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International opportunities for New Zealand music


World Series promises international opportunities for New Zealand music

The World Series showcase of New Zealand music has finished with the promise of international opportunities for local musicians and record labels.

Sixteen leading music industry representatives from Canada, US, UK, Germany and Australia spent the past week watching five showcases of New Zealand music, attending the APRA Silver Scroll Awards and enjoying yachting, sightseeing and America’s Cup activities in a joint government-music industry funded initiative.

Local bands, managers and record companies met the international guests at nightly dinners at the St James Theatre and at several daytime events, such as a three-hour yacht race between NZL40 and NZL41 on the Waitemata Harbour.

“Ralph James from Canada’s The Agency said he and his colleagues go to many such showcases for their work, but that this was the most well-organised they had ever attended,” said Minister for the America’s Cup Trevor Mallard. “He also enthused about the America’s Cup-related daytime activities, especially for the many sailing enthusiasts amongst the group.”

Trevor Mallard said in terms of the business side of the week, he was already aware of plans being made to take New Zealand music offshore. “One of the international guests told me he hopes to stage a showcase of New Zealand music in Canada next year as a result of what he’s seen here.”

Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Judith Tizard said she was delighted with the warm relationships that had formed between the guests and the New Zealand music industry.

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“Mark Ashbridge from Festival Mushroom Records says he was thrilled with the business side of the week with regard to his artists and they are already in discussions with several of the guests.

“Ben Howe from Arch Hill Recordings tells me the bands Pine and Fang have got some strong interest as a result of the World Series. They will be following these leads up over the next few months and feel sure they will result in good things.”

Judith Tizard said the World Series also saw the guests sharing their expertise to help develop the New Zealand music industry. “Michael McMartin, director of the Music Managers’ Forum, took time out to meet with New Zealand band managers, share his expertise and offer his help in setting up a New Zealand branch of the Forum.”

Judith Tizard said many of the guests commented on the government’s support for New Zealand music. “They were constantly remarking on what a smart move it was of Prime Minister Helen Clark to invite them here and they couldn’t say enough great things about our support for New Zealand music.

“They also admitted it’s difficult to get them out of their offices to attend a showcase across town, let alone on the other side of the world, so I’m delighted with these early indications of the success of the week, which was well-organised by the project team, Eccles Entertainment and de Launay Enterprises.” The Ministers thanked the World Series project committee for their excellent work. “Trade New Zealand, Investment NZ, Industry NZ, NZ Music Industry Commission, APRA, NZ On Air put together a great programme, ensured the showcases had top production values, and got people talking to each other. I was impressed with the action at the two gigs I attended and I congratulate the project team,” said Trevor Mallard.

Judith Tizard said the World Series initiative, combined with others such as the NZ Music Industry Commission’s successful delegation to the Midem 2002 trade fair and another delegation next January, will help to develop a thriving export industry.

The Ministers said the World Series follows on from the early November visit to New Zealand by nine British film producers as guests of the NZ Film Commission and Investment New Zealand. Five of those guests are now working with New Zealand producers to co-produce New Zealand feature films.

Both visits were funded from leveraging money allocated to capitalise on the increased attention on New Zealand as a result of the America’s Cup and The Lord of the Rings. The creative sector is one of three key sectors highlighted in the government’s growth and innovation strategy as having strong potential to contribute to New Zealand’s economic growth.


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