The Arts Festival 2011
August 9th - 14th 2011
The Inaugural Arts Festival was a great success, with visitor numbers to the Gallery tripling in the Festival week, and more than 400 people enjoying the range of concerts and events that took place over 4 evenings. Over 300 local school children also took part in kapahaka and choir performances as well as other gallery Festival activities.
The Art Trail generated interest from all the visitors to the Gallery, and the weather was good enough for everyone to explore the town and vote for their favourite display. Shops and businesses reported that the level of interest was very high from the public and the response was unanimously positive from everyone we spoke to (see the Image Gallery 'The Arts Festival Art Trail' for pictures)
The Family Day on Saturday 13th August generated a real buzz about town, starting off with the Wai Taiko drummers outside the Gallery and soon they were joined by Troupe Waihi who paraded up and down the main street on stilts and in costume, making people smile and creating a real sense of "something's happening".
Plans are already being formulated for next year's Festival, which will be over 2 or 3 weeks, based on the superb response to this year's event.
the Festival finished on a real high with standing-room only for a sold-out concert featuring St. Joseph's Singers, Mighty River Harmony Anna Hawkins.