Hawke's Bay Arts Festival director Pitsch Leiser and Kaine Wilson, managing director of naming sponsors, Harcourts. Supplied.
Sponsors, supporters, patrons and benefactors of the Harcourts Hawke's Bay Arts Festival will get a sneak peek at the programme for the second annual event at a special launch party tonight.
Following the success of last year’s inaugural event, all the main sponsors have come back on board for the 2016 festival in October, said festival director Pitsch Leiser.
“We’re delighted and humbled to welcome back our key supporters from the 2015 festival and also welcome some new ones on board,” he said.
Thanks to the ongoing support, the festival was something the entire Hawke’s Bay community could enjoy, said Leiser.
“The financial backing enables us to set the pricing at an affordable level, with tickets starting at $15.00 for Readers/Writers events and family shows from $20.00.”
This year’s festival also includes a free event thanks to funding from the Hastings City Vibrancy Fund. The virtual reality performance called ‘The Cube’ will run continuous 12-minute performances from 10am until 8.00pm for six days in a container in the Hastings City Centre Mall.
For the second year running, Creative New Zealand and Hastings District Council have provided core funding for the festival, with Hastings mayor Lawrence Yule saying they were “blown away” by the success of the 2015 event.
“The closure of the Hawke’s Bay Opera House had a huge impact on the performing arts world. The arts festival helps fill that gap and the huge audience numbers prove that this is something our community really wants.” said Yule.
Naming sponsor Harcourts Hawke’s Bay has continued its association with the event, while NZME is the media partner for the festival.
Mr Leiser says it was "heart-warming" to have that level of support from local businesses and organisations. Returning sponsors, including Porters Boutique Hotel, City of Napier, Ngatarawa and Wallace Development Company had all helped to make the festival a reality, he said, while funding from charitable trusts and foundations, including a generous grant from ECCT, were “the icing on the cake".
“They enable us to offer added extras such as a heavily-subsidised education programme for schools.”
Harcourts Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival
4th – 16th October