Fashion awards stay in Gore

The Hokonui Fashion Design Awards are staying in Gore, thanks to funding secured from the Mataura Licensing Trust.

At the Mataura Licensing Trust's (MLT) combined meeting of the board yesterday afternoon, the board announced it would commit $25,000 plus incidentals, to the 2009 awards - slightly more than its $24,185.42 funding of the event last year.

Hokonui Fashion Design Awards director Heather Paterson said all the sponsors' contracts were being reviewed this year, and it was pleasing to hear the MLT had granted the awards' funding.

Contracts were renewed every two years in order to maintain a high standard for every sponsor, Mrs Paterson said.

‘‘The MLT have always been supportive to us. They have helped grow the event and they have helped us keep it in Gore,'' Mrs Paterson said.

There had been speculation after the July awards that the event might have to relocate, possibly to Invercargill, as it continued to grow.

Mrs Paterson acknowledged to The Ensign that had ‘‘been the question on everybody's lips''.

‘‘We will be staying in Gore. There is no way we would move if we have got the backing of the MLT,'' Mrs Paterson said.

At this stage, there were plans in place for next years' awards. However, these could not be acted upon yet, Mrs Paterson said.

Next year will be the 21st anniversary of the Hokonui Fashion Design Awards.

‘‘We're pretty delighted that we have been able to survive for 20 years and that's basically due to community support through sponsorship, and support of the event,'' Mrs Paterson said.

The awards have become an iconic event in Gore, attracting established and budding designers.

‘‘Our aim every year is growing and improving and bringing people into this community. Now we can move forward and finish plans for next year. They [MLT] are very, very supportive and we are very, very grateful.''

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