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Grow Ōtautahi was a huge success in 2021, with many people contributing to the festival, often for little or no pay. About 25,000 attended the first-ever free garden festival at the Botanic Gardens.
Key public event funding rounds have been announced in recent weeks and the festival did not reach its critical funding and support targets for the 2022 festival. As a result, the Christchurch Garden Festival Trust has made the call to defer the event for a year.
Ongoing uncertainty around Covid-19 alert level changes also created challenges for funding and event security.
"We’ve been working closely with sponsors and partners over recent weeks, but haven’t reached our critical targets.
"We know we’ve got a great concept and the 25,000 people who attend the 2021 Festival agreed.
"The people of Christchurch want Grow to happen, but the reality is that we haven’t had the confirmed funding we expected at this point. This is hugely disappointing for everyone.
“We’ve got a good track record of overcoming obstacles: we beat Covid-19 twice to hold an amazing event earlier this year, and this is just another challenge that we’ll overcome.
"We are fully committed to 2023 and will focus on fundraising throughout 2022.”
"We are, however, very disappointed on behalf of all our supporters and the people who attended and loved our first-ever Grow Ōtautahi garden festival and were looking forward to next year.
"Our sponsors and supporters have been amazing and we’ll be working with them in coming weeks and months to get through this challenge.
"We’d like to thank everyone who has got behind the concept of a free garden festival that celebrates our community, champions education and promotes our environment. Especially to those who had already confirmed support for 2022.”
The Christchurch Garden Festival Trust will continue with planning over the coming year and gearing-up for 2023. Watch this space for news!