The Christchurch Arts Festival is another great reason to visit the Garden City, running from July 26 – August 4.
This event happens every second year, and this year gets to take advantage of the increased number of venues around the city as locations like our beautiful Christchurch Town Hall have re-opened.
Experience art, music, light, food and performance, as these extraordinary artists ‘return home’ to honour their connections to this unique place, and inspire us to explore who we are, where we have come from and our bold new path as a city of transformation and change.
From the free opening extravaganza, to shows, talks, workshops and performances, there’s something for everyone… so don’t miss the chance to find out what’s on and get amongst it!
Tickets for some events have already sold out, so we have included below some of the Festival highlights that still have tickets remaining or don’t require tickets.
Opening Event – Free! A Winter’s Tale and Powhiri
Running across two nights, on Friday July 26 and Saturday July 27, this will be an event not to miss.
From 5pm on Friday 26th the opening pōwhiri (welcoming ceremony), features the traditional call of a kaikaranga – the first voice to be heard will be Matapopore’s very own Aroha Reriti-Crofts – followed by kapa haka group Te Pao a Tahu, who will explore traditional Ngāi Tahu narratives through song.
Then from 6pm on both nights, Oxford Terrace will be transformed as lively Shakespearean scenes are presented by giant puppets, against a backdrop of colour, movement and skyscraping video projections.
The event will be book-ended by two stages, one near the Bridge of Remembrance and the other by the new Riverside complex where six different musical acts will perform throughout the evening.
Along the riverside, roaming amongst the audience and from the balconies of the bars and restaurants lining The Terrace, masked NASDA actors and over-sized puppets will parody scenes from the classic Shakespearean films being projected onto the former Rydges Hotel.
Find out more about this free event via the Facebook Event page.
Below is a map of the Avon Promenade which is the location for this event. to work out places to park, we suggest you visit the dynamic map on the City Council website here.
Wild Dogs Under my Skirt, Tusiata Avia, July 25 – 27
The first night of this compelling show by Christchurch based poet Tusiata Avia is being held at Haeata Community Campus in Aranui, with the remaining two performances at The Piano which is located in Armagh Street (very close to the New Regent Street corner).
This deeply personal, multi-award winning work has delighted, shocked and seduced audiences all around the world.
Based on Avia’s provocative and unapologetic poetry, Wild Dogs is a play that explores power, politics, racism, love, sex, abuse and life between cultures. It’s a celebration of island life, the femininity of a Samoan woman and all its wonderful complexities.
With the support of NZ theatre taonga Victor Rodger as producer and award-winning director Anapela Polata’ivao, this stunning piece has transformed into an all-powerful six-woman show, winning Best Director, Best Production and Best Lighting Design at the recent Wellington Theatre Awards.
Tusiata Avia is a poet, performer and children’s book writer. She has held prestigious writers residencies both here and abroad, and was the 2013 recipient of the Janet Frame Literary Trust Award.
Tickets are $45 (concession) or $50 full price. Book online.
Manaaki Marketplace, Town Hall Foyer, August 3, free admission
From 10:00am, stalls will offer locally made toi Māori (Māori arts and crafts) including woven kete, pounamu pendants, jewellery and poi. Locally made preserves and delicacies will also be available for purchase – not to mention traditional Māori kai!
Another highlight will be the rongoā (traditional Māori healing) area where two practitioners will be offering mirimiri (traditional Māori massage) and rongoā cosmetics such as balms, creams and oils, crafted from extracts from native plants.
In the rear of the foyer, you’ll find an exhibition of Ngāi Tahu artworks, which includes raranga, jewellery, paintings, carving, prints and sculpture.
The market day will be followed by a hangi which will be cooked through the day and served at 5.30pm and 6.00pm.