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Funding strikes accord with Philharmonia

Additional funding strikes the right chord with Auckland Philharmonia

Auckland City has supported a proposed package to provide nearly $200,000 of additional funding to the Auckland Philharmonia (AP).

The Arts, Culture and Recreation Committee and the Finance and Corporate Business Committee both endorsed the funding, which was first proposed during annual plan discussions last month. The decision is subject to public consultation as part of the Annual Plan process which runs from 20 April to 20 May.

The additional funding will be specifically tagged to Town Hall hire charges for Philharmonia events. It is conditional on the orchestra making some administrative changes that will help secure its future as a thriving and sustainable organisation.

“This funding commitment signals the value we see in the philharmonia as a flagship performing arts organisation for the region,” says Arts, Culture and Recreation Committee chairperson, Councillor Penny Sefuiva.

Previously Auckland City has provided an annual grant to the philharmonia of $300,000, which includes $75,000 for their performance at free events like the Starlight Symphony, and $40,000 in subsidising other community groups that wish to hire the orchestra.

Currently, the main sources of revenue for the philharmonia are box office sales, sponsors, the Auckland Philharmonia Foundation, Creative New Zealand and Auckland City. Other councils in the Auckland region are minor contributors.

“By international standards the Auckland Philharmonia does incredibly well in terms of the amount of revenue it generates through its box office and its own fundraising activities. I’m sure anyone who has attended a free or ticketed Auckland Philharmonia event will understand its importance and significance to the cultural life of the region,” says Mrs Sefuiva.

Chairperson of the Finance and Corporate Business Committee, Vern Walsh agrees that the Auckland Philharmonia receives a relatively small amount of public funding and this situation is not sustainable

“We hope that this funding package will send a clear message out to other local authorities in the region that we all need to step up to share the responsibility for keeping this valuable cultural asset alive and flourishing.

“This is not the only cultural institution in the region that benefits from the generosity of Auckland City ratepayers. It’s one of the priorities of the finance committee to try and resolve this inequity.”

Auckland City officers will be leading a regional strategy to determine a sustainable funding model for the Auckland Philharmonia and other key regional arts groups.


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