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Inaugural Cocktail party fundraiser to commission unique work for Festival of Colour

Inaugural Cocktail party fundraiser to commission unique work for Festival of Colour

March 1, 2017. For immediate release

The Southern Lakes Festival of Colour is staging an inaugural Celebration of the Arts cocktail party as a fundraiser to commission a new work for the 2019 event.

The glitzy cocktail party will also feature an auction of a variety of sought-after items as it kicks off Festival celebrations on March 27 – a week before the Festival of Colour officially begins in Wanaka.

It’s the first time Festival organisers have held their own fundraising event. The fact that money raised will go towards commissioning a new work to be premiered at the 2019 Festival of Colour makes it even more significant, co-chair Hetty Van Hale says.

“We rely heavily on grants, funding and the goodwill and support of our patrons, benefactors and supporters to hold the Festival of Colour every second year, but in the past we’ve never done any fundraising ourselves.

“The Celebration of the Arts cocktail party is about getting together for a glam night out and having a party before the Festival of Colour begins, but at the same time raising funds to commission a unique piece of work that can premiere for New Zealand in Wanaka,” she adds.

“Enabling a new commission helps put Wanaka on the map and creates Wanaka pride, because we are creating something unique for New Zealand.”

The Festival hopes to raise about $20,000 at the function. The cost of a production will likely be more than $20,000 but it’s unclear of the final cost until the work is chosen.

“We don’t know what type of work it will be yet but it’s likely to be a production that involves the local community. It could be a piece of theatre, some kind of musical commission, or a video installation. But it will be something unique,” Van Hale says.

The cocktail party will be held at the Lake Wanaka Centre on Monday, March 27, from 5.30pm. Tickets – limited to 200 – are $45 and available from the Festival of Colour website.

More than 50 auction items include: An electric bike from the Bike Lounge (valued at $3700), an original oil painting by Auckland artist Richard Adams (valued at $2800), a collectible Höglund glass vase ($1500 retail), artworks by Michel Tuffery, Flox and Wanaka’s own Melissa Sharplin, jewellery from Gallery 33, wine from Quartz Reef, Mt Difficulty, Two Paddocks, and Two Degrees, Alpine Helicopters gourmet picnic , Wanaka River Journeys jet boat trips, cruises to Stevenson’s Arm with Lake Wanaka Cruises, plus many others.

“We are incredibly grateful to everyone who supports us to help make the Festival a reality. They are also helping support the growth of Wanaka and the arts in the Southern Lakes region,” Van Hale says.

The Southern Lakes Festival of Colour takes place in and around Wanaka on April 4-10, 2017.


Photo caption: Festival of Colour fundraising committee members (from left): Jo McGregor, Hetty Van Hale, Laurel Gilks, Kate Lovell. (Other members, not pictured) are Bonny Teat, Prue Wallis and Diana McLachlan.

For further information and to arrange interviews, please contact:
Celia Crosbie – Scope Media | 021 816 812 |
Sally Woodfield – SWPR | 021 868 020 |

About the Southern Lakes Festival of Colour:
Known as New Zealand’s ‘best little arts festival’, the seventh Southern Lakes Festival of Colour takes place on April 4-10, 2017. Held biennially, the Festival brings an outstanding programme of local, national and international arts to the Southern Lakes region, including world-class music, dance, theatre, comedy, visual arts and the renowned Aspiring Conversations. The Festival is supported by cornerstone funders Creative New Zealand, Central Lakes Trust, Otago Community Trust, Queenstown Lakes District Council, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and Longview Environmental Trust. Gold sponsors are Aurora and Milford Asset Management. Visit for full details of the programme. Tickets are on sale to the general public on Friday 17 February via the website or by calling 022 4 TIX NOW (022 4 849 669).


Celia Crosbie
Written by Celia Crosbie
Celia is an award-winning former journalist who has worked for newspapers and radio stations in New Zealand and magazines in the United Kingdom. She has worked in public relations in both NZ and London. Celia also specialises in digital media strategy and website copywriting for SEO.