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Countdown to Cuba St Carnival begins

Countdown to Cuba St Carnival begins

Ten years since the first Cuba St Carnival calls for a massive celebration, and the huge anniversary party will take place on 21 February 2009.

Inner-city Wellington will again host the colourful mix of dancing, music, street performance, global food and artist markets that is the unique flavour of Cuba St Carnival. 

As the countdown to the tenth anniversary begins, organisers have announced a new initiative aimed at further raising the quality and dynamism of the event.  A new grants scheme will enable Cuba St Carnival to provide individual funding to groups in the Illuminated Night Parade for the first time.

Artistic Director Chris Morley Hall said, “Last year we had record-breaking crowds, over 100,000, and as the carnival grows we are evolving some fresh approaches.  These grants mean a huge boost to what groups will be able to achieve.”

Organisers are currently urging people to get in early and be part of it.  Information and applications are downloadable from their website (www.cubacarnival.org.nz) and the coming event will have a dedicated focus on providing the resources to enhance the dramatic impact.  Morley Hall explains:  “The Cuba St Carnival is all about showcasing the city’s talent, energy, creativity and diversity.  Over the years we’ve built up a lot of experience, and for our tenth anniversary we are planning to use workshops and teams of experts to empower all participants to collectively create an epic spectacle of international standing.”

Since its inception in 1999 the Cuba St Carnival has become one of the city’s iconic events, growing significantly and generating both economic and social benefits for the city. Wellington City Council is working proactively with the organisers to make the logistical adjustments necessary for effective crowd and street management.  “It’s a big ambitious event for the city and its success is dependent on good partnerships and management of all the details.  We want to raise the bar every time, but also ensure a safe and enjoyable event for all those who attend,” said Morley Hall. 

A Wellington City Council survey after the last event indicated that 89% of the respondents who attended the last carnival said it made them feel proud to be a Wellingtonian.  “That’s definitely one of the reactions we’ve been aiming for as we’ve been building the carnival up over these last 10 years.”

Application forms for performers, volunteers, market-holders and musicians are available from www.cubacarnival.org.nz.



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