Thrive on Arts

Thrive on Arts is a creative space for young people, families and the wider community that celebrates play, imagination, creativity and storytelling from 21-30 September during the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers.

The Empire Theatres will be transformed into a vibrant centre of artistic activity and interactive experiences across 10 days of the Spring school holidays. Participants of all ages will get to explore their world, indulge their creative instincts and get carried away by powerful storytelling.

The family program includes a mixture of activities to excite ages 1-15 years. But the fun is not just for the young ones, a wide variety of shows in the evening will have something for everyone from the young to the young at heart.

Whether it be music, drama, art or a workshop that brings you to the space, stay a while and try something new!












Paradise the Parrot

The Paradise Parrot has not been seen since 1927. Noted as the ‘most beautiful’ parrot, this illusive Southern Qld native featured yellow, blue, red, green and brown feathers in its long sleek tail. Join us to help create the most beautiful feathers and contribute to a bespoke sculpture on the Empire Theatre lawn. A collaborative tale begins:

Paradise flew into the Empire Theatre hoping to find…

  • Print a timber block and continue the story
  • Then add it to the parrot sculpture on the Empire Theatre Church Lawn
  • Stay a while to build Paradise a new home
  • Remember to take a photo!

Venue: Empire Church Lawn

When: Friday 21 Sept – Sunday 30 Sept, 10am-1pm and 2pm-4pm daily

Cost: Free

AMaze Cardboard Labyrinth

Come and get lost in your own creation!

Over 5 days the Empire Church Theatre will be transformed into an exciting maze built from only cardboard and the imagination. Stay 20 mins or 2 hours. Build a wall, paint a picture then come back later in the week to check out how it has grown and changed.

AMaze promotes awareness of wastage through recycled art and craft workshops.  Children and their parents are encouraged to be creative and imaginative with the materials and traditional craft techniques.

Venue: Empire Church Theatre

When: Monday 24 Sept – Friday 28 Sept, 10am-12:30pm and 1pm-4pm daily

Cost: Free

The Gruffalo

Based on the award-winning picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

A mouse took a stroll through the deep dark wood. Join mouse on a daring adventure through the deep, dark wood in this magical, musical adaptation of the classic picture book.

Venue: Empire Theatre

When: Saturday 29 Sept, 12:30pm & 3pm

Cost: Empire Card $22, Tickets $25, Groups of 4 $88

Hotel Sorrento

Venue: Empire Theatre

When: Wednesday 26 Sept, 7:30pm

Cost: $20-$52

Queensland Symphony Orchestra – Films and Flowers

Movie buffs, this concert is for you! Come along and enjoy the beauty and power of some of cinema’s finest soundtracks in this concert fit for everyone!

Venue: Empire Theatre

When: Friday 28 Sept, 7:30pm

Cost: Empire Card $43, Adult $50, Concession $47, Youth U25 $25, Groups 6+ $45ea

Bella’s Bad Hair Day – featuring the Toowoomba Concert Orchestra and Stephen Michael King

First 5 Forever and Thrive on Arts presents this wonderful introduction to orchestral music for the whole family. Join us as Toowoomba Concert Orchestra and author and illustrator, Stephen Michael King, bring his children’s book ‘Bella’s Bad Hair Day’ to life.

Come early and join us for pre-concert activities. Activities are available 45 minutes before the concert.

This concert is sponsored by the Toowoomba Regional Council’s First 5 Forever Program. This is a State government funded program helping our young children develop a love of language and literacy.

Venue: Heritage Bank Auditorium

When: Sunday 30 Sept, 1:30pm and 3pm

Cost: Free Event – bookings essential. Transaction fee will apply.


Acting For Camera with Oz Plays

Get some insight and practical experience in front of and behind the camera in this three-day intensive workshop experience for 10-15yr olds. Put your own twist on popular movie scenes and then get to see yourself on film! Students will be able to take home a copy of their own footage.

Venue: Empire Theatres Studio

When: Tuesday 25 – Thursday 27 Sept, 10am- 4pm daily

Cost: $235 per participant (includes three days of workshops)

Bookings essential as places strictly limited

First 5 Forever

Story Time – Tuesday 25 Sept and Tuesday 2 Oct, 9.15am and 10.30am each day

Baby Rhyme Time – Wednesday 26 Sept and Wednesday 3 Oct, 9.15am and 10.30am each day

Music and Movement – Thursday 27 Sept and Thursday 4 Oct, 9.15am and 10.30am each day

Story and Drawing workshop with Stephen Michael King

Join author-illustrator Stephen Michael King for a creative and interactive workshop. This is an opportunity to learn a trick or two, ignore perfectionism and be reminded of the value of scribble and play. Stephen will also read stories, show rough working drawings and original art from his picture books.

When: Sunday 30 September, 9.30am

Venue: Empire Theatres Studio

Cost: Free Event, no registration required.


For more events and program details, visit

ENQUIRIES: 1300 655 299


Friday 21 Sept – Sunday 30 Sept


Various, please see


Empire Theatre, 56 Neil St, Toowoomba (Google map)

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