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15,000 Take Part In National Children's Competition To Kick Off Wellington Festival

Four years ago, Wellington Lantern Festival’s Director Lily Kao provided her daughter's primary school class with paintable lanterns as a way to inspire creativity and connect with her daughter. Fast forward only three years and there are now 15,000 students across 157 schools taking part in this year's lantern workshop and competition run by Ms Kao’s team.

All the resources are provided free to the participating schools that cover 14 regions across New Zealand. Paint and lantern templates are posted to the schools with the idea that no matter how small or far the schools are the resources would be accessible for all. Major sponsor Resene is on board once again providing over 5,300 paint pots for students to paint their lanterns. Educational workshop videos for teachers and students are also provided online detailing how to make your lantern, the history of the Chinese lantern festival, ways to repurpose your lantern and information on the year’s key theme which is New Zealand’s native endangered animals.

Lily Kao started the Wellington Lantern Festival and Children's Competition as an opportunity to grow her own children's creativity and is now delighted to spread that across New Zealand.

“I want my children to be free to express their own creativity and I'm sure other parents do too. In a world where we are so dependent on our devices and doing things online, it's great to sometimes get a bit messy and let your imagination run wild.”

“As a mum, I often see how under-resourced schools can be and I want to make it as easy as possible for teachers to use the resources given and for the kids to have fun creating their lanterns. So it’s amazing to see more and more schools jump on this initiative each year.”

Nick Nightingale, Resene’s Managing Director is proud to have Resene support this initiative for the last two years.

“Resene is always keen to help brighten our local kiwi communities and share our passion for colour, paint and creativity. The Wellington Lantern festival is such a fantastic way for students to get creative and further their learning, bringing together the artistry of students all over the country to celebrate and showcase a key festival event. It’s a privilege to be part of this colourful event again and to see the beautifully painted work of the students.”

The students' final creations are uploaded to the Wellington Lantern festival’s website for friends, family and the public to vote. Last year saw over 32,000 votes cast and this year the festival is hoping to double that number with the three finalists brought to Wellington for the prizegiving.

The overall winner will receive a Discover New Zealand prize package taking them around the country via Great Journey railways and Interislander to experience places in the North and South Island along with $1000 towards their school's art fund.

“Our previous winners of the competition have received flights to Taiwan to experience the lantern festival there. Although due to the current pandemic I wanted this year's prize to focus on discovering our own backyard and getting the kids excited about what’s in our country.” Says Ms Kao.

Voting for the competition opens on the 10th of March till the 7th of April and votes can be made through the Wellington Lantern Festival Website. Voting information will also be sent out to all participating schools.

Wellington Lantern Festival is back this year as Lumino City and is ready to light up the capital once again. The festival will be taking place on the 16th - 17th of April on the Wellington Waterfront.

© Scoop Media

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