It’s curtains for big productions
A slim chance remains to find the $1m needed to upgrade plans for the new Matamata Civic Centre allowing promoters to bring largescale musical productions to town.
It all hinges on a grant application to Creative New Zealand, asking for the extra cash so the new hall can include a stage and wing facility.
Those were essentials needed to host shows, concerts and productions, but not included in the latest plans approved by the Matamata-Piako District Council.
Kevin Tappin, who has a background in music stage productions, is heading the charge to raise additional funds to have the changes made.
Another application to Trust Waikato was abandoned because there was not enough time to write a full application before the trust’s July deadline.
A series of meetings between Tappin, MPDC and Creative New Zealand offered a glimmer of hope.
‘‘We’ve asked for around $900,000 to $1m to create the type of facilities we’re asking for. It cost around $100,000 just for the stage curtains and all the gear to operate it. Plus there’s the control booth, lighting, cabling and stage.’’
Tappin said when the current civic centre and hall are demolished, there would be nowhere for large-scale productions for about two years, while new buildings were built.
He said if the Creative New Zealand grant fell over, it could spell the end of large-scale productions in the town.
There were two other theatre groups in town but their venues only offered seating for between 80 to 120 people.
Tappin said he was looking at bringing a $40,000 production to Matamata which may be canned.
‘‘We’re looking at running it in Tauranga but it’s pretty stink that you can’t put on a show like that in your home town.
Tappin said the council staff and mayor had been helpful in assisting him with avenues to obtain the $1m funding from funding organisations.
However he felt there was resistance from some councillors, when funding for the centre went from $8m to $6m and features such as a stage were cut from the hall plans. It had motivated his decision to stand as a candidate at the coming council elections.
‘‘I think when the council made their original decision on the new [centre and hall] plans, there was no one there with a passion to explain what it could all mean. believe I could be that person.’’
Civic centre pricing step for council, page 5. next
Kevin Tappin is heading the charge to raise additional funds so the new civic centre can include a stage and wing facility.