Cashboost for city’s festivals
‘‘We want our event to be something for the whole region.’’
The big winners from the $110,000 major events budget for Porirua next year have been revealed.
The Porirua City Council grants, awards and events subcommittee agreed on July 20 to provide $55,000 to create a Waitangi Day event to replace the popular Festival of the Elements; $20,000 to try to attract the likes of Sol3 Mio to Symphony in the Park; and another $20,000 to run the annual Creekfest.
Though the $55,000 put towards an event to mark Waitangi Day remained the same amount put toward this year’s final Festival of the Elements, council staff will face an added challenge to get an event off the ground as long-term festival organisers from the Porirua Community Arts Council recently announced the voluntary group could no longer manage it.
With the festival touted as New Zealand’s biggest Waitangi Day celebration outside of Waitangi itself, mayor Mike Tana said the council was working on plans in anticipation of the 30,000-strong crowd drawn to Te Rauparaha Park each year.
‘‘We want our event to be something for the whole region.
‘‘We want activities for children, youths and families that are inclusive and exciting.’’
In addition to the $55,000, the council’s city growth team will be seeking additional sponsorship and grant funding.
‘‘We did a big review of the last one and we want to pay homage to the arts council, and not lose sight of the reason we have Waitangi Day.
‘‘We still need volunteers. All those people that want to be part of delivering an amazing celebration, and anyone from the arts council who still have a vision for celebrating Waitangi Day are more than welcome to be part of it,’’ Tana said.
Porirua Community Arts Council chairwoman Judy McKoy said her group would be happy to help the council’s preparations, but would not be providing additional fundraising as in the past.
Other events on Porirua’s annual calendar included Symphony in the Park, which is a free outdoor concert first held at Aotea Lagoon with performances by Orchestra Wellington and Virtuoso Strings earlier this year.
The $20,000 in funding sought by Orchestra Wellington is hoped to enable them to attract the likes of Samoan operatic trio Sol3 Mio, and the funding is subject to the orchestra securing a performer of this calibre that would attract an audience from around the region.
Additional event support will be provided through the loaning of equipment and the supply of Porirua Park as the venue for the event, which would bring the total value of council funding to about $40,000.
Established in the Cannons Creek car park in 2004, Creekfest now spans five rugby fields across Cannons Creek Park and secured Stan Walker as a headline performer this year.
This event will also get additional support, raising the total value of funding from $20,000 to about $40,000.