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Otago Arts Festival Announces Outstanding Results

29 November 2004

“Otago Festival of the Arts Announces Outstanding Results”

More than 27,000 patrons enjoyed the third Otago Festival of the Arts in Dunedin in early spring. This exponential increase in participation from the previous two festivals has seen the Otago Festival of the Arts Trust announcing a successful result measured against their Triple Bottom Line platform.

“We are pleased to announce that the Festival has achieved a surplus of $11,000.00, which is a great achievement,” said Festival Trust Chairman Paul Dallimore, releasing the results today. “The Festival is operated on a very modest budget and under very tight self-imposed financial constraints. This amount might not seem very much, but in terms of arts festivals in New Zealand this result is outstanding.”

Dallimore outlined the Festival Trust’s satisfaction with meeting artistic, critical and financial goals.

Artistic Success “The programme presented for the 2004 Festival displayed a wide range of events and, more than ever, catered for a huge variety of taste, from the hugely accessible Luminarium and the rock opera Evita to the more challenging and exceptional Odyssey, and Terrain. As well as these great events the Festival is also proud to have been the host for several premieres,” said Dallimore.

Anthony Ritchie’s chamber opera The God Boy (based on the iconic novel of the same name by Ian Cross) to a libretto by Jeremy Commons received a remarkable and exceptionally beautiful debut season. Gary Henderson’s new play Homeland received its premiere at the Fortune Theatre to much critical and public acclaim. Daniel Belton enjoyed his choreographic debut with the Royal New Zealand Ballet with his evocative and inimitably stylish dance work The Happy Prince, and two new choral works by Anthony Ritchie and Gillian Whitehead were premiered by Tower Voices New Zealand.

Critical Success “The proof of the Festival’s artistic vision can be measured by the critical response,” said Dallimore. “Not only were all reviews of the Festival full of praise, the audience response and attendance indicated that, despite the anxiety expressed by the Festival’s Director in the ODT, the Otago Festival continues to get the mix of events just right for the Otago market place.”

The Festival enjoyed a sold out performance by Jonathan Lemalu and the NZSO in the Town Hall, a sold out performance by Don McGlashan in the Glenroy, a sold out five-day phenomenon on First Church lawn – the Luminarium, as well as great houses for Evita, Chirgilchin, St Paul’s at One and Amy X Neuburg.

Financial Success With the Festival’s first two success indicators being achieved it is assumed that the financial results would also reach their target. This is not always the case with art festivals. But Paul Dallimore is delighted that for the third successive Festival, they have again returned a surplus. This modest but significant surplus has been largely achieved due to the commitment and passion of the Director Nicholas McBryde and his staff and as a result of the support received from the Business Community and the Major Sponsors.

“A large portfolio of funders and business partners has been critical to the overall success of the Festival and has ensured that the third Otago Festival reached the Triple Bottom Line. The commitment of our business partners and funders allows the Festival to continue to grow and develop,” said Dallimore. “The commitment of the media to the Festival was excellent and very supportive.”

The Festival Trust will consider the 2006 Festival at its next Board meeting but Chairman Dallimore expected the Board to enthusiastically confirm a fourth Festival for spring 2006.


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