Perhaps they should do a season.
The Fortune Theatre was three-quarters full for last night's
entertaining premiere of the Dunedin mayoral arts forum.
The forum, organised by arts advocate Transforming Dunedin,
set the stage for the seven mayoral hopefuls to share their
artistic vision for Dunedin, ahead of next month's local
Incumbent Dave Cull and challengers Hilary Calvert, Kevin
Dwyer, Pete George, Aaron Hawkins, Oliver Lequeux and Cr Lee
Vandervis offered some colourful ideas for enhancing Dunedin
through art and culture.
The arts had a role in urban renewal and should be part of
Dunedin's tourism strategy, Mr Hawkins said.
''A lot of our artists are more famous in Brooklyn than they
are in Brockville. There is a lot happening in Dunedin, but
it needs to be co-ordinated, so it can be used to market the
Mr Cull said during his first term as mayor the council had
''overcome a lot of serious challenges and a lack of
''Now that we have turned that around, we can build even more
on on the artistic and cultural heritage of this city. We
need flexibility, innovation and creativity as the city goes
forward,'' he said.
Arts and culture was ''potentially, an amazingly productive
industry in Dunedin'', Cr Vandervis said.
''We have wonderful facilities and the people, passion and
talent here; but not the investment. The only thing Dunedin
lacks is streamlined local government.''
Ms Calvert said she ''wouldn't be prepared to lead a city
that didn't take art and culture to heart''. The forum also
had the theatrical, with Mr Lequeux donning overalls on stage
to make a point.
''I have created a lot of culture in this city,'' he said,
before listing three bars he had opened in Dunedin.
Mr Dwyer, who revealed he once worked as a self-portrait
artist in a market, suggested hosting more international art
exhibitions in the city ''and make Dunedin the arts capital
of New Zealand''.
Not to be outdone, Mr George revealed he played the bass and
was ''an award-winning poet''.
''Arts is the soul of a city, but we need a point of
difference to other cities,'' he said.
Candidates Andrew Whiley and Steve McGregor were unavailable
to take part in the forum, which was chaired by Otago
Festival of the Arts director Nicholas McBryde.