Opera house named top venue in 2018 Arts on Tour awards

Oamaru Opera House staff (from left) Carla Arlidge, Veronika Brylinska, Maddie Maxwell, Frances...
Oamaru Opera House staff (from left) Carla Arlidge, Veronika Brylinska, Maddie Maxwell, Frances McElhinney, Gregg Lovatt, David McFarlane and Ron Harris, celebrate their venue being named top venue by Arts on Tour NZ. Photo: Hamish MacLean
The Oamaru Opera House has been named the top venue in a smaller centre in New Zealand by Arts on Tour NZ.

Arts On Tour NZ Trust general manager Steve Thomas, of Christchurch, said the "beautiful" heritage building in the main street was used  by up to 40 performers on nine New Zealand tours this year from about 60 venues from Kaitaia to Invercargill.

In the second year the trust had given out the awards, the Waitaki District Council-owned venue was named best theatre venue as well as best overall venue for hospitality, technical assistance, promotional and social media support — and its "general vibe".

Oamaru Opera House director Frances McElhinney credited the entire team at the opera house for the recognition.

"They’re all committed, passionate — it’s great.

"I’d like to think that we’re open and friendly and [have] a sense of fun. And everyone’s passionate about what they are doing, I think that’s what comes through."

The Old Dairy Factory venue in Norsewood was named best music venue, and Jade Gillies, of Gillies Creative, Invercargill, was named best individual community presenter.

hamish.maclean@odt.co.nz

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