Up-to-Date Store Cultural Precinct to be officially opened

After five years of planning and development, Coolamon’s Up-to-Date Store Cultural and Learning Precinct will be officially opened on Saturday 28 April as part of Heritage Week celebrations, with doors opening at 10am.

The Up-to-Date Store building was built in 1909 and purchased by Coolamon Shire in 1996. Over the years, the Shire has restored the building and developed the surrounding area to create a cultural and learning precinct that includes the Up-to-Date Store, museums, gallery space, exhibitions, an outdoor performance area, café and library.

The strategic plan for the precinct will see it become a vibrant cultural centre and hub for Coolamon Shire. It will house travelling exhibitions, music events, art shows, seminars, workshops and private functions, and will host the town’s accredited visitor information centre.

Coolamon Shire’s Tourism and Business Development Manager, Linda Tillman said the opening marks the official launch of the precinct as a cultural and learning hub for Coolamons Shire.

“The precinct is the culmination of many years of hard work and dedication by the Shire and the precinct’s enthusiastic and committed volunteers – and it has certainly paid off!” Linda said.

“The result is this amazing community hub, unlike many that you would see in a town the size of Coolamon. It is a valuable community asset that will provide so many experiences and opportunities for residents and visitors alike.”

“There are big plans for the precinct, with the vision of hosting a number of high profile travelling exhibitions, an exciting range of music and arts events, and providing facilities for organisations, businesses and residents to host seminars, workshops and private functions.”

“I encourage people to come down to the precinct and experience the exhibits, meet the volunteers and see what an exciting place it has become,” she said.

Doors will open at 10.00am with live performances commencing on stage at 12.30pm. Mayor Robert Menzies will officially open the precinct at 2.00pm and new exhibit, the Reg Godde collection, will be officially opened at 2.30pm. The day concludes at 4.00pm.

While not part of the official opening activities, residents and visitors are encouraged to stay in Coolamon for the Men’s Shed fundraising concert, featuring artists Justine Hogan, Coolamon Singers and Dance Whispers. The concert commences at 6pm and tickets can be purchased from the Coolamon Post Office, Commins Hendriks Solicitors and Coolamon Newsagency. All proceeds go to support the development of Coolamon Men’s Shed.

Cristy Houghton