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Festivals Trust Board Chair appointed

Festivals Trust Board Chair appointed
15 January 2018

Nelson City Council has appointed Brent Thawley as Chair for the new Festivals Trust Board being established to oversee the Nelson Arts Festival.

Brent has had over 20 years’ experience in the wider cultural and sports sector, working in not-for-profit organisations, central and local government. Brent has held senior leadership roles with both Sport NZ and Creative New Zealand as well a leading a number of theatre companies. Roles have included monitoring and evaluation, event management, funding management, earthquake recovery and facility management. He served on a number of regional and National Boards. Brent hails from Nelson and has recently relocated here as Sport NZ's South Island Regional Partnership Manager.

“I’m delighted to be part of the work to create a sound platform and future direction for the Nelson Arts Festival,” said Brent. “Nelson is my hometown and I am looking forward to giving something back to a region I love.”
The initial role of the Chair will be to appoint the remaining Trust Board members and oversee the transition of operations from the Council to the Trust.

“I want to make sure that the community has a say in the future direction of the Festival, and that the Trust’s board membership reflects the diversity of our community, so we have a range of perspectives and voices around the table,” said Brent.

Currently, the Nelson Arts Festival is the only annual, Council-run festival in the country. By changing to a Trust governance model it will align with New Zealand’s other major performing arts festivals, in terms of independence and funding management.

As an independent Charitable Trust, it will be able to seek funding from avenues not available to Council. The Trust will also develop a strategic direction for the Festival, and board members will work with sponsors and benefactors to continue to deliver a world-class Arts Festival in Nelson.

Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese said that the establishment of the Trust marks a new direction for the future of the Festival.

“With the appointment of the Festivals Trust Chair and recruitment of the Trust Board, I’m confident that the Nelson Arts Festival is moving into an exciting phase which will see it continue to flourish.”

“The Festival is an iconic event that helps to define Nelson’s cultural identity. Over the last 23 years, we’ve seen it grow into a major attraction for Nelson, loved by locals and visitors alike. I am looking forward to seeing how we can build on this with a new independent governance structure.”

The Board’s first job will be to shadow the 2018 Nelson Arts Festival to develop an understanding of its operations and activities. It will operate the Festival in full from 2019.

Applications for board member positions open on 15 January and close on 14 February 2018.


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