Enlivening our Present by Illuminating our Past


<Enlivening our Present by
Illuminating our Past>



<Enlivening our Present by
Illuminating our Past>



<Enlivening our Present by
Illuminating our Past>



<Enlivening our Present by
Illuminating our Past>



BMI Responds to COVID-19

The Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute has been the independent home of arts and culture in Ballarat since its establishment in 1859. During this time we have encountered hardship and challenges but time and time again the BMI has always found a way to fight through and continue serving its significant role in Ballarat’s rich cultural heritage.


In accordance with updated advice from Federal and State governments, the Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute will be closing the library and suspending all activities in the building until such time as the threat of COVID-19 has subsided and government advice changes.
This closure will be in place from Tuesday 24th March at 3.00pm. This will allow the library to open Tuesday morning from 11am-3pm so that people can return and exchange books.

All books currently on loan will have their return date extended until after the BMI reopens and membership renewals will also be adjusted to match the time period that the BMI will be closed.

All upcoming events at the BMI (for March and April) have been either postponed or cancelled. You can view the list below. This list will be updated regularly as we continue to review and respond to recommendations.

All staff will continue to work to ensure that when the BMI does reopen it is in the same condition, if not, better, than when we closed. Rosemary will be working on rejuvenating the library, while Sam will be catching up on maintenance and working on bringing events to the BMI once we can start welcoming people again.

The Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute would like to thank its members, staff, Board and community supporters.

This will be a very difficult time for us all, one of the greatest challenges of our lifetime. I implore you to be kind and caring to those around you, follow all advice from health authorities, and stay safe.

In kindness and health,

Colin Jackson
Executive Manager – Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute

Full list of altered or suspended services


BMI Library – Closed until further notice

Reading Room – Closed

BMI and the Botanist Exhibition – Closed

Newspaper and heritage item request – Suspended

Computer usage – Suspended

Research Activities – Suspended


Other Services

BMI Pop-up Shop – Suspended

Friends of Minerva – Suspended

Bar Operations – Suspended

Coffee and Tea services – Suspended

Public Printing – Suspended


Twilight Talks – Suspended

Gemma Sisia (Wed 18th March) – Cancelled

Bushfood Morning Tea (Tue 24th March) – Cancelled

Everyday Climate Action (Wed 25th March) – Postponed

BMI Music Workshop (Fri 27th March) – Postponed

BMI Music Series – Omelette and Antelodic (Fri 27th March) – Postponed


Regular Events

Building Tours – Suspended

Ballarat Film Society – Ad Astra (Thu April 9th) – Postponed

Sing Australia choir practice – Suspended

Kadampa Meditation – Suspended

Ballarat Chess Club – Suspended

All events that have been postponed will have their new dates advertised once these have been confirmed.

All services that have been suspended will restart when it is safe for this to happen. This will be communicated via email and social media.