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Arts Festival Final three days!

New Zealand International Arts Festival Final three days!

Welcome to the last Festival News for 2004

After three weeks of experiencing the magic of the arts in all its diversity, today is a day for praise and thanks. The 2004 New Zealand International Arts Festival started 22 days ago with a dawn ceremony at Frank Kitts Park and in the past three weeks we have shared stories, music, dance and images from around the world and taken pleasure in celebrating our own.

On behalf of the Festival I thank Wellington City Council for their ongoing support; our enlightened sponsors without whom this great event couldn't happen; Creative New Zealand for ensuring this country's stories are told; foreign governments for supporting their artists in getting to our shores; the Festival's patrons for their belief in us; the regional councils who enable the Festival to extend beyond the central city; and the Friends of the Festival for being a part of our family and going to so many shows. The Festival would not be possible without these companies, organizations and individuals.

Highest praise goes to the hundreds of artists who have given us many special delights - amazement, laughter, passion, sadness, beauty - and made us think. They are the ambassadors of greater understanding, both within our society and internationally.

Lastly, on behalf of my colleague David Inns, I thank the Festival staff. They are the ones with bleary eyes, who have worked 16-hour days and not eaten properly for the past month. They bring our vision to life and are a pleasure to work with. A special mention goes to Bill and Donas Nathan and Sam and June Jackson who have succoured us since the dawn ceremony. They have stood proudly with all our staff as we have welcomed international artists to our country.

On behalf of the staff, I thank the Festival's Chair Fran Wilde and the Trust Board who have stood behind us and given us strength.

Make the most of this final weekend, whether it's your first show or your fifteenth. You can hear the music of maestro Tan Dun with the NZSO, or the silky voice of Jacintha, experience the incredible After Mrs Rochester, the profound words of Hone Kouka in The Prophet, comic chamber opera in Quartet, or the spectacular dance of the Royal New Zealand Ballet. This is your last chance for two years to experience the magic of the New Zealand International Arts Festival so leap in.

Check out the image gallery on for some precious memories. It is only two years until the next one - we better get working!

Carla van Zon David Inns

© Scoop Media

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