Moving forward, together – June 2020 newsletter

Like many of you, we are back in our office, Level 1 style, and enjoying mingling with our fellow humans again. We’re proud of New Zealanders for our incredible effort in bringing COVID under control in our country, and proud of our community as we see the streets of Wanaka come back to life. We’ve had the exciting job over the past two months of starting to put together the programme for the 2021 Festival of Colour. Our focus will

Read More »

Words, music and takeaway coffee: Festival of Colour May newsletter

Wishing you a happy first week of Level 3 from the team at the Festival of Colour and Aspiring Conversations. We hope you are enjoying moving down a level, and the chance to support our local businesses by picking up a coffee, or a takeaway meal or loading up a few supplies to finish off your lockdown DIY projects. We’re still working from home, with the festival nerve centre currently located on our General Manager’s kitchen table, squeezed between the

Read More »

Wrapping up and looking ahead: Aspiring Conversations April newsletter

We love arts and ideas – thank you to everyone for supporting our festivals. We would love to be sending you a wrap up of the Aspiring Conversations festival today, but it was not to be. Instead we are looking to make the best of our present circumstances, and to look ahead as we start planning to bring the best of arts and ideas back to our community. Thank you to our supporters – our sponsors, grant-makers, our Patrons, our

Read More »

A message from Aspiring Conversations

Dear friends and supporters, We are sorry to announce that we have cancelled the 2020 Aspiring Conversations festival of ideas. This has been a difficult time for all of us, and, like many of you, we have been closely monitoring the unfolding situation with COVID-19 (coronavirus). Yesterday, the government announced that public events involving more than 500 people cannot go ahead. Our festival has already seen more than 2,700 tickets issued. We share your disappointment that you are unable to

Read More »

Book launch for Damien Wilkins’ “tall tale” at Aspiring Conversations

We’re excited to announce we’re launching a Wanaka novel just before the opening session of Aspiring Conversations! Come down to Lake Wanaka Centre on Friday April 3 from 4:30pm to hear about Damien Wilkins’ new young adult novel, Aspiring. Damien will be on hand to talk about the book and to sign copies at the Paper Plus pop-up bookshop. All welcome. Set in the fictional town of ‘Aspiring’, the novel tells the story of fifteen-year-old Ricky who, like the place

Read More »

New speakers announced for the Aspiring Conversations ideas festival

Global change leader Jon Creyts, ‘Professor Zero’ Dr Ann Smith and sustainability expert Dickon Pinner join the Aspiring Conversations speaker lineup. Climate Risk, Sustainability and Innovation Three international experts on the impact of climate challenges and sustainability for the business community join the line-up of speakers for the Aspiring Conversations Festival of Ideas in April. Climate Risk, Sustainability and Innovation will take place at the Aspiring Conversations Festival at 9am on Saturday 4 April. The speakers will consider the challenges

Read More »
Winter is advancing and our plans for Aspiring Conversations 2016 are well underway. Lock in the dates of April 22nd to 24th 2016 now. European Overview An important part of Festival Director Philip Tremewan?s job is to keep abreast of all the new creative work in development overseas and he has been on an incredible European trip for the last few weeks. Here?s what he has to say about the state of the Arts in Europe. I?m impressed by the ongoing investment in the arts in France and the UK, even at times when there are so many cutbacks. I went to hear Ibeyi in Paris – the twin sisters are Cuban / Venezuelan / French / Nigerian – and sing like it! They were performing in a festival out at La Cite de la Musique – two brand new stylish concert halls with the larger one being the home of the Paris Philharmonic. (And acoustic design by the leaders in the field – a NZ firm). Superb facilities, a great gig and a wide ranging audience. Then Manchester – usually thought of as not much more than home to two football clubs – is reinventing itself as a city of culture. The city helps pay for the leading innovative arts festival in the UK. Their international festival stages only new international commissions and collaborations – e.g. musician Arvo Part and artist Gerhard Richter with a choir singing in a gallery; and artist Olafur Eliasson working with choreographer Wayne McGregor and musician Jamie xx for “Tree of Codes”. London?s Southbank runs a non-stop programme of specialist festivals, public participation events and major concerts. I saw a dance show devised by three Belgian choreographers working with 10 Palestinian dancers as part of London’s Arab festival. They also umbrella a bunch of Aussies each summer who set up a spiegeltent and stage great cabaret shows like Scotch and Soda. And they also collaborate with an English theatre company who set up a small temporary venue where I saw the children?s show ?My Teacher is a Troll?. Yet with all this cultural activity flourishing, the government is now threatening to cut the UK’s largest cultural institution off at the knees – with a major review of the BBC. Watch this space. And if you want to dodge art and politics and have the best eco-swim in London, try out the new eco-pool at King?s Cross. Just remember you need to book in advance as a only a few swimmers are allowed at a time in order for the plants to be able to keep the water purified. Philip is heading to Galway and Edinburgh next ? and will be back early in August to start buttoning down the Aspiring Conversations programme Hireath Hireath is a gem of a Welsh play. Hireath (pronounced Here-ath) has no direct English translation. Hireasth means longing or homesickness for a place you can never return to. It is a mix of longing, yearning, nostalgia, wistfulness, or an earnest desire for the Wales of the past. Performed by Buddug James Jones and Max Macintosh, ?Hireath? is a show about Buddug?s life growing up on a farm and deciding to move to London, and the impact on herself and everyone around her. It is a comical heart-warming show which comments on the situation many in rural communities have to face. For those with family and loved ones overseas or those that have moved from afar, the themes will resonate. ?Hireath? has been described as a ?Sweetly hilarious low-fi comedy? and is bound to charm you. It is touring nationally and comes to Luggate fresh from the Christchurch Arts Festival and then goes on to tour in Wellington, Wairarapa, Nelson, Tauranga and Auckland. Two nights only ? Luggate Hall Friday 25 and Saturday 26 September at 7.30pm Tickets only $38 each Priority tickets for Festival patrons and benefactors from Monday 10 August and general sales from Monday 17 August. Ticket sales only available online at   July newsletter – Aspiring Conversations and more… It?s cold and frosty in Wanaka and everyone is pleased to see snow on the hills. But here in the office we are looking forward to Spring and our inaugural Aspiring Conversations festival. By now many of you will have seen our announcement that we are launching Aspiring Conversations as a stand-alone festival to run 10 ? 12 October 2014. The sessions will run in both Wanaka and Queenstown and we have some inspiring and thought provoking speakers lined up. Without revealing the whole programme here?s a sneak preview of what?s on the Aspiring Conversations agenda: ? Google, Facebook, apps and websites ? information technology is having a big impact on business and society ? James Manyika, a director of the McKinsey Global Institute, comes from the US to lead a session on the rapid changes we are witnessing ? We also have economist Loretta Napoleoni who divides her time between the UK and the US ? she will be talking about China ? her latest book is Maonomics ? how Chinese make better capitalists than we do. She is also an expert on the funding of international terrorism and the Russian banking system! (pic) ? And we have two members of a writing family ? the grand old man of NZ letters CK Stead and his daughter Charlotte Grimshaw. Karl Stead is an outspoken figure in the literary world but he and his daughter share a huge passion for writing. Karl writes novels, poetry, short stories and lots of criticism! Charlotte has been a successful criminal lawyer and writes novels and short stories about crime and politics. She is also, like her father, a prolific and successful reviewer. (pic) ? And there?ll be two panel discussions debating hot topics of the day and plenty more speakers to be announced when we launch the programme on 26 August 2014. So put those dates in your diary now – programme launch 26 August and Aspiring Conversations 10 ? 12 October. And look out for updates on our new look website at www.festivalofcolour/aspiringconverstaions and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Our thanks to Gold sponsors global management firm McKinsey & Co, silver sponsors Milford Asset Management, Mt Difficulty Winery and PWC and all the other sponsors and grant makers that have made this possible. And a core group of dedicated patrons and benefactors that have increased their support to Patron Plus and Benefactor Plus ? thanks to Judith & Ian Shawe, Sally & John Angus, Peter & Jane Wardell, Leigh& Nickie Overton, De & Peter Gordon, John Hogg & Jennifer Connolly, Prue Flacks, Mike and Kate Sidey and Dafydd and Christine Lewis. Aspiring Conversations will still run as part of the Festival of Colour ? and plans are well underway for the 2015 festival programme. We are pleased to have had funding support confirmed from First Sovereign Trust and we also have three new local business sponsors ? Turnkey Homes, Amigos and Peak Accommodation. The sponsor base is growing all the time and we are delighted to welcome Westpac as a new Sponsor (logo). ?Westpac is extremely proud to be associated with The Festival of Colour for 2015, the iconic arts event for the Southern Lakes region”, said Simon Power, GM Business Bank & Wealth, Westpac New Zealand. And we?re very pleased to have them on board too and hope they will be around for many years to come. Nick ? An Accidental Hero. If you haven?t got your tickets yet for ?Nick: An accidental hero? playing at Luggate Hall on Friday 18th July, then do get your tickets now. There are only a handful of tickets left for this outstanding show about an ordinary man overcoming extraordinary challenges. An Arts on Tour show ? tickets $25 adults and $10 students from (link). ?Nick? is full of unexpected humour, poignancy and heart. Award winning actress Renee Lyons plays no less than eight characters in the exploration of triumph over adversity and the unlikely road to true love. Boosted Appeal ? On the Upside Down of the World was our audience favorite in the 2013 Festival of Colour. Laurel Devenie stars as the crippled yet intrepid and intelligent Lady Martin in this powerhouse solo performance. Auckland Theatre Company are planning on taking the show to Edinburgh festival and need some help to raise the funds ? for more information and to donate visit Boosted page And for those festival go-ers that have enjoyed the work of Flox and Michel Tuffery, read here about their latest collaboration inspired by Matariki Black Grace to perform at Festival of Colour 2013   Festival of Colour today announced leading New Zealand contemporary dance company, Black Grace as one of the highlights of the 2013 arts festival that will take place on 16 – 21 April.   Following a sell out tour of Germany, Black Grace will bring their latest masterpiece, Vaka, to Festival of Colour audiences in Lake Wanaka and Queenstown. The work explores the idea of a raft as a metaphor for hope and portrays the journey of every vaka (canoe) facing challenges and danger as it navigates towards an often unknown future. Founding Artistic Director and Choreographer Neil Ieremia is one of this country?s most accomplished and respected artists.? Through his vision he imbues Black Grace with an explosive mix of Pacific culture and contemporary dance.   ?Vaka has been met with standing ovations in Europe and we?re delighted to bring it to New Zealand audiences as part of the Festival of Colour,? said Philip Tremewan, festival director. ?Black Grace is internationally renowned for its artistry, creative excellence and innovation and to see them perform is an unforgettable experience that is sure to inspire festival audiences.?   Festival of Colour runs over six days and six nights (16-21 April 2013) featuring a full programme of theatre, music, dance and visual arts against the stunning alpine backdrop of Lake Wanaka in the autumn. The full programme launches on 14 February with public ticket sales opening on 25 February. For more information on the Festival of Colour programme visit or email to

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *