A new home for the Black Tie Gala in Melbourne.

A new home for the Black Tie Gala in Melbourne.

Showtime Event Group know how to throw a party, and according to John Wylie, head of the library board who announced to the 350 dignitaries excitingly “This is a library party that is the hottest party in town, and that hasn’t happened in 160 years!”

To celebrate completion of the ambitious $88.1m Vision 2020 redevelopment the State Library, hosted a Gala last Tuesday night for Victoria’s philanthropic and political powers in the Ian Potter Queens Hall, a venue that has been closed to the public for the last 16 years.

Ian Potter Queen’s Hall – Marble Staircase Entrance

The event was the first look at Melbourne’s newest events venue, which is set to be one of the busiest and most elegant event spaces in Melbourne, with its original heritage paintwork, Ionic pillars and detailed architectural features. A grand room built in 1856, restored to its former glory perched above the Swanston Street library entrance. A red carpet welcomed guests through the new entrance and up the marble staircases. The Honourable Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews was one of many guests amongst previous Victorian premiers Steve Bracks and Jeff Kennett.

Library Board Director John Wylie Addressing Guests

Daniel Andrews announced to the crowd “Tonight we’re here in a tux … talking about the most visited public library in Australia … for that, we should be very proud.”

“It has been an honour and privilege to produce this prestigious and important event for the State Library. We’re very proud to be their exclusive event partner, and showcase what Showtime Event Group do best, throw an awesome party!’ – Brad Dabbs, General Manager, Showtime Event Group

Guests on the night enjoyed a premium menu expertly curated by Executive Chef Vasantha Caldera that included: Oysters, champagne sabayon, caviar, micro watercress served on a sea bed; Vine wrapped Woodside goats cheese cone, pumpkin and pear mousse; Cured Hiramasa kingfish, preserved lemon puree, apple salad, yuzu drops; and Galette of potato, pressed pork belly, guava jus, with lemongrass tapioca pearls.

Galette of potato, pressed pork belly, guava jus, with lemongrass tapioca pearls.

The opening marks the completion of almost 5 years of planning, building and restoration. Increasing public space by 40%, utilizing classical and modern architecture to create some of Melbourne’s most impressive spaces. Forming a total of eleven unique venues within the library that can cater to any style of event, from conferences to large gala dinners.

‘We’re very excited to be able to share these new spaces within the State Library as it quickly becomes the city’s premier events hub. Allowing us to create truly memorable event experiences in some of the most historic and beautiful venues that Melbourne, and indeed Australia has to offer’ – Troy Stasinowsky, Head of Business Development, Showtime Event Group.

An Eclectic & Interactive Dessert Station

The new ‘events hub’ at the Library includes;

  • New purpose-built event spaces, including the Isabella Fraser Room
  • Three Historic reading rooms that transform to unique event venues at night
  • State of the Art conference facilities, including the new Conversation Quarter and linking the theatrette and seminar rooms
  • Multiple kitchens and green rooms including a large production kitchen

Showtime Event Group is the exclusive event partner and caterer to the State Library Victoria.