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The 20th Nelson Arts Festival!

The 20th Nelson Arts Festival!

From the Director’s desk

It’s hard to believe but we are already well underway planning and programming this year’s festival. It’s amazing how quickly it comes around, one minute we’re writing reports on the 2013 festival, the next we’re writing proposals for the 2014 one!

This year we are thrilled to be celebrating the 20th Nelson Arts Festival and we look forward to showcasing some spectacular performances for you all.*

The programme is coming together nicely and we can’t wait to tell you about some of the amazing performers coming our way! But for now you’re going to have to wait as our lips are sealed until the programme launch in August.

This year’s festival will also look slightly different as we have had to find alternatives to the Suter Theatre for some of our smaller shows due to it being closed for renovations during festival time. But after a little bit of scouting and a few reccies we have found some nice new homes. More on those once we launch…

*Make sure you mark your diaries with this year’s festival dates 16 – 27 October.

I look forward to seeing you all on the other side of this planning and programming for a fantastic 2014 Arts Festival.

Sophie Kelly
Festival Director

Your Choice for Nelson Masked Parade

To emphasise the community involvement the festival is all about, we’re giving you the opportunity to come up with a theme for this year’s Masked Parade held during the arts festival.

Name the theme you’ve always wanted to see, the one you think would really make the parade a stunner. See your theme come to life onFriday 17 October, with your group in the lead carrying the Nelson Masked Parade 2014 banner.

The winning theme will make it easy for participants to integrate the following elements into their entry: mask, costume, sound, movement, colour, height, total disguise, fun, fantasy and the use of different materials.

Come up with something topical using ideas from the local or international scene, go wider with concepts based on the environment, books, music, arts, sport, delve into history. Let your imagination go wild!

Go to the website for an entry form.

Entries must be received by 4pm on Tuesday 8 April.

Past themes include: Bouncy, Bold & Gold; Tallest, Maritime Adventures; Boldly Going Skyward; Sparkling Sustainable Future; The Playful Pacific; Myths and Legends and Adventurous Journeys.

The New Zealand Dance Company is coming to Nelson!

While you’re waiting for this year’s Arts Festival to come to Nelson we have some great news! The New Zealand Dance Company, founded by the legendary Shona McCullagh presents Language of Living at The Theatre Royal on Thursday 8 May, 7:30pm.

Fresh from their acclaimed performances at the Holland Dance Festival, The New Zealand Dance Company brings their virtuosic choreography and stunning design in Language of Living, direct to the heart of New Zealand.

In a five centre, one night only tour, New Zealanders can experience the brave and beautiful performances showcased in Language of Living; a remarkable presentation of new and inspired dance by our finest artistic athletes.

Language of Living comprises of five short works by established and internationally recognised Arts Laureates Shona McCullagh and Michael Parmenter, alongside mid-career choreographer Sarah Foster-Sproull, and emerging choreographers Justin Haiu and Tupua Tigafua.

The company’s vision for creative alchemy combines stunning costume, video, set and sound design, featuring compositions by Gareth Farr, CPE Bach, The Electric Boutique, Vivaldi, Sekai Mailata and Eden Mullholland.

Book here or Ph: 03 548 3840.

“a triumph!… stylish & sophisticated” Dominion Post

To win tickets to Language of Living email with the answer to the following question: Who founded the New Zealand Dance Compnay?

Sponsors and Supporters


Love the Nelson Arts Festival? Of course you do, you’re receiving our emails!

Want to get involved and help out in some way? You know you do.

Well, here's your opportunity. Now is the time to contact us about becoming a supporter of the festival, helping the arts thrive in the Nelson/Tasman region and joining our fun family of supporters.

Just email us at and we'll come out and see you to chat about how you or your business can get involved.

We look forward to hearing from you!

See you at the Festival!

- The Festival Team x

The Nelson Arts Festival is produced by the Nelson City Council as a celebration for locals and an attraction for visitors


CONTACT: Tel: 03 545 8734

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