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Fabric Art Fortunes for Taupō

Fabric Art Fortunes for Taupō

The Taupō Symposium 2013 Fabric Art Festival wrapped up last week to high praise from international delegates, kiwi participants, and Taupō retailers.

Held over a six day period, the Symposium hosted over 2500 delegates at a variety of classes and workshops themed around fabric art.

As well as the classes, the Symposium also featured an exhibition at the Great Lake Centre and at Taupō Museum.

“The numbers from the event are amazing, and exceeded our expectations,” said Symposium Convenor, Dianne Traveller.  “We had over 6,000 people visit the Great Lake Centre exhibition, which is simply phenomenal.  And Taupō Museum had their busiest day ever on record on the Saturday with huge numbers of people through the doors.”

Whilst highlights from the Symposium are many, two spring to mind for Dianne.

“We had three young women from Turangi display their quilts at Taupō Museum as part of the exhibition,” explained Dianne.  “Bernina NZ were so impressed by their work, and their passion for fabric art that they have gifted them each a Bernina sewing machine to help them continue to develop their fabric art skills.”

“Another highlight from me is the incredible hard work put in by all our volunteers, especially my core committee of eight who have worked for free for literally hundreds of hours to help deliver this event, with some even taking annual leave from their day jobs to work at the Symposium,” said Dianne.  “I’m indebted to Aletta Lamprecht, Julie Brunton, Christine Beavis, Joanne Murray, Maria Morrisey, Katrina Davidson and of course my husband Gary for all their work and support.”

International delegates were keen to compliment the Taupō Symposium, with American Pam Holland quick to commend the organisers.

“I’ve taught at these types of events all over the world,” said Pam, “including the most famous fabric art symposium in the world held in Paducah, USA.  Taupō is on a par with Paducah, and in some ways I think Taupō has done a better job.  We have been made to feel so welcome, and the personalised experiences I’ve had here I will treasure for years to come.  There’s definitely nothing in the UK or Australia that comes close to Taupō.”

Retailers, cafes and accommodation providers around Taupō were also very positive about the event, with Replete owner Chris Johnston full of praise.

“It was a huge few days for us at Replete,” said Chris.  “Busiest July school holidays ever, and the Symposium week was on a par with our busiest weeks in January, and bigger than Easter.  It was so great to see town buzzing with happy ladies laden with shopping bags.”

With a direct spend of $2m, the Symposium is one of the standout events on the Taupō calendar for 2013 says District Events Manager, Nick Reader. 

“We’re currently surveying the Symposium delegates to find out their purchasing and leisure activities in Taupō as well as their direct Symposium spend,” said Nick.  “We’ll then be able to crunch the numbers and deliver an indicative economic benefit for Taupō from the event.  As well as delivering a great economic boost for Taupō during the traditionally quieter winter period, the Symposium also provided some great colour and vibrancy to our town.  Here’s hoping they come back again!”

On that note, Dianne is tight-lipped about the potential of a repeat Symposium.

“We learnt so much through this process, and I have so many ideas for ways in which to improve the event and offer even better classes, workshops and activities,” said Dianne.  “So I guess its watch this space!”


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