Celebrate Matariki at Tīrama Mai light show

Check out new commissioned artworks, take home a free tree, and soak in the city sights illuminated by Tīrama Mai this Puaka-Matariki.

The city council’s annual Tīrama Mai event starts at the weekend, celebrating Puaka-Matariki in the heart of the city.

Te Matatiki Toi Ora The Art Centre, Te Pae and Riverside Market will feature a range of art and lighting installations each evening from 5pm until 10pm, from Friday, July 21 until Sunday, June 30.

City council manager of events and arts Lucy Blackmore said the annual event, which celebrates the Puaka and Matariki stars through art and light installations, projections, music soundscapes and storytelling is always evolving with new commissioned works.

“An installation of Papatūānuku, titled MOTHER, will stand four metres high and two metres wide, featuring a stunning design by Xoë Hall, lit up from inside,” Blackmore said.

It will be in the North Quad of The Art Centre.

“We’ve also partnered with Trees for Canterbury to give away 2000 small native trees over the festival. Planting a new tree in your backyard is a great way to celebrate the time of renewal that Te Tau Hou (the Māori New Year) brings, and we encourage people to take up this opportunity.”

On select nights, the giveaway will be based in front of Te Pae.

Te Pae has close to 10 installations, including new lightbox artworks and a projection animation by Ariki Creative.

“Other giveaways during the festival include light-up yo-yos from our sponsor, Orion, for the young and young of heart, and a free sausage sizzle run by The Hits FM,” Blackmore said.

There will also be storytelling and kapa haka performances on select nights.

The Arts Centre will be hosting a number of events, including Te Waiatatanga Mai o Te Atua (Song of the Gods), a brand-new exhibition at the Observatory tower which tells a version of the Ngāi Tahu creation story, as written down in 1849 by Matiaha Tiramōrehu.

The Matariki Midwinter Celebration invites attendees to honour a loved one who made a significant impact this year, while the two-night Garden City Mākete will feature local artisans, live performances, and food offerings. There will also be kapa haka in the Great Hall.