We are delighted to share that this week, Greg Innes our Chief Executive | Tumu Whakarae was presented with an award from EVANZ (Entertainment Venue Association of New Zealand) to honour his contribution of over 30 years to the venues industry.
Alongside Q Theatre being acknowledged as a Finalist in the 2023 Small Venue of the Year category, Greg Innes was surprised to receive this award on behalf of the industry for his ongoing passion and care for venues and more recently, performing arts venues across both New Zealand and Australia.
Greg has dedicated his career to the arts and entertainment sector in Australia and most significantly, here in Aotearoa. He has been in and around the performing arts, entertainment and events sector since the early 1980s.
His introduction to the industry started when he became involved on behalf of the Victorian State Government with the brand-new Victorian Arts Centre. Following that, he engaged with the wider industry via the construction, development and redevelopment of various performing arts, entertainment, convention and sporting facilities on behalf of the Victorian Government. He then went on to work with the Australian Theatre Proprietors and Entrepreneurs Association, now known as Live Performance Australia.
In 1994, he returned to New Zealand following his appointment as Chief Executive of the Aotea Centre Board of Management, better known to many as The Edge (not the radio station). This was a role he held for 16 years until the formation of Auckland Council supercity in 2010. The Edge was at that time, New Zealand’s only major integrated performing arts, entertainment and conventions operation and during his tenure, he was closely involved with major projects, including the redevelopment of the Auckland Town Hall, as well as conceiving and leading the redevelopment and restoration of the iconic theatre, The Civic in Auckland’s CBD.
Following eight years as an independent consultant across a wide range of roles in the performing arts and venues sector, Greg Innes stepped into the role of General Manager for the New Zealand Dance Company. He is now the Chief Executive of Q Theatre, contributing his steady hand and deep industry knowledge.
As part of the presentation, the EVANZ team reached out to some of Greg's industry friends to hear what they had to say about him.
Greg Innes with Kate Ward-Smythe Q's Programme Manager | Kaiwhakahaere Hōtaka
Robbie Macrae who worked with Greg for many years at The Edge had this to say:
“Greg Innes has always been a man with a vision and at the same time, hugely supportive of the vision of others. He has mentored many in the industry and is not afraid to take a risk.
He is always looking for a way to do things better. Often feisty earlier in his career and very determined to overcome any obstacles to achieve his dreams. He has a huge love of the events, arts and entertainment industry and just wants the best for everyone. And in this crazy industry, he is always up for laugh and celebrating success ideally with a glass of bubbles.”
Shona McCullagh worked closely with Greg at the New Zealand Dance Company and here is what she said:
“Greg’s passion, integrity, skills and love of people are the foundation of his mahi, and therefore his relationships. Having employed Greg later in his career, NZDC benefitted enormously from his vast experience of working with many kinds of people and his gentle wisdom, always delivered with a smile. He also stepped into a lead governance role, navigating the organisation through a period of instability with huge commitment and generosity. I am grateful to call Greg a loved colleague and inspiring friend”
And finally, this quote from Andrew Smith, Board Chair | Tiamana of Q Theatre Limited and Trust Boards:
"Greg joined Q as CEO in 2020 and has had a profoundly positive impact on Q Theatre.
He brought to the role extensive experience in venue management and the performing arts sector in general, along with many years of business management and leadership.
He led the organisation through the challenging COVID pandemic when the theatre was closed for many months, but used that time to introduce and develop appropriate accounting and theatre management systems so that we now have a much better appreciation of the costs and opportunities of running the business.
Q is in a better position now than it has ever been, and more able to face whatever challenges might arise in the years to come and this is in large part due to Greg’s leadership. "
A massive congratulations to Greg for this honour, we can't wait to see the award shining brightly in our offices!