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NZ International Arts Festival Final Results

24 September 2004

New Zealand International Arts Festival Final Results

The New Zealand International Arts Festival has announced a modest operating surplus of $136,000 for the 2004 Festival.

Fran Wilde, Chair of Festival Trust, said that the board was delighted with the result, which reflected the excellence of the programming and the careful fiscal approach of the Festival management.

The Festival is the most significant cultural event in New Zealand, an important tourism event and a generator of significant economic activity for the Wellington region. It is internationally recognised as one of the world’s leading arts festivals.

“The Festival’s successes have been built on its distinctive strengths, including the quality of the its people, longstanding relationships with international festivals and artists round the world and the support and enthusiasm of the its partners here. But above all, the loyalty of its Wellington and New Zealand public is critical”, said Fran Wilde.

“The profit was achieved in a particularly difficult year with a large number of other events competing for the same discretionary entertainment dollars. Increases in items such as international freight and insurance also added to the cost These factors were offset by the CEO’s prudent financial management and cost savings through sharing a number of performances with other festivals or presenters including Perth, Taipei, Hong Kong, Adelaide, Sydney and Singapore.

“While The Elixir of Love co-production with NBR New Zealand Opera was not the box office success we wanted, it did fulfill our requirement to attract new opera goers by staging a more ‘popular’ production. We were particularly pleased with the enthusiastic reception it received from young people, with over 1000 children from the Wellington Region enjoying a first-time opera experience.

“There were a number of key events that proved enormously popular, and many out-performed our budget and audience forecasts,” Fran Wilde said.

Stand out successes of the Festival included: The National Ballet of Spain, Junebug Symphony, 12 Angry Men, Tan Dun and The Overcoat.

Alongside the ticketed performances, the Festival presented an extensive education programme with over 12,000 students attending main bill festival performances, workshops and shows in their schools. Over half of the Festival goers also attended many of the free festival events staged throughout the Wellington region.

“The Festival Trust, in announcing this profit, wants to acknowledge the generous support we receive from our corporate sponsors, from our core funder the Wellington City Council and from community trusts. The Festival also received funding support from Creative New Zealand for the commissioning and presentation of New Zealand work”, Fran Wilde said.

The next New Zealand International Arts Festival will be staged from 24 February to 19 March 2006. As well as presenting a strong international programme, it will continue its very important role of commissioning New Zealand work that is internationally benchmarked.

ENDS

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