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Walk Of Wonders Sheds New Light On Mental Health

New Zealand’s most exciting emerging light and fire festival Walk Of Wonders is set to help inject new life and vital funds into Hawke’s Bay’s mental health charities.

The creative directors behind Walk Of Wonders Ant van Dorsten and Henry Gordon are on a mission to raise awareness and funding for the Hawke’s Bay Foundation and mental health and addiction support centre Whatever It Takes, through the show’s ticket sales and optional donations.

Ant van Dorsten says after the last twelve months we have all experienced, a show like this is just what the community needs.

“Mental health has never been more important than it is now. We’ve all been through such a lot over the past twelve months and people need ‘an escape’. A powerful, colourful, bright and big audio visual experience has the power to snap people out of a funk and offer an opportunity for transformation.

“The team behind Walk of Wonders are grateful to be in a position to contribute to grassroots mental health charities in Hawkes Bay, facilitated by the Hawkes Bay Foundation.

“We believe the approach Hawkes Bay Foundation has to grassroots charitable activity is visionary, sustainable and will have a compounding positive impact long term in our community.”

Since its inception over ten years ago, the Hawke’s Bay Foundation has been been supporting local charities with critical funding. As the region’s only community foundation it encourages giving throughout the region to build assets and resources for future generations - last year distributing a record $250,212 to local charities.

Foundation executive officer Amy Bowkett is grateful for the Walk Of Wonders partnership.

“We are delighted to be working with Walk of Wonders as one of their chosen charity partners. To be able to raise more awareness of the work we do to a mass audience of predominantly local show-goers and be aligned with such a progressive outdoor production is really exciting for us.”

Walk Of Wonders is set to break new artistic ground this year that if “pulled off” organisers say will see the show hit the road, bringing light and joy around the country.

Now in its second year, the multi-sensory festival celebrates the whimsical world of artistic expression through light and fire. Set again in the surrounds of Havelock North’s Black Barn vineyards, the experience will take audiences on an emotional journey cast out over a site wide sound system and moving musical score.

Ant van Dorsten reveals this year ‘Wonderers’ can expect something never seen before.

“This year we are developing a fantastical folk tale following the adventure of an 11 year old girl into another time and dimension. This approach has not been tried in a light show before but if we can get it right, we aim to solidify our place in the annual event calendar and eventually take the show on the road.

“The narrative will come to life through animation, augmented reality, graphic illustration, projection mapping, roaming performance art, kinetic sculpture, pyrotechnical elements and a musical composition.”

Last year the show was a near sell-out and organisers are hoping this year will be bigger and better than the first, with over 12 thousand people expected over the week long show.

Large scale contemporary artworks and musical elements of the show will culminate on Saturday August the 14th as Walk of Wonders LIVE. On that night the musical score will be brought to life with live, pop up musical performances by live musicians.

If nothing else, Ant hopes audience-goers will leave with a elevated view of the world.

“Opened imaginations, a twinkle in the eye and lungs full of cold fresh air. What better combination in the midst of winter.”

Tickets on sale now. For more details on Walk Of Wonders, go to:

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