Second Cuba St carnival idea 'silly'

Organiser's second event proposal 'silly'

KERRY MCBRIDE
Last updated 11:48 08/11/2012
cuba st carnival
ROBERT CATTO

HUSTLE BUSTLE: The 2007 Cuba St Carnival filled the area with culture.

martin
MAARTEN HOLL/Fairfax NZ
READY TO GO: Events planner Martin Wilson.

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Cuba St could end up with a carnival as soon as Easter next year, but not with Wellington City Council's backing.

Community events organiser Martin Wilson, who organises the Kilbirnie Festival and 350 Birdman each year, has suggested a Latin themed Carnaval de Cuba to be run on Saturday March 30.

The event, which is still in the planning stages, would be completely separate from the Cuba St Carnival which is being organised by the Creative Capital Arts Trust.

It would be held in Glover Park, Marion Street, Ghuznee Street and part of Cuba Street, and require the closure of one block of Cuba Street between Vivian and Ghuznee Streets.

Instead of taking the place of the Cuba St Carnival, the Carnaval would be a smaller, more community focused event, Mr Wilson said.

The event would be organised with local business owners and include a performance stage, parade, and food stalls.

"My proposal is falling short of the major events side of things, probably partly because I'm not that formal, money oriented sort of guy, and partly because the time frame is quite short."

While discussions over the future of the Cuba St Carnival had continued, the area had been missing out on great events, he said.

"Cuba is the creative quarter of Wellington, and I think it's great to have a lot of creative events there."

But Creative Capital Arts Trust project manager Emma Giesen said there would not be the scope for both events to take place.

"I don't think there's any way that you could do both, and I don't think anyone would want that, it would be silly.

"But if there's a lot of interest in what he's doing I guess we would just have to sit down with him and chat."

The two similar events could cause confusion for Wellingtonians, she said.

"It is confusing. When I saw the proposal I said to Martin it would be confusing, so we would have to be careful to avoid that potential confusion."

A final proposal for the Cuba St Carnival will be submitted to the council tomorrow, with a smaller "relaunch" event planned for 2013, before a full scale carnival in 2014.

"Our proposal is for something that is pretty big, and we do see it as an annual event ... It's really the next phase of where we can take the Cuba St Carnival so it is sustainable and has potential to grow."

The Wellington waterfront would be a significant part of the proposal, but Cuba St would still serve as the festival's heart, she said.

"For more space and the reduced cost from not having to close streets and everything, the waterfront's included. But whatever we do, Cuba St will always be a key part of it."

Council spokesman Richard MacLean said the council was aware of Mr Wilson's proposal and had discussed it with him.

"But we are already in discussions with the Creative Capital Arts Trust over hosting the Cuba Carnival."

Contact Kerry McBride
Porirua reporter
Email: kerry.mcbride@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @kerry_mcbride

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