Future Assured for Fringe, Cuba Carnival

19 August 2011

The Creative Capital Arts Trust (CCAT) has been established to run Wellington's Fringe Festival and Cuba Street Carnival.

The new CCAT, which has received a start-up grant of $70,000 from Creative New Zealand, replaces the Fringe Arts Trust and the Cuba Street Carnival Collective Trust.

Wellington City Council has agreed to transfer the support it previously committed to the Fringe Festival, which is $85,000 annually, to the 2011-2013 festivals.

The 22nd Fringe Festival will be held from 10 February to 3 March 2012, returning to a three-week programme after the 2011 Festival was held over a fortnight. The popular Fringe Awards will also return for next year's event.

The Fringe provides opportunities for emerging artists and supports them with production workshops, mentoring and promotion. The 2011 Fringe staged 51 productions by 600 performers to an audience of 14,000.

The Council's Arts and Culture Portfolio Leader, Councillor Ray Ahipene-Mercer, says the new trust secures the future of the Fringe and the Cuba Street Carnival.

"We now have one organisation to drive these two very important events which are an integral part of Wellington's culture and vibrancy," says Cr Ahipene-Mercer.

"It's great news for Wellingtonians and all those people outside the region who have supported these events. Importantly, it also means the Council can support such events in a financially prudent way and have confidence in the CCAT governance entity."

CCAT Chair Tim Brown welcomed the Council's support.

"Voluntary organisations rely heavily on peoples' enthusiasm and willingness to give their time, but it is the support of the Council and Creative NZ which then gives us the resources necessary to actually make things happen," says Mr Brown.

"The other key ingredient in our case is Emma Flack. We are incredibly fortunate to have someone of her calibre overseeing the CCAT's establishment, arrangement of the 2012 Fringe and development of the next Carnival for Cuba Street."

Ms Flack, the project manager for the establishment of the trust, says the Cuba Street Carnival is one of the largest street pageants in Australasia.

"Wellington has said loud and clear that the Cuba Street Carnival is important to the city. With the support of the Council, I am looking forward to working with the community on both the Fringe and the Carnival - events that make Wellington arts and culture accessible to all."