City of Gold Coast: Economic Development

City of Gold Coast: A creative city of Arts, Design and Culture

Over the past 60 years the Gold Coast has undergone rapid change. Small coastal and hinterland villages have grown and merged to become Australia’s largest non-capital city and host to close to 12 million visitors every year.

Some aspects of our city’s evolution are immediately obvious. Photos from the 1950s show our urban landscape changing as the city embraced high-rise development and canal estates. Our journey from a string of coastal villages to a premier resort and lifestyle destination is reflected in our city’s key economic drivers of tourism, construction and population growth.

Perhaps less obvious is the changing cultural landscape of our city. As the Gold Coast has developed and grown, so too have the expectations of our residents, visitors and investors. Increasingly, we are recognising the important contribution arts and culture make to our city’s liveability, reputation and economy.

We are a city with an exciting emerging cultural scene. It is entrepreneurial, organic, and taps into the youthful energy and spirit of our city. We are a city with stories to tell - from the agricultural past of Mudgeeraba to the fibro shacks of the southern Gold Coast. We are home to international film studios and world class universities. We boast a vibrant live music scene and a community of talented artists and fashion designers who call the Gold Coast home. Every weekend our city is buzzing with design markets, community events and festivals.

Delivery of the City of Gold Coast’s Culture Strategy, and a world class Cultural Precinct, is a purposeful and ambitious endeavour. While strategic and serious, to be successful it must be fun, true to our roots and quintessentially Gold Coast. 

The Culture Strategy aims to recognise and nurture the energy and creative vision of our local artists and creative industries, encourage new ideas and creative collaborations and most importantly engage our community in world class cultural experiences. 

The next ten years will deliver unprecedented opportunities for our community. The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games™ will bring the Gold Coast to the world stage and the Cultural Precinct development at Evandale will provide a cultural and civic heart for our city.

The City of Gold Coast is proud to assist the city’s fashion designers through our support of the Emerging Designer Program as part of the Gold Coast Swim Fashion Festival.

Councillor Lex Bell LLM, OAM (Division 7) has been a vocal advocate of the festival and his ongoing support continues to ensure that the unique and burgeoning talent of our creative designers is able to be showcased here and on the world stage. 


Contact details

Cr Lex Bell LLM, OAM

City of Gold Coast

PO Box 5042 


Phone: 07 5581 6760

Fax:     07 5581 5293

Mobile: 0439 226 520


Website Address: Email:


For more information on the Culture Strategy 2023 please visit:



Sorry! It looks like you are using an older and/or unsupported browser. Please upgrade to IE8+, Firefox or Chrome.