Arts festival gets $150,000 boost

Nicholas McBryde
Nicholas McBryde
The Otago Festival of the Arts received a boost yesterday with the announcement of a $150,000 Otago Community Trust donation to help fund next year's festival.

The support comes after last year's festival recorded a six-figure loss and exhausted its $60,000 cash reserves under previous director Alex Wheeler.

Miss Wheeler resigned suddenly in December, immediately after the 2012 festival, when it emerged poor administration had led to many performers not being paid.

''I'm delighted with this vote of support from the community trust,'' 2014 festival director Nicholas McBryde said yesterday.

''After last year, the festival has a legacy that it has to acknowledge and, when I was putting in applications to funding organisations, the festival didn't look very robust.''

The community trust was one of the festival founders and its support was crucial, Mr McBryde said.

''The trust was part of the inspiration for the festival and provided $40,000 for the original feasibility study back in 1998. Without the community trust, the festival wouldn't exist, it's as simple as that. So, we're very grateful and it's certainly not something we take for granted.''

Several international acts had already been confirmed for the next arts festival, next October, Mr McBryde said.

The Otago Community Trust donated $359,400 to 30 organisations in August, including $40,000 to the Otago Chamber of Commerce for training programmes, $40,000 towards the Special Olympics National Games in Dunedin in November and $35,000 to Musical Theatre Dunedin production Hairspray.

Other trust donations for August were. -

Alexandra: Central Otago Maths Problem Solving Challenge, $500; Central Otago District Council, $1500; Historic Clyde Inc, $2500; The Terrace School, $6000.

Cromwell: Tek Rush, $500.

Roxburgh: Teviot Valley Community Christian Trust, $1500.

Dunedin: Dunedin Gymnastic Academy-Rhythmic Group, $400; Tainui School, $1000; Dunedin Clay Target Club Inc, $1500; Otago Mental Health Support Trust, $2000; Operation New Direction Trust, $2000; King's High School, $3000; Otago Fish and Game Council, $3000; Dunedin District LandSAR committee, $4000; Otago Early Childhood and Schools Maori and Pacific Island Festival Trust, $5000; Yellow-Eyed Penguin Trust, $5000; Dance Aotearoa NZ Ltd, $5000; Carers Soc Otago, $8000; Otago Life Education Trust, $12,600. Mosgiel: Arthur Burns Preschool, $300; East Taieri School, $1500.

Balclutha: Kaitangata Black Gold Community Inc, $2500; Owaka Golf Club, $4500.

Oamaru: North Otago Scout Zone Jamboree committee, $3600; Oamaru Operatic and Musical Society Inc, $14,000.

Other: Environmental Education for Resource Sustainability Trust, $3000.

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