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Nelson Arts Festival

March 2006

Nelson Arts Festival

The historic precinct of Albion Square, around the Nelson Courthouse, is set to become very arty at this year’s Nelson Arts Festival. (October 13-23rd 2006)

Nelson City Council Festival Director Annabel Norman says Albion Square has just been confirmed as the site for this year’s Mac’s Sculpture Symposium, while St John’s Methodist Church in Hardy Street and the Suter theatre will be the performing arts venues.

“We’re really excited about turning this whole part of town into an arts’ precinct during the festival,” she said. “Albion Square is going to be a fantastic site for the Mac’s Sculpture Symposium - it’s a very attractive site for what is New Zealand’s only symposium where sculptors can use any materials and where the working period is open to the public. It’s one of the unique features of the Nelson Arts Festival with the potential to draw more high-spend visitors to town. Albion Square is going to be a fantastic site to show off the work to best effect.”

Ms Norman said last year St John’s church was used for one concert: “We had great feedback on the acoustics and on the ambience of the heritage building with its stained glass and wood panelling,” she said. “This year the Theatre Royal will be closed for its upgrade so St John’s was our first choice as a replacement. We’ll also have the Suter theatre, and we are meeting with neighbouring businesses and with Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology on other possibilities to get this whole part of town humming with an arts theme.”

Meantime Trafalgar Street won’t be left out. It will be closed as usual for the Port Nelson Masked Parade and More FM Carnivale, and the upper block will stayed closed to traffic during the festival for street performances and arts markets.

“The Nelson City Council invests in the arts festival to strengthen our local community and to attract visitors,” Ms Norman said. “We are working on an exciting programme for this year that will meet both these aims. Building on last year’s events we know we can deliver a Nelson festival that stands confidently in New Zealand’s arts calendar.”

Sponsors are being signed up for individual events, and schools have had advance notice of the theme of ‘Boldly Going Skywards’ for the Port Nelson Masked Parade on Friday 13th October.


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