New Mardi Gras (NMG) is close to a deal with the City of Sydney to secure a site for the new parade entry workshop it pledged to re-establish as a result of community consultations earlier this year.
“I can confirm that we are in advanced discussions with the City of Sydney about a dedicated workshop space for the production of floats for this year’s parade,” NMG CEO Michael Rolik said.
Rolik confirmed the building is in the Redfern vicinity.
“It is somewhere that is close to Mardi Gras in that area,” he said.
“What we are looking to offer is a space where we can have people book workshop time and where they can talk to artists and people who have the know-how to help them produce their floats.”
However Rolik said people should have realistic expectations about what the new workshop would offer once open.
“There won’t be the space that we can have everybody and every single float in the parade produced there, but we’ll be able to work within our capabilities and we’ll put in place a system so that access can be managed,” he told the Star Observer.
“But it’s definitely an improvement on what we’ve had in past years.”
Rolik said NMG is still examining who would run the workshop.
“We’re working through who will be staffing the workshop at the moment and I’ll be able to announce that once we’ve finished the discussions with the City,” he said.
“We’ll also be looking for volunteers to take on responsibilities around the workshop but particularly in a workshop environment you need the people with the right skill sets and who have the time available.”
The old Mardi Gras Workshop on Erskineville Road closed its doors in March of 2003, with NMG retaining a smaller workshop space in its Petersham offices in the meantime.