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CoCA Cairns set for transformation

In 2018-19, CoCA Cairns will be upgraded through a $3.5 million Queensland Government investment, as part of a four-year $17.5 million Arts Infrastructure Investment Fund to revitalise state-owned assets to generate cultural and economic outcomes.

The upgrade is a key outcome of a 2016 review of the centre and supports the Queensland Government’s $2.1 million investment in 2017–18 in Indigenous performing arts in Cairns and Far North Queensland communities.

The revitalised CoCA will strengthen the local arts sector and help expand cultural tourism in Far North Queensland, opening up new performance and creative opportunities to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and providing rich cultural experiences to new audiences.

Plans include:

  • a redesign of the building’s facade and entry to reflect the centre’s Indigenous performing arts focus
  • flexible office space for existing tenants, emerging organisations and individual arts workers
  • upgraded theatre equipment and amenities
  • improved green rooms and theatre access, including new foyer
  • enhanced access to gallery and retail spaces, and the opportunity to incorporate new public artworks.

Arts Queensland has commissioned local firm TPG Architects to carry out the design work and undertake targeted local arts sector consultation on the early concept plans, with consultation on the design supported by contemporary Indigenous dancer and choreographer Pauline Lampton and Indigenous visual artist Brian Robinson. 

An arts community consultation session was held on Friday 15 June. TPG Architects’ presentation on the early design concepts for the refurbished CoCA Cairns from this session, along with key discussion points, will be available on this web page from Friday 22 June.

The CoCA will close for building works in September, with an expected reopening in April 2019.

For more information on the refurbishment, please email