The Performing Arts Precinct is the city's outlet for creative performance, offering first-rate facilities for music, drama, dance and other performing arts.


The Performing Arts Precinct, as an Anchor Project within the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan, has a vital role to play in attracting people, economic activity, and investment into the Central City. Along with the performing arts more generally, it will also be pivotal in creating a unique cultural identity for Christchurch.

The Mikado: The Court Theatre

The Performing Arts Precinct will provide facilities for local and touring musicians and performance artists. It will house The Piano: Centre for Music and the Arts and possibly the Court Theatre, collaboration spaces and educational spaces. The site is adjacent to the Isaac Theatre Royal and within easy walking distance of the Christchurch Town Hall and Victoria Square. It sits alongside the Central Library, the Convention Centre Precinct, and the retail and hospitality area of New Regent Street. 

A collective vision

Cover image of document [PDF, 2.1 MB]The Council and the Central Christchurch Development Unit jointly managed development of the Performing Arts Precinct site prior to the disestablishment of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority. They worked with a stakeholder group to develop a shared vision of what the Performing Arts Precinct could be.  

Rebuilding the Central City with the Performing Arts: The vision for the Performing Arts Precinct [PDF, 2.1 MB] 

This document describes the shared vision and aims to provide a picture in people's minds as to what the Precinct could be. It picks up on themes from the Share an Idea campaign around activation, vibrancy, diversity, mixed uses, collaboration, and access for all.

Feedback or comments on Rebuilding the Central City with the Performing Arts or on the Performing Arts Precinct in general can be emailed to or by ringing (03) 941 8999. 

Christchurch venue overview and assessment report

In late 2013 the Ministry for Culture and Heritage (MCH) asked for a report to look at the performing arts facilities that a city like Christchurch should have and what was being provided.  The reason for the report came from concerns expressed by the community about the lack of clarity around venue development.  In 2016 the Christchurch City Council requested an update to the report to allow for information that had become available since the first report.

The report provides an independent, expert view of the current situation and was used to help populate the CERA Planning and Community Toolset (PACT) and assist venue developers and users in their decision making.

This report seeks to provide an independent assessment of performing arts venues in Christchurch with a focus on venues – both existing and planned – that are purpose built for performance and that provide clean access to performing arts practitioners (called Tier 1 Venues). While the reports provide a snapshot of the situation when they were written, the nature and availability of venues in Christchurch will continue to evolve over the coming years.

2016 update - Christchurch venue overview and assessment report [PDF, 539 KB] 

2014 original - Christchurch venue overview and assessment report(external link) 

The Piano: Centre for Music and the Arts 

The Piano: Centre for Music and the Arts opened in September 2016

Completed with state of the art technology including high spec lighting and sound, it is fully equipped for radio and television recording and broadcasting. The acoustics were designed to enhance music performance and the building includes many reflective surfaces made of Southland Maple Beech panelling for prime acoustic conditions. Wilkie + Bruce Architects designed the venue and Acoustics Specialists, Marshall Day is in charge of fine tuning of the acoustics.

Next steps

A benchmark site layout is being developed and this is informing cost estimates and a business case.  The business case will consider why we are developing the precinct, development options that are value for money, how it could be financed and options for managing the precinct.

The performing art spaces included in the Precinct will complement those available in the Town Hall, Isaac Theatre Royal, and elsewhere in the Central City. 

The aim is to provide the range of venues desirable for a city the size of Christchurch. Other complementary development could include cafes, bars, shops, offices, or apartments, which would add to the use and vibrancy of the area.

With hospitality providers and hotels close by, the Precinct will offer residents and visitors to Christchurch plentiful entertainment options within easy walking distance.

Useful links

Funding and cost share

The Council's contribution of $30 million for the Performing Arts Precinct project comes out of the wider Performing Arts Precinct budget of $157.5 million, which was based on the 20132016 Annual Plan. 

The council resolved at their August 2013 meeting that the budgets for the Town Hall project and Performing Arts Precinct be kept separate. The land for the Precinct will be provided by the Crown as per the Crown/Council cost share agreement.