Evento canned for 2018
Long-running Feilding High School fundraiser and wearable arts extravaganza Evento is being canned next year, but organisers say it will be back.
The wearable arts show has been running for 21 years and the organiser for the past 10, Amanda Street, said it was time for a break.
From humble beginnings in the high school hall, the show grew in popularity, moving to Manfeild Stadium in front of an audience of 2000 people.
It started as a fundraiser for the school from the parent teachers’ association and was designed as a way for students to turn their sewing skills into a performance.
But as the show grew, so did the time and effort it took to put it together. The focus shifted from raising money to staging a regional event showcasing the textile talents of students from several schools.
‘‘We needed to decide how to keep it going, how to move it forward and make it work with a much smaller committee,’’ Street said. ‘‘We decided that we need a year off so that we can actually go out and do things with our families and re-charge our batteries.’’
Street had talks with the school principal Martin O’Grady, sponsors and Manfeild, where the event has been held for the past seven years.
It was suggested Manfeild step up and take a bigger role in its management, but its chief executive Julie Keane said that would spread resources thin.
While the park’s trust was willing to offer more help and support, it wasn’t in a position to step into event management.
Keane said Manfeild would welcome Evento’s return in 2019 with open arms.
‘‘There’s a lot to pull together and it would have been a tough, tough ask to step up to that responsibility,’’ she said.
‘‘Amanda was particularly respectful when she rung to tell us. We respect that life is life and they have family commitments. It should always be family first.’’
Street said the same dedicated committee members had run the event for several years and losing key member Michelle Wilson meant it would have been tough to get Evento 2018 up and running.
‘‘Michelle has been amazing, so dedicated for so many years. But she needs a break and we need new people to come in and step up. It is a year-long commitment and it means that you are tied to being here once it gets rolling.’’
Street said people would be disappointed, but Evento would be back in 2019 ‘‘refreshed and better than ever’’.
‘‘We talk about the Evento family all the time, and that’s what it is, and that’s what we hold incredibly dear. We want to continue it but we just need an Evento family holiday.’’
A short-term solution ahead of next year couldn’t be reached.
Feilding High School principal Martin O’Grady did not respond to requests for comment.