Launceston's museum and art gallery had a record-breaking year, suggesting a multi-year slump pandemic-induced slump is over.
According to the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (QVMAG) annual report for the 2022-23 financial year 158,263 people attended exhibitions and other events held at Royal Park and Inveresk.
This is more than twice the population of Launceston, and far higher than the previous three figures reported during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Visiting exhibitions proved popular, as 16,048 people - many who came from interstate - went to see the Archie 100: A Century of the Archibald Prize exhibition held between October 2022 and January 2023.
Even more popular were the winning entries from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, which were presented by the London-based Natural History Museum and drew in 24,660 attendees.
The planetarium also welcomed 10,134 visitors between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023, up from 7,823 the previous year.
These visitors also spent big at the museum shop which reported $570,295 in operating revenue - a record figure according to the report.
This was bolstered by ticket sales, venue hire and income from other programs, resulting in an overall operating result of $872,732.
QVMAG also received $1,859,564 in donations, bequests and grants through the year.
A total of 263 items were added to the QVMAG collection, almost half of the number acquired in 2021-22, however these were worth $876,515 compared to $280,569.
Of the items acquired in 2022-23, $751,667 worth were donated to the museum.
In non-monetary terms, researchers at the museum discovered 12 undescribed species - those not formally named by scientists - and a further 12 species not previously recorded in Tasmania.
What lies ahead for QVMAG?
Although the previous financial year shows an uptick in visitor numbers and income generated by QVMAG this figure pales in comparison to the amount that gets spent running the venue each year.
The museum does also receive grants from other levels of government, but the bulk of the money comes from the City of Launceston council using ratepayers' funds.
As a result, the council plans to shake things up at the museum and art gallery, handing operations over to a company limited by guarantee.
This would allow the organisation to be listed as a registered charity and seek more diverse funding sources, while keeping the assets associated with QVMAG in council ownership.
This process is expected to continue through the 2023-24 period.