CHAMPION OF THE ARTS: Much-loved Ipswich Civic Centre performing arts manager Suzannah Conway is leaving after two years in the position.
CHAMPION OF THE ARTS: Much-loved Ipswich Civic Centre performing arts manager Suzannah Conway is leaving after two years in the position. Kate Czerny

Suzannah takes her final bow at Civic Centre

AFTER two years of working tirelessly as the Ipswich Civic Centre performing arts manager Suzannah Conway has left her mark on the city's live entertainment scene.

Mrs Conway said her final goodbyes on Monday and is now on her way to Europe to pursue an exciting career in musical theatre.

"We've changed the nature of the programming at the Civic Centre," she said.

"I've been very impressed by Ipswich audiences.

"We found out what our audiences wanted and added live music, comedy and the higher arts like ballet and opera to the program.

"It's been challenging but it has really taken off, which is exciting."

The experienced events manager previously ran Opera Queensland productions, organised the Centenary of Federation celebrations, multiple Brisbane River Festivals and acted as the executive director at the Conservatorium of Music.

"What interested me here was the opportunity to run a venue and program events at the Civic Centre and the new Studio 188," she said.

"The Studio was my baby really and we've been able to forge ahead with it, engage with the community and offer affordable entertainment that's appealing to the younger market.

"I've had a great time. Ipswich has a strong arts community and it's growing so I feel like I've left it in good shape.

"I look forward to coming back in a few years and seeing how far it's come."

As chairman of the Arts, Community and Cultural Services Committee, Councillor Charlie Pisasale worked closely with Mrs Conway to raise the standards of entertainment in Ipswich.

"In her short time here the changes she made took Studio 188 and the Civic Centre to a higher level," Cr Pisasale said. "She went above and beyond to do something better and I always encourage people to do better.

"The arts is starting to show a lot of growth and my hope for the future is to get our own performing arts centre to house the acts we have in Ipswich."

Cr Pisasale said the role of performing arts manager was yet to be filled but the applicant would be sure to continue the good work of Mrs Conway.



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