Arts trail planned for festival

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A new festival being held in Oamaru next month will be another vibrant event to attract visitors to the region, Tourism Waitaki events administrator Chontelle Watson says.

The inaugural Outside Art 2015 festival will take place on Otago Anniversary Weekend, March 21-23, as a means to bring art outside, making works more visible and accessible to the widest possible audience.

The event will include the Waitaki Arts Trail, a photographic competition and other associated events. However, the programme has not been confirmed yet.

Ms Watson said the arts trail would be a fantastic way for artists, schools and groups within the Waitaki district to show their work.

“We are encouraging a whole range of different mediums, including dance, crafts, photography and much more.

“We have so much outstanding talent around and we cannot wait to tap into it and share it with others.”

The festival was created to “promote the arts in the district and to provide another vibrant event that will attract visitors and add the vitality of the region”, she said.

Tourism Waitaki marketing manager Ian Elliott said about $28,000 had so far been raised for the festival from funding grants and they were aiming to break even on the budget.

However, there were still some funding applications pending, he said.

The arts trail will link festival projects with art galleries, existing public artworks, points of interest and local artists by providing a pathway experience to the arts of the Waitaki district.

A photographic competition for amateur and professional photographers is also being held, with the theme “Living Waitaki”. Judges will be looking for images which highlight the special and vibrant features of the Waitaki district.

In addition to the main festival programme, community members have been encouraged to contribute to the festival by registering their own associated events to be included in the programme.

The deadline for this has now passed and the full programme of events will be released shortly.

By Ruby Harfield