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Business support extends festival

Business support extends festival

This year's Nelson Arts Festival, set for October 13 -23, is offering the community more accessible events, thanks to growth in sponsorship.

Nelson City Council Arts Festival Director Annabel Norman says the support for the festival is very heartening, from small businesses agreeing to buy tickets as a treat for staff or clients, through to two major new sponsors.

We are thrilled to welcome Westpac and Fulton Hogan as two major new sponsors that are enabling us to extend the programme and to offer affordable or free exposure to the arts for everyone in Nelson and Tasman," she said.

"The festival used to be staged during school holidays, but now that it does not have to be timed around wearable arts, we have opted for October when the weather is warmer, visitors can plan an arty holiday around Labour Weekend and we can also offer schools an exciting programme of theatre, music, dance and talks that we have named Westpac Out the Gate," Ms Norman said.

Westpac Area Business manager Tim Rogers said Westpac is delighted with the new schools' project: "It is great to be part of this important initiative making our Arts and Culture heritage more accessible to young people throughout the region."

There has already been an enthusiastic response from schools as far away as Marlborough, and some shows, like the Australian theatre piece Choices, will be extending their season to cope with the demand.

Ms Norman says as a Nelson City Council produced festival one of the aims is to draw the Nelson community together in shared celebrations:

"With sponsor support we are adding the Fulton Hogan Family Finale to end the festival with a bang on Labour Day," she explained. "This is going to be a huge day of free or low cost events at our festival base, Albion Square, (Hardy Street opposite NMIT) with everything from pets in dress-ups through to heritage tours, live music and digger displays."

Fulton Hogan Regional Manager Tim Talbot said his team were excited about the opportunity to support the festival: "While we spend our days building roads, drains and other community assets anything we can do to support, strengthen, reward and encourage families has got to be good for the community that we live in."

The festival is also launching a friends' package this year that offers considerable savings on tickets for those committing to four shows.

"With the support that is already coming through we know Nelson is going to be buzzing in festival time and we want people to be out seeing shows night and day," she said. "Nelson already had a reputation for spring arts holidays and it is fantastic to have the support to grow the festival and reap all the benefits it brings - from the creative to the commercial."

The Nelson City Council produces the Nelson Arts Festival as a celebration for the local community and a an added visitor attraction for Nelson.


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