Freo's View


Posted in circuswa, city of fremantle, enkel, local government by freoview on June 25, 2015
Photo: friends of Cantonment Hill

Photo: friends of Cantonment Hill

As was expected Fremantle Council last night approved a long-term lease of the Naval Stores building at Cantonment Hill to the ENKEL Collective, yet another incubator-style and relatively new business. The attempt to get ENKEL share the huge space with CIRCUSWA was not successful and that is disappointing.

Councillor Rachel Pemberton told Council that recent talks with the Chair of ARTSOURCE had been very positive and that the State arts agency were looking to accommodate CIRCUSWA in another part of the building at Phillimore Street when they moved in downstairs with a gallery and cafe. That would probably be the best outcome for CIRCUSWA.

It will now have to be seen if ENKEL will be able to activate Cantonment Hill and also embrace and organise outdoor activities. The collective has not much of a record and only recently set up a website, so they have to prove that they can produce what they promise and attract a large number of people to the historic east end hill. Time will tell.

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, local government by freoview on June 19, 2015

The long-term lease of the Naval Stores at Cantonment Hill to the relatively new and unknown ENKEL group is a bit of a risk for the City of Fremantle, since no one knows if it will succeed and last, while CIRCUSWA who also applied for the lease are well-known and have been successful in the ARTSOURCE building in Phillimore Street for a long time.

ENKEL say about themselves on their website that they:

Provide more relevant and open learning services to the community-at-large, locally and state-wide; through more accessible and adaptive approaches to education and skill-building.

Facilitate and host the discovery, development and implementation of innovative ideas; stimulating the economy and activating the community; through workshops, coworking spaces, cafe and garden.

Empower and Inspire socially innovative and ecologically sustainable enterprise; through networking, skills sharing, ideation, mentoring and transmedia advocacy services.

Engage and activate the local community; through interactive, thoughtful and creative events which cultivate the courage to make more positive changes for the future of WA.

It is disappointing that a group who is so open to new and change could not come to a space sharing arrangement with CIRCUSWA that only wanted a relatively small part of the building to use for their youth education, as it feels to me that is also what ENKEL is about.

ENKEL does interesting workshops and forums and here are a few of them, so you get to know them a bit better: Build your own robot, Foresight cafe breakfast, Handy summer workshop on concrete, u.lab mooc:transforming business, society and self, Enkel ideas clash, Living Labs forum, User innovation-mooc study group, Food future guerilla conference, Homeoffice day, The future of learning and education, etc.

It sounds exciting, new and different, and in a way also very Freo as it is alternative and creative and challenging, but that such a creative and accepting group can not accommodate and work with CIRCUSWA in the same building is very disappointing and might force CIRCUSWA to leave Fremantle.

The call by some Councillors for the City to now start talking with ARTSOURCE to convince them to let CIRCUSWA stay is far too late and should have happened two years ago when the State’s arts organisation expressed they wanted to open a cafe and gallery where the circus school is.

Fremantle has lost too many community and art groups. Kulcha and the FTI are gone, the Fly by Night was forced to move to Victoria Hall, art galleries have closed, and there will be a huge shake up and change at J Shed when Sunset Events build a tavern and outdoor music venue there, with the likelihood that established artists like sculptor Greg James and ceramic artist Jenny Dawson will pack their bags and leave Freo.

Fremantle City needs to deal better with these issues and be more supportive of those who have worked hard to establish themselves in Fremantle, instead of giving preference to new and unknown ventures. CIRCUSWA deserves unconditional support from Council and the administration and a fast solution needs to be found to keep them in Fremantle.

To hear Councillors say you can’t force people to marry and ENKEL to share the Naval Stores with CIRCUSWA is inconsistent from what they decided to do at J Shed, where the established artists did not want a tavern and music venue in the building, but all they got was tough titties and their objections were ignored. Why does that not apply to ENKEL also?

The Cantonment Hill Masterplan is all about activating the area as a community space and CIRCUSWA would be ideal for that, so instead of Council accepting ENKEL’s lack of collaboration, but wanting ARTSOURCE to change their mind, Council should insist on a space sharing arrangement of the Naval Stores, or ENKEL should look for somewhere else in Fremantle where there is plenty of vacant space for their requirements, while CIRCUSWA needs a very heigh space, like the Cantonment Hill shed, to work in.

Roel Loopers

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