Wayne Thompson

Wayne Thompson is a NZ Herald reporter.

Annual event urged for Auckland Arts Festival

Festival body says success shows scope for greater benefits.

Trust chair Victoria Carter said a festival every year would ensure benefits on a more regular basis, with greater value for ratepayers. Photo / Supplied
Trust chair Victoria Carter said a festival every year would ensure benefits on a more regular basis, with greater value for ratepayers. Photo / Supplied

The Auckland Arts Festival Trust wants the event held every year instead of every two, saying the success of this March 6 to 24 festival shows the potential for greater economic and social benefits.

While memories are fresh of sell-out events such as The Breath of The Volcano, the trust is asking the Auckland Council for an extra $400,000 on top of $2.2 million already granted to enable another festival next year.

It would then seek $1 million extra funding every year from 2014 from the Regional Amenities Funding Board, which determines the ratepayers' levies for 10 amenities.

The trust is to put a case to the council's governing body today.

Trust chair Victoria Carter said a festival every year would ensure benefits on a more regular basis, with greater value for ratepayers.

It would put the city on the same cultural footing as Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane, which all had annual festivals.

"It maintains branding, it's more attractive to sponsors, it maintains audience awareness and it provides more work for artists and art companies in Auckland and New Zealand," she said.

"The festival gets $2.2 million a year and we are asking for $1 million more to give twice as many festivals."

It aims to have Maori and Pacific work represent at least 15 per cent of the festival.

Councillor Christine Fletcher said she would move at today's meeting to have a festival next year.

"The opportunity is too good for Auckland to turn down based on the evidence of the last few weeks."

A festival every year

* $400,000 extra needed from ratepayers for a 2014 festival.

* $2.2 million already granted.

* $3.2 million would be needed each year after.

* Five Australian major cities have annual arts festivals.

- NZ Herald

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