The Festival will run from Friday 9 September to Sunday 9 October and feature a diverse array of art, performance, cultures and entertainment.
Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says the Festival will provide inspiration for everyone. "This is a superb opportunity for Wellington to showcase our compact cosmopolitan capital to the world. Over 30,000 overseas ticketholders have already indicated they intend to visit our region during RWC 2011, so the eyes of the world will be on us."
"Local ratepayers and residents will be able to take part in all sorts of amazing events and activities - many of which are free - whether they're rugby fans or not."
Wellington City Council has released details of many exciting events under the Festival of Carnivale banner and there are more to come.
Major events include: a light and projection show using landmark Wellington buildings; the creation of large caricatures of the New Zealand and French teams by a visiting French artist; a temporary Tape Art mural created throughout the tournament on the side of Te Papa; showcases of contemporary Māori music and dance; and the Oceania collaboration between Te Papa and City Gallery, featuring the art of leading modern and contemporary Māori, Pacific Island and Pākehā artists and their response to new technologies, materials and ideas.
Mayor Wade-Brown says the Festival contains many different themes. "There's a strong focus on mana whenua and our Pasifika communities, as well as the other cultures that make Wellington diverse and dynamic. There are events that include young people, events that combine sport and art, some familiar faces and some totally new surprises."
Events and entertainment will be spread over multiple locations around the city, with the official FANZONE, centred on the Wharewaka, at its heart. Other sites include Courtenay Place during quarter-finals weekend, a 'civic village' in the Town Hall and Civic Square (featuring family entertainment and community and multicultural groups) and a range of outdoor locations around the waterfront featuring installations and street performance.
Wellington's entertainment venues, galleries and museums will also play host to an exciting programme - everything from the acclaimed Miromoda Māori fashion and design showcase to burlesque cabaret to the world premiere of I, George Nepia by Hone Kouka at Circa Theatre.
There are other great events happening around the region during RWC 2011. These include: the Māori Art Market in Porirua; the Migrating Kitchen at Pataka Museum, where communities showcase their culture and demonstrate their cooking; the Small & Beautiful Takeaways exhibition of Kapiti Coast art; the Wairarapa Vintage Wings and Wine; and the Petone Carnival (which has been moved to fit RWC 2011 timings).
Wellington City Council staff have been working with the Government's NZ2011 office (organisers of the REAL NZ Festival), regional partners, the diplomatic community, arts partners, venues, community groups and others on the Festival.