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.

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