Melbourne’s newest events hub is now taking bookings

State Library Victoria is nearing completion of its ambitious $88.1 million Vision 2020 redevelopment, and is now taking bookings for events.

As part of the extensive redevelopment of the spaces, the library aims to cement its position as a must-visit destination and become an events hub in Melbourne’s CBD.

The library boasts 11 venues that can be utilised for a variety of purposes, including state-of-the-art conferencing events spaces, heritage reading rooms and a world-class gallery.

One of the signature spaces is The Ian Potter Queen’s Hall, which has been closed to the public since 1993.

A reading room by day, the venue will transform into one of the grandest event spaces in Melbourne at night, following a facelift that will return the inimitable space back to its original grandeur, revealing the heritage paintwork and reinstating the skylight.

The Conversation Quarter include will include a state-of-the-art audio-visual installation, connecting through to the Village Roadshow Theatrette and five break rooms.

Conversation Quarter (State Library Victoria)
State Library Victoria’s Conversation Quarter

The first of the new spaces opened last September, with the re-opening of the Russell Street entrance, and the unveiling of the Isabella Fraser Room – the first purpose-built event space to open in the CBD since Myer Mural Hall in 2010.

On 24 October, the adjoining space to the Isabella Fraser Room, Victoria Gallery, endowed by the John and Myriam Wylie foundation, will open with its first exhibition, Velvet, Iron, Ashes.

This new exhibition will explore the surprising connections between some of Victoria’s greatest stories, including the Ashes Urn and Ned Kelly.

Sarah Slade, acting CEO at State Library Victoria, said: “The Vision 2020 redevelopment project will transform State Library Victoria, Australia’s oldest and busiest public library and one of Victoria’s most important cultural institutions.

“This ambitious program will ensure that the library continues to evolve to meet the changing needs of our vibrant, diverse community, both in Melbourne and in regional Victoria, today and into the future.”

Following an extensive tender process in mid-2018, Showtime Event Group was appointed as the event partner and exclusive caterer for State Library Victoria, and for the past year has been preparing for the launch of the reimagined venue in December.

Troy Stasinowsky, head of business development at Showtime Event Group, said the group’s partnership with State Library Victoria was off to an exciting start.

“In June, we held the very first wedding reception to ever take place in the La Trobe Reading Room – the first time in its 106-year history,” he said.

“And in October this year, we transformed the Redmond Barry Reading Room for the Australian Premiere of Come From Away – the first time the venue has hosted the event.

“The library also hosted ‘Nigella Week’ for MasterChef Australia, and we have some exciting events in the pipeline, including a series of industry events, boutique product exhibitions, and several business events.

“We’ve also seen many couples fall in love with the Library, with over 35 weddings already booked.”