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Annual Awards Hit $1 Million Milestone

For immediate release

2 November 2005

Annual Awards Hit $1 Million Milestone

Arts Foundation receives funding boost from private donors

Using income generated by its endowment fund, the Arts Foundation of New Zealand will have distributed $1.1 million to New Zealand's finest artists by the end of 2005.

Executive Director of the Arts Foundation of New Zealand Simon Bowden said the milestone had been reached through donations from private patrons and prudent management of the Fund by independent investment house Forsyth Barr.

In addition, the endowment fund has received a $100,000 boost due to an increase in one off donations and the creation of a new Laureate Donor Patron Scheme. This money is being used to grow the $5.5 million endowment fund.

"The increase in donations is significant because it demonstrates there is growing awareness among New Zealanders about the opportunity to contribute nationally to the arts through permanent investment in the endowment fund and the formation of a special programme to provide direct support to Laureate Artists, "Mr Bowden said.

"In the six years since it was established, the Arts Foundation has distributed more than $1 million to support excellence in the arts with the support of the private sector. New Zealand now has a powerful alternative to government funding for the arts, and it is growing," he said.

The endowment fund generates annual income of more than $300,000, of which $250,000 is earmarked for the annual Arts Foundation Laureate Award programme, where five well established New Zealand artists are awarded $50,000 in recognition of their achievements. These awards will be announced next week (November 10).

Forsyth Barr endowment fund manager Stephen Loomans said the fund was a conservatively managed, invested in the cash and fixed interest markets. "The whole style of management is about generating sufficient income to cover the annual Laureate Awards, protect against inflation and preserve the capital."

"It's a privilege to manage the money on behalf of the Arts Foundation and whenever I attend awards ceremonies I am acutely aware of the importance of growing the fund so we can continue to reward outstanding artists."

Mr Loomans said the Arts Foundation needed ongoing donations to grow the fund if it wanted to increase the number of grants to artists.

"The Arts Foundation endowment fund is unique in New Zealand because all the capital is invested perpetuity with the income being directed to the arts. No income was used to fund administration so donors had the full comfort of knowing that artists received the full benefit of their donation," Mr Loomans said.

The Laureate Donor Patron Scheme, established by the Arts Foundation Board four months ago, is going some way towards tackling this challenge. It has already attracted significant donations from a number of Wellingtonians.

Spokesperson for the Laureate Donor Patron Scheme, Lesley Shanahan said: "Many of the donors for the Laureate Donor programme value the opportunity to donate money directly to New Zealand artists themselves, and we're pleased that this new programme enables people to do so. The generosity and support from Wellingtonians to this new programme has been great."

Mr Bowden said "It is a credit to Forsyth Barr that the fund has been managed so prudently."

"The donations, legacies and sponsorship promised to the Endowment Fund are the Arts Foundation's primary source of income for growing capital and ensuring that we can continue to reward and help New Zealand artists in the future."


ENDS

The Arts Foundation of New Zealand

The Arts Foundation of New Zealand is a charitable Trust, independent from Government that invests in excellence in New Zealand Arts.

The Foundation has an endowment fund which generates income to support the arts. It encourages private individuals to support the endowment through donations and bequests. The endowment fund was originally set up through donations from the Lottery Grant Board and a three-year loan of $1 million from an anonymous patron.

Forsyth Barr

Forsyth Barr is one of New Zealand's largest independent investment houses. It is a locally owned business with well established global connections.

Forsyth Barr offers services in sharebroking and company research, investment trusts, leveraged equities, call deposits, fixed interest, retirement planning and private portfolio management.

With more than 70 years experience and 11 offices nationwide, Forsyth Barr has the expertise and knowledge to assist people in their investment needs.

For more information about Forsyth Barr and how they can help people make the most of the investment opportunities in their lifetime visit www.forbar.co.nz or call 0800 367 227.

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