The general manager of The Events Centre announces retirement.
So I say
Thank you for the music, the songs I’m singing,
Thanks for all – the event joy bringing,
Who can live without it, I ask, in all honesty,
What would life be?
Without events, song or a dance what are we?
So I say, thank you for the music,
For giving it to me!
The manager of the Sunshine Coast’s biggest and most popular events venue, who has led many upgrades and development initiatives since 2013, has announced his retirement.
After a long career in marketing, tourism, performing arts and festival and event management, including more than 30 years in senior management positions, The Events Centre general manager Gary Mears will retire in his Golden Beach home with his wife Julie, in July.
Mr Mears, who only last year was named VMA Venue Professional of the Year at the Asia Pacific industry awards, has overseen the centre for about six years.
He’s led many facility upgrades and business development initiatives at The Events Centre, culminating in the recently completed $8.1 million renovation.
During his time as general manager, the facility has hosted thousands of performances, conferences, dinners and meetings, and it has become one of Australia’s busiest and most respected regional performing arts venues.
“He has worked tirelessly throughout our recent period of renovations, negotiated successfully with large numbers of stakeholders, and been an inspiration to his team during some stressful times,” Cr Dwyer said.
Before joining The Events Centre, Mr Mears was manager of the Ipswich Civic Centre for 12 years, and earlier he was marketing manager for the Ipswich City Council, CEO of the Toowoomba Events and Tourism Corporation, and the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers.
He has managed his own business, Stagesound Promotions, and remains a performing artist, most recently as a member of the duo Bohemian Rogue.
His work as a venue manager has been recognised with designations such as Certified Venue Executive and Accredited Venue Manager. He is an active member of the Venue Management Association (VMA), Performing Arts Connections Australia, Stage Queensland and the Caloundra Red Shield Appeal Committee.
He is a past president of the Northern Australian Region Performing Arts Centres Association and of the Queensland Festivals Association.
“I have an extraordinary passion for the events industry,” Mr Mears said.
“I am most proud and privileged to have played a lead role in the planning, funding applications and major renovation of the centre from concept to the official opening in February.
“There is great community pride in this facility, and we have supported the community through fundraising, community arts development, and engagement with the venue to support people to put on special events rather than just being a venue for hire.
“Everyone who visits The Events Centre comes to gain something and they leave richer for the experience. I have loved being a part of that”