Freo's View


Posted in art, fremantle by freoview on February 14, 2014

It is very disappointing to hear that KULCHA in Fremantle will close its doors after just celebrating its 30th anniversary. The multicultural arts venue on the Cappuccino Strip announced it will wind up its operations due to the challenges in maintaining sustainable income levels.

“Being good at what you do is not sufficient to guarantee a future in the Arts in WA” Kulcha President Jon Strachan said. He cited the rising running costs and the lack of support from State Government as the reasons the club could no longer survive.

KULCHA was established in 1983, and says on its Facebook page that “ Our 30th anniversary year will be an unprecedented season of activity and renewal. It’s going to be an exciting time, and we look forward to sharing it with you.”

 Kulcha CEO Jon Cope said that “this is a very sad outcome for our multicultural community in WA.”

The loss of Kulcha will be a big loss for Fremantle, after losing Deckchair Theatre not so long ago, and one would hope that the City of Fremantle at least could make Victoria Hall and the Town Hall available at no costs to rescue some of the Kulcha events planned for this year.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said “It is hugely disappointing as it was a great part of Fremantle’s arts and culture scene.”

I personally will miss the quirky and cosy atmosphere of Kulcha, and that feeling of being embraced by the world when surrounded by all those foreign accents.

The City of Arts is losing its mojo a bit and that needs to be addressed by the entire Fremantle community. Without our support art cannot survive in our city. Bums on seats, exhibition attendances, and going to local shows is essential.

Roel Loopers

6 Responses

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  1. Peter said, on February 14, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Truly sadden by the end of KULCHA. It is a great loss for Fremantle.


  2. Brendan said, on February 14, 2014 at 9:02 am

    Kulcha was a wonderful place that will be sadly missed. CEO Jon Cope busted his gut to keep the place going, despite the department of arts, screwing him time and time again. And you pay $9-11 for a beer wherever you go in Freo. (Maybe with the exception of a few old-school worker-type clubs) And the entry fee was never that high compared with some places. If places like Kulcha, the Fy etc close, what are with left with in Freo? Another uber cool wanky cafe, where you pay $5 for a luke warm, crap coffee.


  3. freoview said, on February 14, 2014 at 7:48 am

    Bar prices are one of the reasons I miss out on that kind of social life Norm, a glass of wine or stubby of beer for 8-10 dollars is too high after one has paid entry fee to see a show. Not sure if Kulcha had a subsidised rent or the City charged the full commercial one.
    It is very hard for art to survive in Fremantle and maybe we should have a workshop of some kind on that and get some creative brain power together and see if we can change it.



  4. freoview said, on February 14, 2014 at 7:44 am

    It’s a non for profit organisation.



  5. Pete said, on February 14, 2014 at 6:47 am

    Never went there, but hey, if you can’t run a business without subsidies, perhaps you shouldn’t be in the game. Still, sad loss.


  6. Norman Erickson said, on February 14, 2014 at 5:09 am

    The last time I was at Kulcha was during the freo Festival and I commented at the time that on top of door charge the price of a beer @ $9 (for a Coopers Pale stubby) was something I just couldn’t afford on a regular basis. My comment was met by blank stares and jokes by those who had bar tabs (you know who you are!) I could write an essay here on this issue but suffice it to say that property valuations (affecting both staff wages and rental values) are at the bottom of ALL radically increasing costs with regard to venues and events costs in Fremantle..and indeed Perth in general, regardless of who owns the venues in question!!!. Everyone has to live somewhere…wages pressure is reflected in the general increasing cost structure of running venues. The City of Fremantle has to come to grips with this issue in regard to buildings they own!!!…the City has the power to change the cost structure of venues it controls simply by mandating that rents for buildings it owns are NOT linked to property valuation.

    If I am wrong…tell me why!


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