18 July 2019
A spectacular mid-winter street party featuring oversized puppets, an eclectic range of musicians and dramatic projected images, several storeys high, will herald the opening of the 10-day Christchurch Arts Festival 2019.
The opening event, A Winter’s Tale, will be led by Free Theatre on 26 and 27 July. It will open with a powhiri from Matapopore and Te Pao a Tahu and feature some well-known Canterbury musicians including Mark Vanilau.
Arts Festival Artistic Director Dr George Parker says the event will be spectacular with a high tech edge that has not been seen in Christchurch before.
“We will be the first to use a new 20,000 lumen laser projector that is the only one of its type in the South Island. It will be projecting crystal clear imagery, several storeys high, onto the old Rydges Hotel. It will be an impressive sight.”
“Projection on this scale is what people associate with some of the world’s most spectacular events, including Vivid in Sydney. We know it will wow audiences in Christchurch and really add to the carnivalesque atmosphere of the Festival.”
The custom-made Panasonic projector was purchased by Development Christchurch Limited, CEO Rob Hall says they’re thrilled.
“This is a great ‘first’ for Christchurch and we look forward to seeing it bring colour and life to many other areas of our city.”
As well as A Winter’s Tale, the Festival will use the new projector during the Festival to present a curated programme of spectacular visuals on the old Rydges hotel.
“This will include art created by Parkview Pārua School pupils and Ara Art and Design School students – we can’t wait to see their faces when they see their work stretching several storeys high. It’s probably a once in a lifetime experience,” says George Parker.
ChristchurchNZ's General Manager Destination and Attraction, Loren Heaphy, is excited the festival is once again coming to the city centre.
“The Christchurch Arts Festival is the kind of event that distinguishes us as a unique city of trail-blazers and explorers of new opportunity.”
“I have no doubt the large-scale projections will entice people into Christchurch city, which is rising as a modern and unique urban centre. We can't wait to see it get under way and continue to grow in years to come," says Loren.
The revamped Christchurch Arts Festival runs from 26 July to 4 August 2019 and features a diversity of performances, events and workshops in and around the newly restored Town Hall.