April 6, 2012


Dear DANCE Wellington Festival community  

Please find below a letter from the Wellington Dance Festival Trust about cancelling this year’s festival.  

I remain positive about the festival future and what to thank you all for your applications, dedication and supportive emails and phone calls for the festival’s future and the current direction it is going in. Thank you to those who have been offering fundraising solutions.  I will be holding a meeting in the next few months that will outline out expectations for the future of the festival and the long-term strategy. We are currently seeking advice toward this strategy from the Tempo and Body Festivals, Creative New Zealand, Wellington City Council and the Creative Capital Arts Trust who are all supportive of the festivals long-term future.

For us it is about having a strong foundation and longevity for the DANCE Wellington Festival. We will continue to develop the ‘vision’ that was brought together through various conversations with the dance community, arts managers, festival directors, Auckland and Wellington Councils, funding bodies, advisers and which received positive feedback for the New Zealand dance community.

For those who have applied for Creative Community Grant funding and wish still to present your work in another capacity, the Council invites you to reconsider your budget and to provide an updated budget by midday Friday 13 April. 

If you need any assistance, please contact:
Phil Railton-Jacks
Grants Advisor
City Communities
Wellington City Council

DDI:  04 803-8562
Email:  phil.railton-jacks@wcc.govt.nz


Dear Dance Community and partners,

We regret to inform you that the DANCE Wellington Festival will not be running in June 2012.

Jo O’Sullivan has worked for four months to design, develop and fundraise for a brand new festival on a part-time basis. The festival programme and material looks amazing and we are very excited at what Jo has been able to create. Jo has also developed a strong vision and some very solid relationships for the future. She will continue to develop this infrastructure and relationships for a 2013 Festival.

It is felt that the current economic climate, the very short lead-in time and the fact that it is a brand new festival without a ‘history’, all worked against us being able to present in June, despite everyone’s best efforts. Both Creative New Zealand and the Wellington City Council are supportive and involved in the process and strategy for the future festival.

This was an extremely hard decision for the board and for Jo. Given we are still waiting on confirmation of trust applications and sponsorship, the timeline became too tight to give companies notice. Although they would if they could, the individual trustees felt the financial risk to the trust was just too great for them to be able to underwrite the festival personally.

Jo will continue working on a part-time voluntary basis to develop the festival strategy and foundation and continue to foster sponsorship and partnership relationships for the future. A healthy confirmed decision for the 2013 festival will be made in December 2012. The festival needs a strong financial base, and any offers of support or suggestions as to how this base might be realistically achieved in the current economic climate would be welcome.

We want to thank the amazing support that has come through for the festival, including Massey University OpenLab, Wellington International Airport, Liquid Winks, Creative Capital Arts Trust, Creative New Zealand, Wellington City Council, volunteer workers, and especially the community itself for the works put forward to present at the festival and the support we have received.

I know many of you will be disappointed, as we are; we have not given up on this festival, but recognize that it needs a stronger foundation and a longer lead-in time. We are pleased at the prospect of a festival that will be more sustainable in the longer-term and look forward to working with you to create the financial base its needs in order to be able to happen.

We have received confirmation from the funding bodies, dance companies and the public that we are heading in the right direction for the Wellington Dance Festival. For now we will be working with the partnerships we have achieved to discuss long-term strategies for DANCE Wellington.

If you have any questions please email to the Dance Wellington Festival board at info@dancewellington.co.nz and they will be answered in due course.

Yours faithfully,
Wellington Dance Festival Trust

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