Winter Festival’s future undetermined

Harald Ulriksen.
Harald Ulriksen
Doubts hang over the 2021 Queenstown Winter Festival after Destination Queenstown confirmed it had made the festival director redundant.

Harald Ulriksen was appointed to the position in September last year, replacing Rae Baker.

The four-day event was an early casualty of Covid-19 — in March DQ interim chief executive Ann Lockhart announced the 2020 event, to have been held in June, had been cancelled.

In response to an Otago Daily Times inquiry yesterday, the DQ board said in a statement it was "unable to commit to delivering the 2021 Winter Festival at this time" due to the operating environment and "future uncertainty".

"This does not mean that the Winter Festival will not return in 2021 — the DQ board will continue to explore options for its delivery as the future environment becomes clearer.

"The investment and delivery of Winter Festival is significant and the risk exposure ... remains undetermined.

"As DQ is unable to commit to delivering the event at this point, regrettably the organisation has been forced to enact a redundancy process."

The redundancy "in no way reflects the capability" of Mr Ulriksen, who delivered the one-day ‘We Are Winter’ event in Queenstown earlier this month.

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