NRCG IgniteStudios 30Type MainImage Web 1320x480Image Credit: Ignite Studios @ NRCG  | former Ballina Fire Station

Ignite Studios @ NRCG is an extension of the Northern Rivers Community Gallery (NRCG), a community-engaged cultural hub in the Northern Rivers region, owned and operated by Ballina Shire Council.

Located in the heart of the Ballina CBD, adjacent to the NRCG and housed in the historic former Ballina Fire Station, Ignite Studios provides a dynamic shared access space supporting the development and participation of artistic pursuits. Facilities include four artist studios, a visiting artist-in-residence (AiR) studio and two access spaces for workshops, creative events, pop-up exhibitions, meetings and special projects.

This exciting new facility is scheduled to open February 2018!

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The Northern Rivers Community (NRCG) is a community-engaged cultural hub in the Northern Rivers region that supports and develops cultural and artistic pursuits through accessible, innovative exhibitions, public programs, workshops and events.

The NRCG is housed in the historic former Ballina Municipal Council Chambers. Built in 1927, Ballina Shire Council renovated this building in 2007 to the highest standard in lighting, climate control and security. The NRCG features four exhibitions spaces with capability to present a broad range of professional multi-arts and cultural programs. Ignite Studios @ NRCG extends the Gallery facilities to offer a dynamic, new creative social space for residents and visitors alike.

ADAPTIVE REUSE - Former Ballina Fire Station

The beautiful, heritage listed permises were previously used as a Fire Station for approximately 80 years. The Ballina Fire Station operations relocated to new premises in 2015 and the former Ballina Fire Station at 60 Crane Street was then acquired by Ballina Shire Council.

Built in the same architectural style as the NRCG and located in the adjoing property, the former Ballina Fire Station provides an exeptional opportunity to expand the facility and services of NRCG. Temporary use of the building for a period of twelve months has been provided by the Council to trial utilising the premises as an extension of NRCG operations for a multi-disciplinary art space.

Refurbishment works are being carried out during 2016 for the adaptive re-use of the premises as a regional multi-disciplinary art space, celebrating the heritage values of the building and ongoing enjoyment of the facility for the whole community.


Ignite Studios offers two venues to support four activities for the growing demand of local arts and cultural activities. This includes Artist Studios; an Artist-in-Residence Space; Workshop Spaces and an experimental project space utilising the original ‘Engine Room’. The ‘Engine Room’ doubles as both an art education and an experimental art project space.

This project is supported by Create NSW's Arts and Cultural Projects funding.

  NRCG 1000Words SponsorLogos CreateNSW

NRCG Ignite Studios Floorplan Web


The ‘Engine Room’ and the ‘Locker Room’ (floor plan reference - Workshop spaces #1 and #2) are dedicated workshop and/or project spaces available for hire when not in use for Gallery programs. The ‘Engine Room’ can also be utilised for other experimental or pop-up creative projects.

Bookings for short term hire of the workshop and project spaces will commence in February 2018.

Updates on this program will be distributed via our E-News and social media platforms, Facebook and Instagram.

  • Artist's Steve Waller and Imbi Davison  |  Making Marks in the Gallery 2016


The four Artist Studios (floor plan reference - Artist Studios #1 to #4) utilise the original residential living areas and range in size from 10m2 to 18m2. The Artist Studio spaces are available for a twelve month lease to creative practitioners from all disciplines, including but not limited to, painting, digital media, photography, design, craft, filmmaking, performance, sculpture and writing. Artists from Ballina Shire, Northern Rivers and across NSW are welcome to apply.

*** APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED - Sign-up to the Gallery E-News to be updated on future opportunities ***


Studio tenancies availabe now through to Februrary 2019


The Artist Studio Spaces at ‘Ignite Studios @ NRCG’ are designed to encourage co-working and an open platform for professional development and opportunity. Providing greater access to shared creative space in the Northern Rivers region, Ignite Studios aims to support makers and creative professionals working across various fields through:

  • provision of professional workspaces
  • enabling creative projects
  • networking artists with arts influencers, local communities and peers through NRCG annual program
  • building a hub for artistic practice and ideas

The focus of ‘Ignite Studios @ NRCG’ is on innovative arts and creative industry, including but not limited to painting, digital media, photography, design, craft, filmmaking, performance, sculpture, writing and other arts and cultural practitioners.

The four spaces pertaining to this application are designated as Studio #1 to Studio #4. Refer floor plan for facility layout.


  • Empty space with basic lighting/power outlets and picture rails
    for hanging of artworks
  • All outgoings incl. electricity/water*
  • Outdoor cold water wash basin area
  • Private & semi-private, lockable studio spaces
  • 24 hour access
  • Air conditioning (studios 1 and 2 only)
  • Bathroom facilities
  • Wireless internet access (when available)
  • Inclusion in NRCG online marketing
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Professional development and networking opportunities through the annual NRCG program and other special events.
  • Ability to sell products thorugh NRCG Shop (subject to a 33% consignment commission)
  • Standard Waste Collection and grounds maintenance
  • Initial 12 month lease period with possibility to renew
  • Rent beginning from $70 (incl. gst) per week
  • Ample street parking

Conditional Inclusions

  • A kitchenette (Only available if the residential AiR space is not
    in use).
  • Wireless internet is installed for Gallery programs and residents artists can utilise free of charge when available.
  • Renters can utilise additional spaces, ‘The Engine Room’ and
    ‘The Locker Room’ to run workshops or special projects for an additional fee.

* exception for high power consumption equipment such as kilns. Usage would be metered and charged at an additional cost based on monthly usage.



Studio rental is paid monthly in advance and a Direct Debit from a nominated bank account will be required to be set-up at time of signing the agreement. A security deposit of 4 weeks rent will be required. 

Studio artists can access ‘The Locker Room’ and ‘The Engine Room’ for an additional fee when available.

Studio # Area (floor) Size Weekly Rental
Studio 1 14m2 3.6 x 4 Meters $110
Studio 2 14m2 3.6 x 4 Meters $110
Studio 3 18m2 4.8 x 3.8 Meters $100
Studio 4 10m2 3.4 x 3 Meters $70

Note: Fees are subject to annual review by Ballina Shire Council



Successful applicants will be issued with a Studio Agreement governing all aspects of their access to the Ignite Studio facilities. Due to the heritage of the building, access and use will be in accordance with certain prescribed conditions for example drilling into, modifying or fixing on to the walls is prohibited. In addition to these conditions, the general terms of the agreement will include the following.

  • The Renter will indemnify and keep indemnified Ballina Shire Council (and NRCG), its officers, agents and contractors against all liability for death or injury to persons or loss of or damage to property (including property of BSC and NRCG) and all actions, claims, demands, losses, damages, costs and expenses which may be suffered or sustained pursuant to their Studio Rental Agreement. This indemnity will also apply to any persons and property that is on site at Ignite Studios or NRCG as a consequence of the actions of the Renter either pursuant to or in breach of the conditions of their Studio Agreement.
  • Renters are required to have their own Public Liability insurance with cover to the value of $20 million.
  • The Renter agrees to comply with all necessary workplace health and safety laws and regulations.
  • Access is available 24/7. Standard residential noise restrictions apply after 10pm seven days a week. 
  • Artist Studios are not open to the general public except for open days or special events specified and organised by NRCG.
  • Renters are responsible for ensuring the premises are fully secure on leaving the facility, managing waste collection and for keeping their studio clean and tidy at all times.
  • Renters are to work within their nominated studio unless an alternative arrangement has been made with NRCG management.
  • Studios cannot be utilized for industrial or semi-industrial creative processes, retail sales outlet, public events and unlicensed alcohol sales.

 Applications are open to:

  • Artists from all disciplines, including but not limited to, painting, digital media, photography, filmmaking, performance, sculpture, craft, design and writing
  • Artists from Ballina, Northern Rivers and across NSW are welcome to apply
  • Artists from all career-stages
  • Applicants must be 18 years of age or above
  • Post-graduate students are eligible to apply. Applications from undergraduate students are not eligible



Final selections will be made balancing a mix of art forms, career stage and studio experience within the facility, in order to encourage diversity and a vibrant creative hub encouraging dialogue, exchange and innovation.

  • Quality of work and originality of ideas.
  • Value of a studio to the development of the artist/s.
  • Value of contribution to the artist community and public program of Ignite Studios & the Ballina Shire.
  • Suitability of art form for a studio space.
  • Commitment of time to using the studio.

Allocation of studios will be undertaken by a Selection Committee established by Northern Rivers Community Gallery. The Committee includes a practising artist, the Gallery Coordinator, an external arts industry representative and a Ballina Shire Council representative.


Applicants will be notified via email early 2018 and artists will have the option to accept or decline the offer.

Completing this Application does not obligate you to accept a studio and it also does not guarantee that you will be offered a studio. Applicants for studios may be required to attend an interview as part of the assessment of their application.

Download Links:

INFORMATION: Artist Studio Information





*** Applications are currently being invited for the 2018 Artist-in-Residence (AiR) program ***

The Ignite Studios @ NRCG AiR program provides a single artist time and space to expand on their artistic practice, researching and experimenting with ideas for new work or new ways of working. The AiR program provides a residential and separate studio space, professional development opportunities and facilitates access to local community, cultural and industry networks and feeds directly into the NRCG annual public and artistic programs. As a key requirement, AiR participants are required to engage with the wider community through the NRCG public or artistic program that can include lectures, artist talks, workshops, open studios, exhibition, performance or site-specific activations.

The Ignite Studios @ NRCG AiR program is open to Australian and International arts professionals from a diverse spectrum of creative disciplines, both emerging and established, from the quirky to obscure celebrating the importance of contemporary art voices with people and place. Creative disciplines could include, but are not limited to artists, designers, writers, performers, producers, directors, composers, curators and educators.


The NRCG offers both ‘Funded’ and ‘Open – Non-funded’ AiR opportunities through the Ignite Studios @ NRCG AiR program. Residencies are between 2 – 12 weeks depending on the needs and practice of the resident and the particular nature of their proposed residency.


The funded AiR program calls for proposals from creative practices that engage with the unique identity, history and current social, environment and economic context of the Ballina Coast and Hinterland. The funded AiR program includes accommodation and a studio space and provides between $1,000 - $2,000 stipend per resident towards materials and living expenses, dependant on length of time and nature of the proposed residency. Travel expenses and all associated costs must be covered by the artist.

The Funded AiR program seeks proposals with a focus on one of the following areas:

Environment Futures (Funded)

These residencies are designed to encourage exploration, research, collaboration, development and experimentation that engage with current environmental topics within a local and/or broader global context. This residency encourages collaboration, particularly with local non-arts industry that actively fosters dialogue on complex environmental topics.

Space and Place (Funded)

These residencies are aimed at artists where relevance of the place, space or community drive the work, and the local place and/or community should be involved in shaping the project. The residencies encourage works of spatial, site-specific explorations and/or active engagement and collaboration with the local community and public spaces of the Ballina Shire township.

*** Applications for the 2018 Funded AiR program close midnight Sunday 11 February 2018 ***


The Open AiR program provides artists with time and space to expand on their artistic practice, researching and experimenting with ideas for new work or new ways of working. Engagement with local place and/or community is encouraged but not essential for the Open AiR program. There is no stipend or living allowance attached to these residencies. Successful artists will be charged a subsidised studio rental fee of $50 per week (including GST). Successful applicants will be responsible for all costs associated with the residency including travel costs, insurance, materials, and equipment and will be required to pay a refundable bond of $250 prior to occupancy to cover any costs associated with damage or extraordinary cleaning. Applicants should address their capacity to meet the financial requirements of the residency within their application.

*** Applications for the 2018 Open AiR program are accepted all year round and assessed on a case by case basis ***


Applicants will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • Artistic standing of applicant and artistic merit of the proposal (40%)
  • Benefit of the residency to the applicant's professional development or the successful realisation of the proposed project (30%)
  • Relevance and response to the NRCG priorities to connect with people and/or place of Ballina Shire detailed within the respective AiR Categories (30%)

The panel will also consider:

  • Suitability of the artform to the studio/facility
  • Balance of emerging and established practitioners
  • Relationship to the NRCG wider public and artistic programs
  • Availability of dates and length of residency required
  • Artform and cultural diversity


For futher information and to apply please download the AiR Information booklet and Application form from the links at the bottom of this page.

Completed applications and support material should be mailed to:

Ignite AiR Program
Northern Rivers Community Gallery (NRCG)
PO Box 450 Ballina NSW 2478


by email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
NOTE: Emailed applications must strictly adhere to the file size limits outlined in the AiR Application form.

Download Links:

INFORMATION: AiR Information Booklet

APPLY NOW: AiR Application form

Make sure to sign-up to our E-News and social media platforms, Facebook and Instagram to be kept up to date on all of our programs.

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