Who’s Who in the ‘Zoo’

A glossary of some of the significant Australian arts bodies



The Australian Major Performing Arts Group, or AMPAG, is the umbrella group for Australia’s major performing arts companies who inspire millions through theatre, circus, contemporary dance, classical ballet, classical music, opera, musicals and comedy.

AMPAG, as the representative body of Australia’s 28 major performing arts companies, gives its member companies a national voice and presence.



The Australian Performing Arts Centres Association is the national peak body representing and supporting performing arts presenters from the iconic Sydney Opera House to remote regional centres.  Supports the development of the performing arts throughout Australia with our broad membership including arts centres, independent producers and companies, festivals and performing arts consultants, agencies and funding bodies.

APACA PAX (Performing Arts Exchange)

The Performing Arts Exchange (PAX) is APACA’s networking and tour development event. It’s a national  face-to-face market which brings together producers and presenters from across the country to create and maximise touring opportunities and build relationships. Usually presented around August  / September with over 50 of the best creative based performances /projects on offer.   This includes ready-to-tour and in-development productions and is a marketplace for programmers, presenters and producers.

Artback NT


Artback NT is the Northern Territory’s visual and performing arts touring agency.

Its mission is connecting people and place through arts development and touring.   Artback NT has activated creative participation across the Territory for 21 years and continues to promote excellence and advocate for NT artists at a national level.



arTour is Queensland’s centre of contemporary touring knowledge. arTour supports performing artists and producers to tour work through regional Queensland and nationally. arTour also assists Queensland presenters to program performance work for their local audiences.   arTour is managed by Circa and supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, part of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet. 

Arts on Tour NSW


Arts on Tour is the peak servicing organisation for performing arts touring in NSW and specialises in developing and managing performing arts tours for producers and venues of all sizes throughout Australia. They connect producers and venues to realise touring projects that provide audiences across Australia with access to entertaining, educational and professional quality performing arts experiences.   AOT provides a complete range of services including tour development, coordination, administration, logistics and risk management support to independent and emerging producers and major production companies. AOT is an advocate for the NSW touring sector, providing information and advice, resources, industry analysis and facilitating touring forums.

Australia Council  – Playing Australia


The Regional Performing Arts Touring program supports performing arts to reach regional and remote communities across Australia. Grants are available to support the net touring costs associated with a national tour.

Australian Performing Arts Market (APAM)


The Australian Performing Arts Market (APAM) is Australia’s leading, internationally focused industry event for contemporary performing arts and is held bi -annual with the next one in 2018 in Brisbane.   APAM’s key purpose continues to be the increase of international and national touring opportunities for Australian contemporary performing arts groups and artists. APAM champions and invests in Australian Arts.

Blue Heeler Network


An informal consortium of performing arts tour coordination service providers managed and supported by Regional Arts Australia.  While each coordinator has a state-based brief, they operate as a voluntary group to coordinate tour development and deliver the performing arts to remote, regional and metropolitan audiences. They do this by fostering relationships between producers and presenters in particular by managing a national touring arts market, Long Paddock.   The Blue Heelers consist of arTour (Queensland), Country Arts SA, Country Arts WA and Regional Arts Victoria. The network also includes Associate Blue Heelers Artback NT and Tasmania Performs.


Boost Funding


The Performing Arts Tours Boost is $1m project funded by the State Government’s Royalties for Regions program.  The Boost program provides  funding for regional touring by WA small to medium groups (s2m) and the development and delivery of skills training packages for community presenters.



CAN are a community arts and cultural development organisation.  CAN use arts and creativity to grow resilient communities.

CAN has been operating in WA since 1985 and in 2015 celebrated 30 years of inspiring and mobilising communities to creatively express their unique stories through the arts.

Circuit West


CircuitWest exists to build an effective and inclusive network that connects members and stakeholders involved in the business of performing arts presenting. They work collaboratively to share information and provide opportunities and services that enable the best possible outcomes from the connection between presenters and artists for the benefit of audiences.

Circuit West Tour

Country Arts WA delivers an annual tour to professionally managed venues throughout Western Australia. Touring to the CircuitWest membership network, Country Arts WA is able to successfully tour performances requiring a greater level of technical support.

This strong working relationship with CircuitWest venues ensures regional communities are serviced through both state and national touring strategies.

Country Arts SA (CASA)


Country Arts SA provides arts and services across regional South Australia through a range of arts programs and initiatives, the management of performing and visual arts venues, and the provision of grant funding which supports the creative endeavors of communities and individuals.

Country Arts WA (CAWA)


Country Arts WA is the peak body in Western Australia for regional arts and is a not-for-profit, regionally governed and membership-based organisation.

Country Arts WA delivers an extensive state and national touring program, arts development programs and strategic initiatives. Managing devolved funding on behalf of the State and Federal Governments, Country Arts WA also plays a vital advocacy role for regional arts and culture.

Country Arts WA, Shows on the Go program

Shows on the Go is a community-driven touring model wherein regional Western Australians vote for the productions they would most like to see performed in their town.

This is done annually through the Shows on the Go Touring Menu, via the National Touring Selector website. Shows are then short-listed for selection by the communities in the regions, with the successful shows to tour the following year.

Critical Stages


Critical Stages is Australia’s national professional organisation for the development, production and touring of outstanding independent theatre.  They seek out the most promising and successful productions from the independent theatre hubs across Australia and help them find new audiences. Critical Stages works with presenters and venues of all scales, shapes and sizes to connect them to leading independent theatre makers and deliver high-quality productions.

Department of Culture and the Arts


The Department of Culture and the Arts (DCA) guides the delivery of culture and arts for Western Australia through the provision of policy development, coordination and support services to the Culture and Arts portfolio. DCA also supports the culture and the arts sector.

DCA is organised into four directorates, the Arts and Cultural Development directorate is responsible for policy development, future planning, research strategy and strategic partnerships.  Responsible for providing recurrent funding to non-government arts organisations as a base from which they can then generate additional income through sponsorship, box office earnings and funding from other bodies to support their annual program of activities.   In addition the Directorate provides project funding through its grants programs. These programs are designed to provide emerging and established arts practitioners, workers and creatives with one-off funding assistance to undertake and deliver a broad range of projects and activities across multiple art forms and disciplines.



A national network of arts organisations that aims to increase awareness of Australian multicultural arts. Kultour promotes excellence, and through its members produces and presents to a wide audience high quality, multifaceted work, reflecting all art forms.

Musica Viva


Musica Vicva works to bring the best ensemble music to regional Australia through their CountryWide program which is supported by the Australia Council, Communities NSW and Arts Victoria. By partnering with a range of local presenters including professional venues, volunteer-run arts societies, festivals and regional music conservatoriums, Musica Viva enables audiences in regional towns and cities to experience the best classical, jazz, world music, early music, vocal, and percussion ensembles in Australia.

National Touring Selector (formerly known as Cyberpaddock)


Cyberpaddock has now been replaced by the National Touring Selector National Touring Selector is a networking tool for the performing arts touring industry with particular emphasis on regional and remote venues and producers of tour ready shows. The online site brings together the creators and presenters of performing arts from across Australia and helps generate tours and performing arts seasons.

Performing Arts Touring Alliance (PATA)


The Performing Arts Touring Alliance (PATA) is Australia’s peak body for the national performing arts touring sector. It is a cohesive and objective voice for key stakeholders and government, providing quality and informed strategic advice and policy.

Performing Lines


Performing Lines develops, produces and tours new and innovative Australian performing arts regionally, nationally and internationally. They nurture and recognize creativity, provide artists with access to broader audiences, and contribute to the enhancement of a distinctly Australian culture both in Australia and overseas. Performing Lines works with emerging independent artists to help increase their skills and sector awareness; they produce the work of these artists as well as that of more established artists and companies;  connect artists with national and international presenters; and broker and manage the tours that result.  Performing Lines has producers in Perth and Hobart as well as Sydney, partners and collaborators in every state and territory, and an increasingly rich network of contacts overseas. In addition they manage a number of related but separately funded initiatives.

Regional Arts Australia


Regional Arts Australia is the National Body Representing those working with and for the Arts in regional and remote Australia.  Regional Arts Australia’s key achievements include the successful staging of National Biennial Arts Conferences across Australia; delivering the Regional Arts Fund on behalf of the Commonwealth Government; and developing integrated strategies and support services that enhance access to regional touring of performing arts companies.

Regional Arts Victoria


Regional Arts Victoria (RAV) is an independent, not-for-profit, membership-based organisation working in long-term partnerships with every level of government, fostering contemporary and innovative regional cultural practice across five decades.  Is the peak body for regional artists and arts organisations, and the leading organisation for regional creative practice in Victoria.   The Touring Department at Regional Arts Victoria coordinates and facilitates the touring of performing arts throughout Australia.   RAV primary aim is to provide Victorian regional audiences with access to high quality cultural experiences and Victorian artists with opportunities to reach audiences throughout Australia.


This market is based in Adelaide and will be held for the first time in early 2017 and will be a transactional market, focused on bookings and tours.  ShowBroker’s core program will be built around seeing the best tour-ready Australian work and maximising opportunities to see it and book it.  Arts South Australia will deliver the market in collaboration with the Adelaide Festival of Arts, Adelaide Fringe, Adelaide Festival Centre and the South Australian Presenters’ Association

Showcase Victoria


Delivered annually through a partnership between the Victorian Association of Performing Arts Centres (VAPAC) and Regional Arts Victoria with support from Creative Victoria, Showcase Victoria is an event where everyone involved in the performing arts can forge the connections they need to fulfill their touring and programming ambitions

Tasmania Performs


Tasmania Performs works with performing artists at critical points across their careers, providing targeted support and professional opportunities through producing and/or touring work.   Tasmania Performs is an initiative of Arts Tasmania, developed in partnership with the Australia Council in 2006 and managed by one of Australia’s leading national producing and touring organisations Performing Lines.

Theatre Network Australia (Vic)


Theatre Network Australia (TNA) is a service organisation for the professional, non-profit theatre industry. Their work focuses on strengthening the independent and small to medium sectors, and increasing connection between all parts of the theatre industry.

Based in Melbourne, TNA works nationally to promote the performing arts sector and run professional development forums, including the major Australian Theatre Forum, peer-learning workshops, and provide information and resources .

Tour coordinators

Tour coordinators liaise with the producers and presenters to develop and deliver tours. There are a wide variety of tour coordinators within the sector, providing a range of different services.

Western Australian Chamber of Arts and Culture


The Chamber of Arts and Culture Western Australia is the peak policy and advocacy body representing the arts and cultural sector in Western Australia. The Chamber believes that a vibrant and diverse arts and cultural scene is essential for economic, political and social well-being.

Western Australia Showcase

WA Showcase offers opportunity for presenters and producers from around the State to the see and hear about the excellent work being made in Western Australia.  Held each May and brings together a network of all the key producers, tour coordinators and presenters across Western Australia


Download Resources: