~ events & hospitality
AOTEAROA NEW ZEALAND FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS
Arts off the Charts
Despite cancelling its live programme due to Covid-19, this year’s Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts focused on free visual arts, interactive experiences and online performances. It reached nearly 250,000 people in Wellington and across Aotearoa.
Entering the Vibrant Gold category this year was about honouring those who make arts and events possible, “we pay tribute to the artists, crew, event professionals and suppliers in Wellington who are so vital to the Capital’s continuing vibrancy,” say Creative Director Marnie Karmelita (pictured left) and Director Ngā Toi Māori Mere Boynton (pictured right).
Cherrries on top!
Cherry blossoms can have a funny effect on people.
Kaitoke’s Blossom Valley opened last year for a three-day night trail trial. It went for 23 nights. With every session sold out.
So that’s coming back this year.
Blossom Valley is part of Aston Norwood Gardens, which has a massive number of cherry blossom trees.
“This year we are planning on 35,000 people visiting in September/October, day and night,” says owner Mark Rammell (pictured right with Fiona Rammell).
“But the night walk is special. Being surrounded by the glowing trees, full of flowers, just does something special for the soul.”
BREWTOWN UPPER HUTT
Beersies + Fun
Brewtown takes all the good things in life and puts them into one giant space.
It has five craft breweries, distillers, great food and then, amazingly, bowling, ice skating, paintball and go karts.
Next up is a million-dollar, covered outdoor area to put Brewtown on the map for a huge number of acts and events.
General Manager Phil Gorman, (pictured right with owner Malcolm Gillies) says Brewtown is now a key part of Upper Hutt, and the Wellington entertainment scene.
“Our focus now is on turning what is already a great place into a world-class venue for fun!”
CITY GALLERY WELLINGTON
Great Walls Inspire
City Gallery Wellington is a dynamic cultural presence showcasing the best in contemporary art.
Its local and international contemporary exhibitions aim to test boundaries, to challenge, and to comfort.
The recent, monumental exhibition Hilma af Klint: The Secret Paintings was uplifting and exuberant, staying open when people needed those experiences most.
“It was a privilege to bring this once in a lifetime exhibition to Wellington and we’re thrilled to have exceeded visitor targets.” says Director Art and Heritage Elizabeth Caldwell (pictured).
What is art? See it for yourself at City Gallery Wellington.
NEW ZEALAND FRINGE
Street side seats
The NZ Fringe Festival’s been helping artists take the first, second and next steps in their careers for 32 years.
Director Vanessa Stacey (pictured) says it’s grown from 52 shows in 2011 to 189 in 2022, with a great increase in the diversity of both artists and art forms.
“We develop artists to ensure they’re successful artistically and financially in the hopes of developing sustainable careers”
It’s the out-there festival where you can say: ”I’m really glad I saw that!” or, “What the hell did I just see?!”
That’s The Fringe. Up close.
Wairarapa Racing Club & Tauherenikau Events
Stacks of Trackside Acts
Tauherenikau Racecourse has been a hub of the Wairarapa community for 158 years. Today, with the creation of Tauherenikau Events, it thrives as never before.
General Manager Matthew Sherry (pictured right with Club President Garrick Emms) says Tauherenikau is a magical place run by a small, dedicated team.
Hosting a full calendar of summer events, from weddings to jet sprints, music festivals and famous country racing, opportunities for further growth continue to be explored.
Collaboration is key, says Matthew. “We work alongside expert local businesses to achieve success for all involved.”