The heart of the community

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The woman behind the scenes - Nicky Smith
The woman behind the scenes - Nicky Smith

It's been said the health of a community can be measured in the arts. That being so, Kerikeri's heart is beating well. Indeed, there would be few towns in New Zealand of comparable size that can claim such a substantial and multifaceted performing arts and event facility at its core.

Kerikeri's Turner Centre (designed by Martyn Evans) opened in August 2005 and has steadily been added to, literally in stages. The main auditorium (The John Dalton Theatre) seats over 400 people. The smaller Theatre Bar, terrace and lobbies can accommodate over 650 with
various site configurations while the Plaza Theatre can accommodate anywhere between 400 to 1,000 people.

The Turner Centre is big business supported by a team of 115 volunteers including the Board of Directors.Threequarters of the events are community based and the Centre 'topped out' at 500 individual events so it's not just big but busy.

Venue Manager is Nicky Smith who started in 2013. Although born in the UK she completed high school in Kerikeri, before embarking on a degree in performing arts management at Toi
Whakaari inWellington.

It was there she became involved in all aspects of arts management. With this background, and although just 21 years old, she jumped at the job opportunity when it was advertised.

- Northland Age

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