Trust will no longer run Heritage Festival
THE Southern Heritage Trust is keen for the biennial Dunedin Heritage Festival to continue, but will no longer run the event.
Trust founder Ann Barsby said Dunedin was ‘‘the heritage capital of New Zealand’’ and the festival, due to be held next year, should be retained.
It would be a ‘‘tragedy’’ to see it end and it would be ‘‘a struggle to set it up again’’ if it ever ceased, she said this week.
The trust would always support the festival but had stepped in to run it only as a ‘‘stop gap’’ measure in 2015 and last year, and no longer had time to do so.
The greatest difficulties in organising the festival last October had been ‘‘juggling with money’’ and the ‘‘time needed to actually organise and manage it’’.
In an earlier submission to the Dunedin City Council’s 10year plan, Mrs Barsby said the event had been established by the city council in 2007 ‘‘with adequate funding, which no longer exists’’.
‘‘This important festival suffers from financial insecurity, lack of professional management and marketing,’’ she added.
The heritage trust appreciated a $10,000 grant from the council’s major events fund, but more council support should be forthcoming, Mrs Barsby said.
Having the trust run the event was ‘‘an unsatisfactory situation’’ which had limited the festival’s potential, she said.
The festival had been run on a much larger scale last year, running for 11 days and offering more than 60 events.
Mrs Barsby envisaged that next year’s festival would have fewer events, would perhaps be held over a long weekend, and could be linked to the University of Otago’s 150th anniversary.