aim to expand up to the Central Coast, bringing regional artists to the nation’s capital.

Our Response

The Canberra Liberals understand that recognising non-professional local artists encourages them to grow and develop within Canberra’s local Arts industry. This kind of encouragement helps spur on emerging artists to go on to make a sustained contribution that will add to Canberra’s cultural vitality and benefit the ACT economy. The CAT Awards provide invaluable recognition for performing artists in Canberra, and support emerging talent in our artistic city.

Canberra Liberals commitment

The Canberra Liberals commit to making a financial contribution of $25,000 per annum over four years towards the Canberra Area Theatre Awards to encourage excellence in its fields of endeavour.

“The CAT Awards provide invaluable recognition for non-professional performing artists in the ACT who are integral to the fabric of Canberra’s dance, theatre and music scene.”

Nicole Lawder MLA

Shadow Minister for Arts and Tourism

Policy released 20 February 2016