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Creative capital embraces four more years of WOW®

6 October 2008

Creative capital embraces four more years of WOW®

This year’s series of Montana World of WearableArt™ Awards Shows have just come to an end, but Wellington City Council is delighted to announce that WOW® will be back – and for another four years.

The existing contract with the City Council expires after the 2009 shows, and a further three years have been secured after that for Wellington.

Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast is thrilled with the news.

“I’m absolutely delighted Wellington will host the Montana WOW® Awards Show for the next four years. The show has found a fantastic home in our creative and innovative city, and it has been a thrill to help it grow,”she says.

“This is a really significant event for the city. Not only does it reinforce our status as New Zealand’s arts and events capital, it also brings in excess of $10m to the city every year.”

Wellington’s creative community have truly embraced the event. In the first year in Wellington (2005) there were 16 successful Wellington entries and in 2008 (three years later) there were 46 successful entries by Wellingtonians.

WOW® Chief Executive Gabrielle Hervey says that although the World of WearableArt’s true home is Nelson, the shows couldn’t have grown the way they have over the last few years if it wasn’t for Wellington’s capacity to temporarily house the thousands of fans who flock to the capital for the show.

“Having Wellington as the home of the Montana World of WearableArt™ Awards Show for another four years is great news for WOW® and for Wellington – the two brands are really made for each other! Wellington has truly embraced the concept and we love the way the city ‘dresses up’ every year,” she says.

While the event has almost doubled in audience to 35,000 people since the last show in Nelson, the percentage of out-of-town visitors has remained at 60% which carries a significant economic benefit.

David Perks, CEO of Positively Wellington Tourism, says one of the reasons that WOW® is such a success in Wellington is because the city works hard to show people a good time.

“WOW® attracts visitors from New Zealand and around the world, keen to experience its cutting-edge creativity, along with the city’s myriad of shops, cafes, restaurants and attractions. You can almost touch the excitement, when WOW® comes to town.”

This year was the first year of the Montana WearableArt™ Wander – a chance for people to see some of the winning garments from previous years. They were taken out of the WOW® museum in Nelson and placed in various locations around the city centre so that the public could see the garments up close and get a personal taste of what WOW® is all about.

Retailers also got into the swing of things – Victoire at the Old Bank Arcade won Positively Wellington Tourism’s WOW® Retail Competition this year. Manager Jayshree Keshav says WOW® has had a tremendous impact on them as a retailer.

“We get women from all over New Zealand and some from overseas, which creates excitement and a real buzz, not only to our store, but to the streets of Wellington. It is a fantastic opportunity for us as retailers to really show the rest of the country that we are the best dressed city in New Zealand,” says Jayshree.

Wellington City Council officers have worked hard to accommodate international designers. This is the third year the Council has put on International Designer’s Day – a series of activities for the designers, which results in them raving about Wellington when they head back overseas and keen to return.

The announcement of four more years of WOW® has also been welcomed by local hoteliers.

“WOW® creates a great focus on Wellington so we are thrilled the city will continue to be the host for this world-class event. Each year the WOW® organisers somehow manage to outdo their successes of previous years. The buzz in the hotel for the 10 days is thrilling with gatherings of culture lovers and corporate invitees excitedly awaiting each evening’s show,” says Geoff Naumann, Director of Sales and Marketing for InterContinental Wellington.

Now in its fourth year in Wellington, the Montana World of WearableArt™ Awards shows bring to life more than 300 garments in a theatrical extravaganza of music, drama, choreography, lighting and comedy. This year’s sold-out shows finished up last night. If you didn’t manage to catch any of the shows this year, keep an eye out for when tickets go on sale in early 2009. And be quick – the best seats always sell fast.

For further details please contact:
Barbara Burke, Council Communications, phone 803 8527 or 021 227 8527.

Wellington City Council news releases are also available daily as Web Alerts through the Council's website, www.Wellington.govt.nz. To subscribe, select the Web Alerts icon on the home page.


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