Waikato Museum to host Country Calendar milestone

Country Calendar, in 2012, filming a show on the Moratti Brothers who own a market garden and organise a sport shooting ...
CAMERON BURNELL/FAIRFAX NZ

Country Calendar, in 2012, filming a show on the Moratti Brothers who own a market garden and organise a sport shooting competition every year in Taranaki.

The longest-running television show in New Zealand will celebrate its half century on-air milestone with a special exhibition in "New Zealand's rural heartland".

Country Calendar will hold the exhibition called, Country Calendar: 50 Golden Years, at Waikato Museum in Hamilton from June 11 until September 28 next year.

Waikato Museum Director Cherie Meecham said she was excited to have the opportunity to work closely with the producers of the long-running TV show and was flattered the museum was selected for the special exhibition. 

Waikato Museum, in Hamilton, will host a special exhibition marking the 50th anniversary of the television show Country ...

Waikato Museum, in Hamilton, will host a special exhibition marking the 50th anniversary of the television show Country Calendar.

Meecham said the museum and producers were working together to develop an off-air experience visitors to the show could enjoy. 

The museum exhibition team has developed a draft concept where visitors will be able to experience a timeline of Country Calendar, starting in the early years and progressing through major highlights, profiles and changes.

"It will feature that much-loved theme song, Hillbilly Child, and excerpts from standout series over the past 50 years," Meecham said.

Fittingly, the exhibition will open around the NZ National Agricultural Fieldays, June 15-18, 2016, something Meecham thinks is ideal.

"There are many Country Calendar fans living in the Waikato and of course Fieldays' visitors, so we are expecting this will be popular."

Meecham admits she's also a fan of the show which appeals to rural and urban audiences, young and old age groups.

Country Calendar producer Julian O'Brien said he is thrilled Waikato Museum is staging the exhibition.

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"Waikato really is New Zealand's rural heartland, but it has a very large urban population – and the region reflects Country Calendar's audience, which is both rural and urban," he said.

He said Hamilton was the perfect location, especially during Fieldays.

"Fieldays is the perfect time to launch it, because so many visitors with an interest in rural matters will be in town."

He was looking forward to the idea of people experiencing Country Calendar off-screen, in a different way.

Episodes of Country Calendar from the Waikato this year include the Meyer family and their award winning cheese from Temple View, Hamilton.

For more information on Waikato Museum visit waikatomuseum.co.nz and for more information on Country Calendar visit tvnz.co.nz/country-calendar.

 - Stuff

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