Signs point to record-breaker

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By BERNIE GRIF­FIN

It’s been a hard year, but Porirua’s Fes­ti­val of the El­e­ments cel­e­bra­tion is on track for an­other record- break­ing Wai­tangi Day ex­trav­a­ganza.

The Fes­ti­val of the El­e­ments show, now in its 23rd year, will be held on Fe­bru­ary 6.

It is ex­pected to at­tract crowds of about 40,000 to Te Rau­paraha Park. It is non- profit and en­try is free.

The fes­ti­val has be­come the big­gest cel­e­bra­tion of Wai­tangi Day in the coun­try.

Fes­ti­val or­gan­iser Mar­garet Ar­mour said the up­com­ing show would be no ex­cep­tion and would again demon­strate a great out­pour­ing of good­will.

‘‘We’ve got such a bril­liant lineup of celebrity guests, artists, per­form­ers, events, ex­hibits, sideshows and stalls that it’s enough to take your breath away,’’ she said.

‘‘Peo­ple have been so gen­er­ous and will­ing with their time, tal­ents and skills. It is hum­bling and in­spir­ing.’’

Ms Ar­mour said it took a full year to or­gan­ise the fes­ti­val.

‘‘The econ­omy hasn’t helped, but peo­ple want the fes­ti­val to go ahead and we get a lot of valu­able as­sis­tance.

’’ We are very thank­ful that Porirua pro­vides the lead­er­ship and com­mu­nity spirit to make it all hugely worth­while. I of­ten think this could only hap­pen in Porirua.’’

Ti­tahi Bay iden­tity Bob Cater has been the fes­ti­val com­mit­tee’s chair­man since its mod­est be­gin­nings at Aotea La­goon in 1992.

‘‘ The fes­ti­val had a mis­sion right from the start and it has not changed,’’ he said. ‘‘In fact, as the years go by, the mis­sion has be­come more im­por­tant.

‘‘It be­gan with the idea that Wai­tangi Day should be a cel­e­bra­tion of di­ver­sity and unity – a com­ing to­gether of dif­fer­ent cul­tures. ‘‘ We felt we had some­thing great to cel­e­brate and that Wai­tangi Day was the most fit­ting oc­ca­sion.’’

The Fes­ti­val of the El­e­ments uses the con­cept of creative power, each year em­pha­sis­ing a dif­fer­ent theme from the el­e­ments of fire, wa­ter, earth and air. This year the theme is fire.

‘‘There is plenty of scope for artis­tic ex­pres­sion, move­ment and colour,’’ Mr Cater said.

Gary McCormick will again be the MC.

The im­pres­sive list of celebri­ties and stars in­cludes ac­tor Ray Hen­wood, au­thor Al­bert Wendt, vo­cal­ist Amiria Grenell, the Beat Girls and ris­ing stage per­form­ers Bella Kalolo, New­town Rock­steady and Bull­frog Rata.

Ms Ar­mour said more and more peo­ple wanted to be part of the fes­ti­val, which augered well for its suc­cess.

‘‘Some shows will be longer – up to 30 or 40 min­utes, fea­tur­ing com­plete en­ter­tain­ment and per­for­mances.

‘‘What’s more it’s all free, made pos­si­ble through the sup­port of Porirua City Coun­cil, Mana Com­mu­nity Grants Trust, the Min­istry of Cul­ture and Her­itage and our other won­der­ful spon­sors.’’


Hot off the press: Fes­ti­val of the El­e­ments or­gan­iser Mar­garet Ar­mour and Porirua printer Rudi de Kin­deren with the lat­est poster for the Wai­tangi Day block­buster.

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