Trust will no longer run Her­itage Fes­ti­val

Otago Daily Times - - GENERAL - JOHN GIBB

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.

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