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CubaDupa’s Chocolate-Coated Virtual Reality


20 MARCH 2017


This year’s iconic CubaDupa street festival will offer an unforgettable high-tech showcase with a ‘bean-to-bar’ virtual reality experience at the Wellington Chocolate Factory. Wellington-based property developers, The Wellington Company, one of the festival’s major sponsors, together with The Wellington Chocolate Factory will provide the virtual reality shows to offer festival-goers a novel new encounter in the heart of the historic Cuba-quarter.

The Wellington Company director, Ian Cassels, says CubaDupa is the perfect opportunity to showcase this rapidly-developing digital technology as part of their goal of breathing fresh life into the laneways around central Wellington and links to his company’s support of PROJECTR, the new virtual reality centre opening in NEC House the week after CubaDupa.

“Our virtual reality experience at the Wellington Chocolate Factory will be an unforgettable event for children, and even their parents, and may be their first chance to try this amazing technology. It will immerse them into a virtual world to explore the source of chocolate, all within Hannah’s Courtyard, just off Cuba Street”.

Children and their parents will don virtual reality headsets at the chocolate factory for the tour, learning how it uses organic ethically-traded beans to create its own high-quality chocolate by harnessing 18th century artisan methods for production. “They’ll also get to handle and taste real chocolate during the VR tours to amplify the sensory experience,” he says.

CubaDupa attracts thousands of people every year to enjoy the street performers, circus acts and art exhibitions on Cuba Street and ajoining lanes. Cassels is an ardent festival supporter and welcomes the chance to celebrate the area’s transformation into a vibrant hub of culture and arts. “It’s an extremely popular festival and we are proud to support it”.

Mr Cassels is widely credited with driving a major revival of the Cuba-quarter, with numerous property developments in the past two decades, including restoring a number of heritage buildings and creating many apartments, shops and offices.

Its Hannah’s Courtyard redevelopment is one of The Wellington Company’s most significant projects. In 1996, the 1930’s Hannah’s shoe factory and other old buildings in that block were converted into 174 apartments, 18 shops and two offices. The Wellington Chocolate Factory opened its doors there in 2013.

CubaDupa runs this year throughout the weekend of March 25 and 26. The Wellington Chocolate Factory VR Experience will be hosted by The Wellington Company from12-7pm on Saturday and 12-5pm on Sunday.

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