His­tory tells us

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

Ed­i­tor,

With the 2013 Fes­ti­val of the El­e­ments be­hind us, and Creek­fest on March 9, it is in­ter­est­ing to re­flect on pre­vi­ous com­mu­nity fes­ti­vals in the greater Porirua basin.

Be­tween 1970 and 1984 Porirua Com­mu­nity Arts Coun­cil’s pre­de­ces­sor, The Mana Arts Fes­ti­val, pre­sented month-long fes­ti­vals through­out the basin ev­ery two years. Its aim was to high­light lo­cal tal­ent and wel­come con­tri­bu­tions from ev­ery­one liv­ing in this di­verse mul­ti­cul­tural city.

Fund­ing came from many com­mu­nity groups and busi­nesses in­clud­ing Todd Mo­tors and sev­eral breweries as well as Tawa Bor­ough Coun­cil, Hutt County Coun­cil and Porirua City Coun­cil which was con­sid­er­ing build­ing a 600-seat the­atre at that time.

Each Christ­mas the Porirua mayor hosted a func­tion for all the Mana Arts Fes­ti­val vol­un­teers in recog­ni­tion of the work they had done dur­ing that year.

The fes­ti­vals al­ways in­cluded joint mu­sic and drama pro­duc­tions from the­atre groups in Tawa, Porirua/Ti­tahi Bay, Mana and Pukerua Bay. Th­ese pro­duc­tions were de­signed to travel around the re­gion, play­ing for a week in lo­cal the­atres.

There were ma­jor school pro­duc­tions, mul­ti­cul­tural con­certs, flo­ral art, rock op­eras, jazz con­certs, folk danc­ing, sight­see­ing tours to his­tor­i­cal sites and ma­jor vis­ual arts dis­plays and lec­tures through­out the area.

Alex Lindsay and Norman Gadd per­formed at the 1974 fes­ti­val, and two years later the full New Zealand Sym­phony Orches­tra played for a spe­cial schools’ con­cert at the old rec cen­tre.

The Mana Arts Fes­ti­vals opened up Porirua City as a ma­jor mul­ti­cul­tural cen­tre where the arts were cel­e­brated and there was some­thing for ev­ery­one, a tra­di­tion that paved the way for the mul­ti­cul­tural fes­ti­vals we come to­gether to en­joy

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