News | 28 January 2019
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Council grants fun in the sun

Every year Wellington City Council supports hundreds of arts, cultural and community events and projects – and many of them are now part of the summer calendar for everyone to enjoy.

Image of performers at Cuba Dupa

These events and projects contribute further to the diverse and creative fabric of the capital says Mayor, and Arts and Culture portfolio leader, Justin Lester

“The numerous resources, grants and funding opportunities we provide are designed to support projects that make a positive contribution to the city, which also aligns with Council’s resilience strategy.

“Events, arts and cultural activities attract visitors, businesses, and talent to the city, and also strengthens ties for our current residents, which is a key priority for the future of the capital.”

Grants subcommittee chair Councillor Sarah Free says Council allocates funding to groups and organisations for projects that are a good fit with Council’s priorities, and deliver value and enjoyment for ratepayers.

“There are numerous grants and funding opportunities available throughout the year, so we encourage potential applicants to contact our grants funding team or visit our website for information on the criteria – and then they may also become a fixture on the city’s summer calendar.”

A large number of individuals, groups and organisations that received Council funding and support in 2018 are on this year’s summer calendar, including:

  • Kick-off February with a splash at the Welly Bomb Comp on Saturday 23 February at the Taranaki Wharf jump platform. Prizes for the best bombs up for grabs.
  • Celebrate Te Rā o Waitangi, Aotearoa’s national day, with kai, kapa haka and music at Wellington’s Waitangi Park and waterfront on Wednesday 6 February.
  • The annual Kotahi free music festival will also be celebrating Waitangi Day with a great line-up including Che Fu and King Kapisi. Gates open for the event at 2pm in the natural amphitheatre of Kahurangi School in Strathmore. 
  • Celebrate Chinese New Year at the East Meets West Show at the TSB on Saturday 9 February.
  • Enjoy a couple of days in the bay with the Island Bay Festival on 9 & 10 February. With the Ribble Street Races, parades, garage sales, variety shows, bands, activities, and food and crafts, there’s really something for everyone.
  • Captain Cook thinks again 13-24 February on the Wellington Waterfront – a walking tour with a difference. You’ll be guided around significant historical sites by Captain Cook himself, or at least someone bearing a close resemblance to him!
  • Summer Shakespeare presents Hamlet at The Dell in the Botanic Garden from 15 Feb-2 March.
  • Westpac Stadium will be the venue of Te Matatini 2019 | Te Matatini kit e Ao from 20-24 February – the world’s largest celebration of Māori traditional performing arts is coming to the capital.
  • The annual Performance Arcade kicks-off Thursday 21 February for 11 days of events, arts, and performances on Wellington’s waterfront.
  • The city’s a stage when the NZ Fringe Festival comes to town from 1-23 March. There’ll be shows, performances, events, and activities all over the capital – inside and out.
  • Block out Sunday 3 March in the diary, as the Newtown Festival is on. Everyone is invited to this hugely popular annual community event for a day full of music, crafts, food, and performers. 
  • The annual international PARK(ing) Day event will see public car parks in Cuba Street transformed into temporary exhibition spaces on Friday 8 March.
  • Dogs in Togs 10 March from 10am-2pm – keep an eye on our Facebook page for all the details. 
  • Saturday 9 March, Aro Valley Fair will be the destination of choice for many, as has been the case since its 1978 inception.
  • The world’s best skaters are coming to town for Bowlzilla on Saturday 9 March. Head to the Waitangi Park skate bowl for the national skating championships and international showcase.
  • While you’re on the waterfront, head to the Dragon Boat Festival to witness racing from 9am on March 9 & 10.
  • Head along to Wellington’s much-loved queer fair, Out in the Park, and celebrate the capital’s LGBTIQ+ community in Te Ngākau Civic Square on Saturday 16 March.
  • This will be followed by the Pride Parade making its way through the city in the evening.
  • Unleash your senses at the annual celebration of arts and culture in the heart of the city at Cuba Dupa on the weekend of 30-31 March.
  • For something a bit more intimate, check out Jazz Aotearoa for the Arthur Street Loft Orchestra concerts on Monday evenings in February, the Colours of Futuna concert series starts in March at the beautiful Karori chapel, or enjoy Tāmaki Makaurau-based artist Katrina Beekhuis’ solo exhibition at Enjoy Gallery from 8 Feb – 9 March.

There are a number of funding opportunities currently open, including the Waste Minimisation Seed Fund, the Built Heritage Incentive Fund, Creative Communities Local Funding Scheme, the Arts and Culture, and Social and Recreation Fund.

You can visit the funding calendar to see what’s open, what’s coming up, closing dates, and more information about criteria and applications at