Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, Sydney Festival, Sydney Contemporary, Kaldor Public Arts Projects – director Lisa Havilah has ensured the must-see events of Carriageworks’ past are back.

“There’s a huge appetite for contemporary music and dance and our audiences really love large-scale immersive works, so we’re hoping to continue to build those,” says Havilah of the line-up for the multi-arts precinct she has led for three years. She’s more than doubled audiences in that time.

The year kicks off with a number of Sydney Festival shows. Sydney Buddha from renowned Chinese artist Zhang Huan will create a gigantic pair of Buddhas, one made from aluminium, and the other from sacred temple ash that decays before your eyes. Dance-theatre maker Kate Champion will present her last work as artistic director of Force Majeure, Nothing to Lose, which reshapes society’s ideal of the perfect body.

Many will welcome the return of the international visual art fair, Sydney Contemporary. Another Carriageworks favourite – Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda, whose 2013 installation test pattern was an undisputed hit – will be back with his latest work, Superposition, an immersive digital and live performance experience.

Paul Mac and Johnny Seymour join forces for an exhibition of performance works from queer artists for Mardi Gras; while record label Room40 celebrates its 15th year of publishing global artists with a program specially curated for Carriageworks.

Carriageworks recently welcomed Sydney Chamber Choir, “a really fantastic new organisation making contemporary opera for very young audiences” as a resident company. It will debut Fly Away Peter, based on David Malouf’s classic novel, to commemorate the Gallipoli centenary, while Carriageworks roommate, Erth (a visual and physical puppetry company), will premiere Prehistoric Aquarium for younger audiences.

Havilah firmly believes cross-art-form disciplines are one of the most exciting to emerge, and 24 Frames Per Second reflects this. It is a major exhibition developed over three years that sees 24 commissioned, screen-based works by Australian and international artists whose work stretches across dance, film and visual arts. Tony Albert and Bangarra Dance Theatre’s Stephen Page join Antony Hamilton and Branch Nebula, among others.

Indigenous artist Jonathan Jones, cerebral and cheeky local robotics artist Wade Marynowsky, American artist Nick Cave, Bangarra Dance Theatre and Sydney Dance Company are others to look out for.

Carriageworks’ Vivid line-up will be announced in January.