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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Christchurch is blossoming with Arts Festivals

Spring in the air and Christchurch is blooming with festivals and exhibitions.

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It is leading the way with fascinating arts festivals, starting with the unique FESTA (Festival of Transitional Architecture) which is on view from 24th to 27th October, 2014 and the reopening of the iconic and historic Isaac Theatre Royal on 17thNovember, 2014.

FESTA 2014
In its third year FESTA’s theme is ‘the future will be live’ enabling visitors to explore alternative futures through a plethora of projects, activities and events. Why wait for the future – futures can be present now and are live.

The headline exhibition is CityUps, which sees 265 New Zealand architecture and fine arts students (led by Studio Christchurch) transform two city blocks and create their version of a future Christchurch.  Ten metre high frames will support design installations with pop-up cafes, bars, markets and performance spaces operating below.

In conjunction with the exhibition is an app, CityUps+, which opens up a virtual future Christchurch designed by architects from across the globe including an Australian project, Dematerialization.  Produced by Madeline Sewall, Patrick Hegarty and Jayden Kennedy, Dematerialization is an immersive experience where a virtual performance explores the relationship between technology and the human body.

Isaac Theatre Royal
The 106 year old Isaac Theatre Royal will reopen its doors to performances in November after nearly four years and over NZ$40 million of painstaking rebuilding and restoration following the earthquake. The Theatre is the preferred entertainment venue for the city catering for large scale theatrical productions, musicals, ballets, concerts, to plays, community events, children’s productions and even ice shows.  The Isaac is the only Edwardian-style theatre in the country.

Other Festivals and Events
Last year’s popular street art festival, RISE, has created a spin-off festival where respected street artists are being invited to paint eight huge murals on buildings across locations of Christchurch as well as two exhibition spaces dedicated to this art form. These will be on display to the public from February 2015.

Akaroa Museum will fully re-open in 2015 after receiving a grant for NZ$500,000 to rebuild its exhibition space.  Open daily – even Christmas Day - the museum is the repository for the history Banks Peninsula region. The rejuvenation will enable the Museum to display much of its photography, family histories and objects from prominent Peninsula families of bygone eras and evoke the story of the town.  

Akaroa has become the gateway for cruise lines visiting Christchurch.

The successful enterprise Rekindle has given birth to another great initiative - Whole House Reuse. This ambitious project has taken one demolished house and offered the entire salvaged materials from wood, glass and metal items down to the smallest nail and screw for re-use into functional pieces and away from landfill. This transformation process will culminate with an exhibition of all the re-purposed projects in March 2015.  At the conclusion of the exhibition the public have the opportunity to own a piece through a public auction.  Rekindle continues to flourish also using items from demolished dwellings and turning them into phenomenal artworks from chairs, tables, and other furniture pieces to jewellery available for purchase through its retail outlet.

For more information about what to see and do in Christchurch go to: www.christchurchnz.com
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