Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute (BMI)

Contact Name: Venue and Events Manager - Sam McColl

Contact Phone Number: 0419 677 713

Contact Email:

Venue Street Address: 117-119 Sturt Street, Ballarat Central, Vic 3350

Is the venue able to be booked by the public? Yes -

Description of Venue: Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute (BMI), sitting proudly under the watchful eye of Minerva, has welcomed a diverse group of people through its doors, from the founding fathers, to miners and others seeking knowledge through education.

Since 1859, the BMI 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.

The Hugh Williamson Foyer is our smallest and most intimate room. It is perfect for small meetings or consultations, and also to use as a break-out room with direct access to the bathroom facilities. It is also on the same floor as the finishing kitchen.

The Hooper Room is on our ground floor and is great for classes or small lectures. It is our most frequently used room with regular users such as the Ballarat Chess Club, Kadampa Meditation, and a number of training providers. This room adjoins a small kitchenette and a toilet.

The Humffray Room is our beautiful, medium size, ballroom complete with a small dance floor and inbuilt bar area. It is great for larger meetings, small music concerts and wedding ceremonies, and cocktail functions. This room houses our 1913 C Bechstein Grand Piano and it also has a balcony with views up and down Sturt Street.

The Minerva Space is our large flat floor Grand Hall complete with a tiered stage and professional lighting, audio, and cinema projection system. It is perfect for performances and live music, but is extremely versatile that it can host events from as sit-down dinners and wedding receptions to movie screenings and art exhibitions.

Types of events which are run/held: Live Music, Cinema, Theatre Performances, Opera, Comedy, Weddings, Orations and more!

Distance from Melbourne: 110

Is the venue open to the public, when and what times? Library hours are 10am-4pm Weekdays, and 9.30am-12pm Saturdays.

If the venue is available for hire, how do people hire the space?

Floor Dimensions: Minerva Floor: 14.2m x 20.4m

Seating Capacity: Numbers have changed due to COVID restrictions - please contact the venue

Seating available on-site? 300 individual seats

Access: All spaces are accessible via lift (with a 4º ramp up to the Minerva stage)

Toilets: Main Toilets on 1st floor (Male, Female, Unisex Accessible LH), Toilets in Green Room behind Minerva Stage (Unisex Accessible LH)

Kitchen: Finishing Kitchen (located on 1st floor). 2x induction cooktops, large glass door fridge, two stainless wheeled bench tops, large caterers oven.

Stage: Minerva Stage: Proscenium Arch Stage with Electric Curtain - 8.3m(W) x 3.2m(L) (working space) with a 1.5º rake

Technical equipment: