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Nelson Arts Festival at Founders

This year's Nelson Arts Festival will be held at Founders Heritage Park in October.

With both the Theatre Royal and the Trafalgar Centre closed for refurbishment, Nelson City Council Festival Director Annabel Norman said there was some lateral thinking involved in finding a suitable venue.

"We looked at all the options and we are very excited about the potential of transforming Founders with a festival atmosphere for the ten days that we will be there," she said. "We are still finalising our programme but our big international show is the physical comedy Tricicle from Spain that we will stage in the Energy Centre - after we've transformed it into something between a ŒBig Top' and a professional theatre."

Ms Norman said there was a carnivale theme running though other programme elements that would help in the transformation of Founders.

"We will have an exhibition of contemporary art installations, a Festival Café set up in the Granary and a whole range of performances from Joe Bennett's circus comedy The Butler through to flamenco dance and rising kiwi contemporary music stars," she said. "In the evenings and weekends we'll be livening up the whole Founders village with side shows, story-telling, street theatre and music."

The Founders Committee last week agreed to resurface the Energy Centre floor, which was one of the conditions required by the festival. Ms Norman said there would also be musical performance in Old St Peter's Church and the Fulton Hogan Family Final and Pet Art Wear in the Founders' streets, though some shows would still be staged at the Suter Theatre.

The Nelson Arts Festival runs from October 16-27 2008. It is presented by the Nelson City Council as an added attraction for visitors and a celebration for locals. The full festival programme will be launched in August. To receive more information in the lead up to the festival please email info[at]nelsonartsfestival.co.nz


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