NORPA: Ready to light up Lismore's nightlife.
NORPA: Ready to light up Lismore's nightlife.

‘It’s a game changer’: Why 2021 will be Norpa’s year

AFTER being hit with the 2017 flood and rebuilding, only to face the coronavirus pandemic, Norpa must have questioned just how unlucky they were going to get.

It has been a stressful time for the organisation, and no one knows that stress better than artistic director and chief executive, Julian Louis.

"The impact has been big in that we had to cancel one of the most exciting seasons we've put together but also venue hire," he said.

"We manage Lismore City Hall for Lismore City Council and with the loss of activity has a huge impact on our viability.

"Before the government put out the JobKeeper program, I was having to have some difficult conversations and letting go of staff and people who have worked loyally for Norpa for some time."

However, things are turning around for the organisation after receiving some much needed federal government funding, which begins in 2021 and secures their future.

"This is a big deal … Norpa was one of only 15 companies to receive four-year funding, we've never been funded by this before and we'll be funded by this from January 21," Mr Louis said.

"It'll give us the ability to make more theatre, employ more artists and tell more stories from our region, so it's huge, it's a game changer."

The good news continues as Norpa is expecting to show two upcoming productions, Flow and O, How I Dreamt Of Things Impossible, later this year.

"The theatre company has a way of working with local indigenous artists and knowledge keepers to animate their culture and understand it … we're proudly involved in creating works inspired by Bundjalung culture and artists from this region and Flow is one we're hoping we will present later this year," Mr Louis said.

"We're determined to put this one on for sure (O, How I Dream of Things Impossible), to be a major company to work with a smaller company is a great privilege and we're enjoying getting to know this company and seeing them on the big stage."

To stay updated with NORPA events, see their website www.norpa.org.au.


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