Hamilton was one of the first cities in the world to recognise the impact of Covid-19 on the entertainment and events sector as part of a global day of action on Wednesday, when venues all over the world were lighting up red in support of the thousands of people who work in an industry hit hard by lockdowns and mass gathering limits.
Hamilton landmarks also joined others around New Zealand to light up in pink for the Global Illumination campaign in support of Breast Cancer Foundation NZ's annual Pink Ribbon Street Appeal.
In support for the events industry, FMG Stadium, Claudelands Arena and Victoria Bridge lit up red on Wednesday night, while on Thursday the Sky City Dome and Bridge St bridge lit up pink for breast cancer awareness, which will continue until the end of month.
In Hamilton, it is estimated there are thousands of people involved in the events sector who have seen their jobs impacted, and Hamilton mayor Paula Southgate said the city was doing its best to keep events going.
"Here in Hamilton, our own local performers, venues and the events industry have all felt the impact of the pandemic. We're not immune and our own people are hurting," Southgate said.
"Lockdowns, social distancing and travel restrictions have had a huge impact on the industry and its people. While many of us have been able to work from home or adapt, people who work in events and hospitality simply haven't had that option.
"As a city, we're doing our very best to keep events happening in our city and while the challenges aren't over, I'm optimistic. But I really feel for people who, through no fault of their own, have had the rug pulled out from underneath them."
Hamilton and Waikato Tourism chief executive Jason Dawson said it's important as a region we collectively acknowledge the importance of our events industry and show our support to all those who have been severely impacted by Covid-19.
"Hamilton and Waikato is the fourth largest region in New Zealand for hosting business events, conferences and exhibitions which provide educational and professional benefit. Major events help drive domestic visitation into the region and are crucial to leading our social and economic recovery."
"Events make people feel proud of where they live, provide connection in a social or business setting, deliver entertainment, plus inspire us when we need it most," said Dawson.
For breast cancer awareness month, Breast Cancer Foundation NZ Evangelia Henderson said it was good to see Hamilton taking part in the awareness campaign again.
"It is fantastic to see Hamilton join so many other towns and cities across New Zealand lighting up pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It's such a powerful visual reminder that nine Kiwi women are diagnosed with breast cancer every day – it's still the most common cancer for women in our country.
"We hope New Zealanders will get behind this cause and donate generously to our appeal, so that we can continue our crucial work to see zero deaths from breast cancer become a reality."
In the Waikato region, each year around 280 women are diagnosed with breast cancer, and sadly every year around 53 will die of breast cancer.