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No circus tent on Victoria Park

2 July 2004

No circus tent on Victoria Park

Auckland City’s Recreation and Events Committee has declined Cirque du Soleil’s application to use Victoria Park from 28 November 2004 to 20 February 2005.

The decision to decline use of the park was influenced by the strong possibility of Auckland Showgrounds hosting the event. However, the committee unanimously voiced its strong support of Cirque du Soleil’s show being held in Auckland.

The committee resolved: it welcomes and wishes to encourage major international events such as Cirque du Soleil which add variety and vitality to the city it does not support restricted public access to a designated area of Victoria Park from 28 November 2004 to 20 February 2005 for Cirque du Soleil it is supportive of Cirque du Soleil seeking alternative sites in Auckland to hold the event.

The committee’s decision met with the approval of the Western Bays community board.

Councillor Scott Milne, Chairperson of the Recreation and Events Committee, says that recreational events like Cirque du Soleil are of the highest calibre.

“A major international event of this scale would not only provide significant economic benefit to the city from patronage, but would also provide a special opportunity for the public to experience the magic of Cirque du Soleil.”

However, Mr Milne said that the benefits of bringing the event to Auckland had to be balanced against the significant period of time for which one of the city’s key open space areas would be partially out of action.

”It is important to achieve a balance between the city’s open space with that of an entertainment and recreational area so we can accommodate all Aucklanders.

“We will be doing all we can to help Cirque du Soleil to secure a venue at the Showgrounds or any other suitable venue,” says Mr Milne.

Cirque du Soleil’s head office in Montreal will now decide on the show’s future in Auckland.

Quidam, the event Cirque du Soleil is scheduled to bring, has approximately 100 staff and will have sell-out capacity for 2500 patrons per show. They have expressed their interest in returning to Auckland city to put on more shows in the future.

Cirque du Soleil made its debut in Auckland in 2000/2001 with its touring show Alegria.

ENDS

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