Over 400 performing artists will be putting on a show this week for industry delegates from around the world for Brisbane’s first Australian Performing Arts Market.

Delegates from as far as Iceland have arrived in Brisbane for the Australian Performing Arts Market (APAM) to see what the region’s cultural scene has to offer, providing an incredible opportunity for Queensland artists.

APAM Executive Producer Jane Fuller says the event will put Brisbane’s art scene on the global stage.

“It’s a market, so it’s all about buying and selling, creating networks, and building partnerships for collaborations,” says Fuller. “It’s the biggest showcase platform for Australian and New Zealand work in this region.”

“It’s immense for Brisbane artists. What they get is all these international very serious and very high profile delegates coming to Brisbane en masse for one week and they get to rub shoulders and find out what’s happening on the global stage in their sectors of the world, and it’s all done right here in Brisbane.”

Arts Minister Ian Walker said APAM presented Queensland artists with a unique opportunity.

“Just about every area of the performing arts sector is represented here including circus, dance, theatre, physical theatre, music, music theatre, opera, cabaret, puppetry and installation art,” says Walker. ”The Australian Performing Arts Market is a great chance for the Queensland arts industry to show off our world-class arts talent and venues and to show how determined we are to grow cultural tourism in this state.”

Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games Jann Stuckey welcomed delegates to the event, which is being hosted at the Brisbane Powerhouse.

“The Newman Government is delighted to support Asia-Pacific’s premier contemporary performing arts event which enhances the reputation of Queensland and Brisbane as a world-class arts and cultural event destination,” Stuckey says. “The event joins a calendar of world-class events in Brisbane including the exclusive Cai Guo-Qiang exhibition, American Ballet Theatre and Brisbane International, supporting the Newman Government’s goal to double annual overnight visitor expenditure from $15 billion to $30 billion by 2020.”

The program includes over 70 showcases, work-in-development pitches and exchange program events, and is the first of three biennial APAM events that Brisbane will host.

Fuller sees the potential for exponential growth for local artists with the continued hosting of APAM.

“I think what is going to happen is the Brisbane and Queensland arts community, by 2016 and 2018, they’ll be so good at this that it’ll raise the profile; they’ll be fantastic networkers and the profile of Brisbane and Queensland will go much higher globally,” she says. “Which is what happened in Adelaide when they had it for twelve years.”

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said the $2.3 million council had committed for major cultural and sporting events was contributing to Brisbane’s growth.

“Brisbane welcomes the Australian Performing Arts Market, with the event further building on our reputation as Australia’s New World City,” says Cr Quirk. “Delegates will very quickly discover our top hotels, thriving restaurant and retail sectors and our unique leisure and cultural attractions, which are making Brisbane a destination of choice for both local and international events.”