Please note: this is an archived news article release

This article was published on Thursday, 25 February, 2021. The information contained within may be out of date or inaccurate. News articles and media releases older than 60 days are archived for future reference.

Council handed keys to the new SAM building

Greater Shepparton City Council is excited to announce that the new SAM building was completed on 22 January 2021, with a certificate of occupancy issued on 2 February 2021.

With the keys handed to Council, this gives the green light for tenants, SAM Limited, Kaiela Arts and the Greater Shepparton Visitor Centre, to commence moving in.   

“We’ve all watched the new SAM building take shape with great anticipation over the past 18 months and finally moving day is here!” said Greater Shepparton Mayor, Cr Kim O’Keeffe. “The new SAM building is already iconic, and we are looking forward to inviting in the community and visitors to make the most of all the experiences that will be on offer and the many opportunities SAM will bring. It’s been compelling to see how the design has transformed into this unique, grand building that is already getting attention both nationally and internationally – just wait to see what will be on offer inside!”

SAM, Kaiela Arts and the Visitor Centre will commence transitioning to the new site from March 1. It is anticipated that the new SAM building will open its doors to welcome visitors as of March 31, with Kaiela Arts and the Visitor Centre likely to be fully operational at that time, along with the SAM gift shop. While the ground floor will be open to the public in late March, levels one to four will remain closed until closer to the Opening Launch in October to enable SAM to complete the installation of its collection and upcoming exhibition program.

“Our artists have missed being able to make work for some weeks while we’ve been packing and are eagerly waiting to work in their studio space overlooking the lake, on Country”, explains Kaiela Arts Manager, Angie Russi. “We’re very excited to open doors in our new space to welcome people to our new home.”

“The SAM team is excited to commence the move to new SAM from 1 March”, explains SAM CEO and Artistic Director Dr Rebecca Coates. “The collection is comprised of 4,000+ unique and priceless artworks which will be carefully relocated to the purpose-built facilities over the next few months. Moving an entire museum including its collection is a major operation, as is setting up the opening exhibitions and projects once the artworks arrive at their new home. We are very much looking forward to reopening in our new spaces to share collections and exciting new exhibitions with our community and visitors. It will definitely be well worth the wait!”

In working towards opening on March 31 the new building will be opened in a staged, soft reveal, in line with COVID-19 restrictions. A grand opening weekend is planned for 15 -17 October 2021 once SAM’s collections, exhibition installations and programs are in place. Further details regarding the opening celebrations will be made available in the lead up to the event. 

While reaching the physical completion stage, along with the moving in of the tenants, there are still some elements that are being finalised. This includes SAM Limited appointing a successful tenderer to operate the new SAM café and function space. Applications for this opportunity close on February 26. Also to be completed is the recently funded indigenous healing garden that will form part of the SAM landscaping.

The first stage of the intersection works are also completed having provided much improved traffic flow for visitors to new SAM, Victoria Park Lake and surrounding residents, however there are still roadworks in progress. Intersection works still being undertaken include undergrounding of the power lines on the south west approach, rail signal sequencing with the traffic lights and installation and commissioning of the actual traffic lights. It is anticipated these works will be completed this May.

“New SAM provides the opportunity for the Shepparton Art Museum, Kaiela Arts and our Visitor Centre to work together to further strengthen how we recognise and celebrate Greater Shepparton, particularly our Indigenous heritage and the role it plays in our past, present and future”, suggests Mayor O’Keeffe. “Having our Visitor Centre located in new SAM - the gateway to Greater Shepparton, will also enhance the way in which we welcome visitors to our region.”

Key dates

  • 22 January SAM building completion
  • 2 February Certificate of Occupancy issued to Greater Shepparton City Council
  • 1 March Kaiela Arts, The Visitor Centre, SAM office and non-collection items commence moving in
  • 31 March (Will be officially confirmed closer to the date) 
    New SAM ground floor open to public - Kaiela Arts, Visitor Centre and SAM Shop
  • 12 -19 April SAM Collection commence relocation - move approximately five weeks
  • 31 MaySAM commence install of exhibitions due to exhibit on 6 or 9 July
  • 15 to 17 OctoberGrand Opening Weekend


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