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2006 Arts Festival an all round success

20 December 2006

It’s official: 2006 Arts Festival an all round success

The 2006 New Zealand International Arts Festival was one of the most successful ever, with many shows selling out and record audience numbers overall. The NZIAF Trust has just released its report on this year’s Festival, which sold over 130,000 tickets and generated a positive economic impact of $33.4 million, most accrued to the Wellington region. In releasing the report, Festival Chair Fran Wilde described the result as a “boomer”.

“This is an outstanding outcome in all areas, matching the positive impact of the programme and the excitement that was generated when the Festival was on at the beginning of this year”, she said. “It is a real tribute to the outgoing Artistic Director, Carla Van Zon, to CEO David Inns and to their staff.

“The results indicate that the Festival in its twentieth year is now anchored in as the pre-eminent cultural event in New Zealand and one of the world’s leading Festivals. It is also a major tourist attraction and a significant economic activity for the region. The support the Festival continues to receive from sponsors, other funders and audiences is impressive and demonstrates that New Zealand businesses and the community are truly committed to supporting world class delivery”, Fran Wilde said.

“Particularly gratifying for the Trust Board was a trend to a younger age group amongst audiences, with 16% aged between 15 – 24 years and 38% between 25 and 39. This augurs well for the future, indicating that the Festival has continued to renew its audiences over the two decades of its existence.

“To top it off, this year the Festival also sneaked into the black, with a financial outcome just above break even ($225,000 profit), allowing us to get through the next year in a more secure environment than usual”, Ms Wilde said. “This financial result – reflecting prudent management and strong box office returns - was achieved under pressure from increasing international costs and a greater number of events in New Zealand competing for the entertainment dollar”.

Highlights of the 2006 Festival results include: Over 130,000 tickets issued At least 250,000 people attended one of more of the 24 free events Over a quarter of all audience members were from outside the Wellington region

More than 16,000 students from all round New Zealand attended main bill performances, and a series of workshops and seminars put on as part of the “School Fest” 84% of New Zealanders and 97% of Wellingtonians know about the Festival Over 276 full time equivalent positions were generated Over 900 artists from 27 countries took part An economic impact of $33.4million was recorded

“The Festival Trust, in announcing this result, wants to acknowledge the generous support we receive from our corporate sponsors, from our core funders Wellington City Council and Creative New Zealand and from community trusts”, Fran Wilde said.

The next New Zealand International Arts Festival will be staged from 22 February to 16 March 2008 with the programme created by new Artistic Director Lissa Twomey. As well as presenting a strong international programme, the Festival will continue its very important role of commissioning New Zealand work that is of international standard.

ENDS

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