Published On May 11, 2012 | News

Way back in primary school most of us only got crayons and Plasticine to chew on–sorry, to play with. And when it came to those embarrassing, annual school concerts it was all cardboard cut-outs and improvised broomsticks.

Not any more for the kids at Helensvale Primary on the Gold Coast in Queensland. They just got themselves an 1100-seat performing arts centre complete with full AV, lighting and sound facilities including a DiGiCo SD11 console. The DiGiCo got the nod because of its programmable features and touch-screen that allows operators to set up foolproof presets and templates for teachers who are more used to operating… well, crayons and Plasticine–okay, modern teachers are a lot more adept at using technology in the classroom, but you get the idea.

It’s not the only idea Helensvale Primary had. Its performing arts centre is available for hire to anyone else, creating a much-needed income stream in our cash-strapped education system. Other schools and institutions like dance academies (there’s a million of ‘em in Queensland) can rent the facility.

Interesting. A lot of existing performing arts centres, many of them owned and run by the local councils with tight budgets, enjoy a fair swag of crucial business in the latter part of the year as all those schools put on their wind-up shows. Creating a venue such as at Helensvale Primary is an exciting project for system integrators and suppliers, and despite the joys of a pre-programmed SD11 on hand you’d expect there’s still new job opportunities for professional AV, lighting and sound technicians, too. That’s all great news for the industry, but will some of the older, established venues take a hit?

Maybe. It’s fair to suggest too that a lot of grizzled, backstage technicians in those theatres might breath a small sigh of relief at dodging the dreaded, end-of-year “dance school season”.

For more information on the DiGiCo SD11 see www.digico.biz

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Group Technologies www.grouptechnologies.com.au

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