The Aspiring Conversations ideas festival is selling fast – time to get your tickets!

Singing the Blues – at the Aspiring Conversations ideas festival on Saturday April 4. Big ideas are a big deal in our community, and tickets are selling fast for the 2020 Aspiring Conversations festival of ideas. We still have some seats available for eight of our nine speaker sessions, as well as for our Saturday evening ‘Singing the Blues’ show, which will see four blues musicians in conversation with Radio NZ music journalist Nick Bollinger. Get your tickets now to

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Tickets for the 2020 Aspiring Conversations are on sale now!

Marilyn Waring and Chlöe Swarbrick’s ‘New Kids on the Block’ session will open the 2020 Aspiring Conversations festival of ideas. Tickets for the 2020 Aspiring Conversations are on sale now! We have tickets available for all sessions at the 2020 Aspiring Conversations, so now is the time to join the conversation and grab yourself some seats for Wanaka’s very own festival of ideas. ‘New Kids on the Block’, featuring Marilyn Waring and Chlöe Swarbrick, will open the festival, discussing the

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Tickets on sale Friday for the Aspiring Conversations ideas festival

University of London journalism researcher Mel Bunce joins Newshub’s Paddy Gower for a session on Fake News at this year’s Aspiring Conversations ideas festival. It’s time to join the conversation! General Ticket Sales for the 2020 Aspiring Conversations start this Friday, February 14 at 8.30am. There are three ways to buy tickets to our festival of ideas: Online: Visit and click on the ‘BOOK TICKETS’ button. In person: Come and see our friendly box office staff at Lake Wanaka

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Journalism researcher Mel Bunce and New Zealand television journalist Paddy Gower will be talking Fake News at this year’s Aspiring Conversations. Politicians, writers, researchers, historians and musicians from New Zealand, Australia and London feature in the programme for Wanaka’s Aspiring Conversations Ideas Festival to be held in April. Aspiring Conversations Ideas Festival 2020 takes place in Wanaka from Friday 3 to Sunday 5 April and features 11 events with high-calibre speakers, writers and thinkers discussing and debating the issues of

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Five days to go! We’re counting down to the Aspiring Conversations launch

It’s time for thinking Politics, music, history, climate, mapping our land – the 2020 Aspiring Conversations festival of ideas is full of discussion about all the things that make our world tick. The 2020 Aspiring Conversations will be held at Lake Wanaka Centre from April 3-5, and it’s just a few days until we launch the programme for this year’s event. We have already announced one exciting speaker session: ‘New Kids on the Block’, featuring Marilyn Waring and Chlöe Swarbrick,

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Open an early holiday treat – we’ve announced the first speakers for Aspiring Conversations 2020

The new kids on the block Marilyn Waring and Chloe Swarbrick. PHOTO: Cynthia Qui Photography We are excited to share our first two speakers for the 2020 Aspiring Conversations ideas festival (April 3-5, 2020). Our ‘New Kids on the Block’ session will feature Marilyn Waring and Chloe Swarbrick, New Zealand?s two youngest members of Parliament in the past 100 years. They will discuss their experiences of political life and what has changed, and what hasn’t, in the years across their

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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

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