17 Nov 2023

This content is tagged as Creative NZ .


Central Lakes Polyfest 2023
Central Lakes Polyfest 2023, photography by James and Mel Jubb from Studio Jubb (image supplied).

“Festivals light up our communities, they unite us, they affirm and celebrate who we are whilst helping to make our cities and towns great places to live."

Festivals across New Zealand have received over $3.46 million in the second round of funding designed to deliver festival programmes that celebrate the life experiences, stories, cultures and regional identities of New Zealanders.

The Festival Fund has been made possible by a one-off allocation from Manatū Taonga Ministry of Culture and Heritage as part of its Arts and Culture COVID Recovery Programme, to help address the continued effects of COVID-19 in 2023.

Gretchen La Roche, Creative New Zealand’s Senior Manager Arts Development Services says: “I’m delighted this one-off funding from Manatū Taonga Ministry of Culture and Heritage will provide opportunities for employment for communities in the cultural sector, especially as the effects of COVID are still being felt. Festivals light up our communities, they unite us, they affirm and celebrate who we are whilst helping to make our cities and towns great places to live. The range of festivals we have supported will enhance the lives of New Zealanders across many regions.”

The fund attracted over 193 applications across two rounds from a range of festivals across the motu. 

Aronui Festival, Matali'i Va'a Festival and Kupu Writers Festival
(L-R): Aronui Art Festival ‘Ko Rangi Ko Pāpā’, Matali'i Va'a Festival, photographer Toroa Creative, and Kupu Writers Festival (images supplied).

Successful applicants in Round One included the 2023 and 2024 ARONUI Indigenous Arts Festival, a bold and explosive celebration of award-winning Indigenous artists; Kupu Writers Festival in Rotorua, celebrating our past writers, supporting present writers, and encouraging future writers; and Matali’i Va’a Festival & Talanoa 2024 celebrating the local va'a community in Porirua.

Daft Festival and Dunedin Fringe Festival
(L-R) DAFT Festival Photography by Afriza Riaz and Dunedin Fringe Festival 2022, The Barden Party's Much Ado About Nothing in the grounds of Larnach Castle photographer Martyn Buyck (images supplied).

Round One also supported Disabled Artists Festival of Theatre (DAFT), an annual event celebrating and recognising the identity, community, and work of d/Deaf and Disabled artists and audiences in the performing arts in Wellington; Dunedin Fringe Festival; and Whakatāne Summer Arts Festival 2024, one of the region’s major events which runs from January through April and attracts visitors from all over New Zealand through a programme of music, dance, outdoor theatre, film, art, sculpture, and public programmes. 

Gretchen La Roche continues: "We have had extraordinary demand for these opportunities, which demonstrates such a wide breadth of talent in our festival sector. We also know from our Audience Atlas research that festivals are incredibly popular, with around 68% or 2.7m adult New Zealanders attending festivals. We’re pleased to be able to support just some of them, and we encourage everyone to get out and explore a taste of what they have to offer across the summer season and in 2024.

Round Two will support F.O.L.A. (Festival of Live Art) in Auckland, featuring a thrilling program of 30+ artists over 10 full length shows as well as a full free public programme and Murihiku Cultural Polyfest 2024, a week-long performing arts cultural event connecting tamariki, rangatahi and hapori in the Murihiku and Southland regions.

You can see the notification of the Festival Grants round on our website.