Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute
Since 1859, the Ballaarat Mechanics Institute has been used for balls, lectures, markets, cinema, library, concerts and cultural events. Following a magnificent restoration in 2013, the BMI continues its significant role in Ballarat’s rich cultural heritage.
In the days before Government funded libraries and adult education, Mechanics’ Institutes provided people with much-needed access to books, newspapers, periodicals, lectures and scientific demonstrations. Their halls also provided local communities with a place for social, cultural and recreational gatherings.
Originally there were over a 1000 Institutes in the Victoria. Today, there are fewer than ten Mechanics’ Institutes still providing library and other services to their communities in the state. The Ballaarat Mechanics' Institute is one of a select few that can claim to have continuously provided library services since its inception.
The BMI has recently gone through a period of reinvigoration that includes a full building restoration, updated technical capabilities including audio, lighting and AV equipment, and hiring more staff to support the number of events and activities that the BMI is hosting.
The organisation has succesfully presented a number of COVIDSafe events and continues to work closely with event organisers and artistic proffesionals to produce safe and exciting shows for the Ballarat community.