Arts, Culture and Heritage
Arts, culture and heritage are valued components to city life for their ability to engage, challenge, excite and surprise people and help us reflect on our unique cultural identity. Through direct investment in these activities, the City of Perth is a leader in the development of our rich cultural landscape.
Core services provided by the City's Arts, Culture and Heritage team include management of the City’s cultural collections, integrated planning for the management and conservation of the city’s built heritage and the provision of meaningful public programming showcasing Perth’s unique cultural identity.
Cultural Development Plan 2019 – 2029
Cultural development is of vital importance to a capital city. The Cultural Development Plan 2019 - 2029 responds to issues that are affecting Perth and the region now and into the future, such as: the need to celebrate and showcase our strong and unique cultural identity; culture’s role in developing a sustainable and vibrant built environment; the important role of cultural activities in protecting and cherishing our natural heritage and environmental assets; the fact that Perth’s creative industries lag behind other global cities and the important role arts and culture play in diversifying our economy; the need for leadership, communication and engagement in driving cultural development in Perth; the importance of cultural development in easing social issues, promoting liveability and creating a safe, inclusive and welcoming environment.
The Cultural Development Plan 2019 - 2029 is a statement of the value of culture, the importance of arts, culture, heritage, events and centres of life-long learning to our future prosperity, sustainability, liveability and wellbeing. The essence of cultural development is delivering outcomes through continued investment in cultural activities in Perth. Cultural activities are key to delivering outcomes that are measurable and make a meaningful difference in the lives of all members of Perth’s diverse community.
The Cultural Development Plan 2019 - 2029 has been developed using the internationally recognised Cultural Planning Framework and Cultural Outcomes Measures, developed by local government, for local government, led by the Cultural Development Network (CDN) and the National Local Government Cultural Forum. Information on the National Local Government Cultural Forum and the Cultural Planning Framework methodology can be found on CDN's website.
The Arts, Culture and Heritage team is also responsible for delivering a number of significant outcomes as part of the City of Perth’s 2018/2019 Reconciliation Action Plan.
Heritage Perth Inc. (formerly known as the City of Perth Heritage Appeal) was inaugurated in June 2005 as a joint venture between the City of Perth and the National Trust of Australia (WA). In October 2008, Heritage Perth became an independent organisation, retaining strong links to its principal partner, the City of Perth.
The role of Heritage Perth is to present the heritage of the city of Perth in a positive way, demonstrating it as a valuable community, environmental and economic asset.
In 2019, after raising the profile of heritage in Perth for over a decade, the independent organisation will cease to exist, with its name, events and activities finding a new home within the City of Perth, where it will continue to be resourced and equipped to deliver heritage outcomes.
The City is delighted to welcome Heritage Perth to its new home, where its reputation, cultural value and programs will continue to thrive and grow.
The City of Perth warmly thanks Heritage Perth, Executive Directors, staff, its Board and all stakeholders who have supported its goals and enabled heritage to flourish in the city.
Following the successes of the Heritage Perth Weekends in 2021 and 2022 and Boorloo Heritage Festival in 2023, the City of Perth will again host a month-long program of events and activities in April 2024.
To read more about the Boorloo Heritage Festival head to Visit Perth.
Making Space for CultureIn June 2021, the City of Perth undertook a landmark study to ‘make space for culture’ in the inner-city Perth area. The purpose of this study was to determine the supply and demand for artist live/work spaces. Over 1,000 creatives gave input into their needs and the barriers to securing creative space in the city. A summary of the findings can be downloaded on this page.
Making Space for Culture was led by the City of Perth in partnership with Town of Victoria Park, City of South Perth and City of Vincent. The study aims to identify key opportunities and policy mechanisms that the four councils could pursue to facilitate an uptake of sustainable, affordable, and long-term arts accommodation and creative maker spaces across inner city neighbourhoods.
Local Heritage Survey
The City is reviewing the Local Heritage Survey (formerly called Municipal Heritage Inventory). A Local Heritage Survey is a list of places which have cultural heritage significance. Nominate a place that tells the City’s story.
The City would like to know what places you think are important to nominate for the LHS and the reasons why via the nomination form available on Engage Perth, or available in hard copy from the City.
Council considered the Local Heritage Survey at the Ordinary Council Meeting held on 28 March 2023. Follow this link to access the meeting minutes and attachments.
Visit Engage Perth for more information on the Local Heritage Survey Project.
Perth’s cultural identity is living, breathing and evolving. It is intrinsically woven through our built, natural and social landscapes.
Through the Finding Perth project the City aims to celebrate our diverse cultural identity, increase access to the City’s cultural assets and highlight Perth’s truly unique history and heritage. Finding Perth is an initiative to digitise and fully integrate various cultural and historical collections and make them publicly available for viewing online in a dynamic and interactive format.
As a precursor to the development of Finding Perth some of the City’s cultural assets and data have been mapped online:
Public Art Collection
By investing in the City's Public Art Collection, as well as commissioning temporary, ephemeral works, the City is a leader in the development of a rich cultural landscape, helping to create vibrant and active public spaces - essential for a safe and stimulating environment.
St Georges Terrace commemorative plaques
Walk along St Georges Terrace and you are stepping back through history. Find the street plaques showing people who have left their mark, in some significant way, on Western Australia. They include politicians, doctors, pioneers, teachers, sports people and civic leaders.
The plaques commence on the southern side of St Georges Terrace outside Perth Concert Hall and progress chronologically in a westerly direction and then back again on the northern side finishing at Irwin Street. The City of Perth is proud to commemorate the contributions made by these distinguished West Australians.
Art galleries and museums
Whether you’ve got an hour to kill and fancy the peace and serenity of an art gallery or you want to make a day of exploring Perth's museums and galleries, there’s a plethora of delightful experiences to be had in the city.
Untold Stories of Perth Podcast
From snake charmers, planned segregation, and refugees desperate to fit in, this fascinating look at the Untold Stories of Perth is based on new and existing oral history interviews from the City of Perth's Cultural Collections.
Follow the link below to listen online or subscribe to the Untold Stories of Perth podcast.
For more information on the City of Perth’s Cultural Collections, please contact our Cultural Collections team at Collections@cityofperth.wa.gov.au. If you have an enquiry about the City of Perth’s history & heritage, please contact our History Centre team at email@example.com.
City of Perth History Centre
The History Centre forms part of the City’s cultural collections and is dedicated to collecting and preserving items relating to the City’s history. The collection includes photographs, books, oral histories and ephemera ranging from Aboriginal occupation and the early days of European settlement to the present day.
Read more about the History of the Council.
To find out more visit the History Centre.