Special showcase to help fund Polyfest 2017

Children from St Theresa's School, in Invercargill, perform in Polyfest 2016 Navigate your Journey held at Stadium Southland.
Robyn Edie

Children from St Theresa's School, in Invercargill, perform in Polyfest 2016 Navigate your Journey held at Stadium Southland.

Polyfest organisers are running a special showcase this year to help offset an increase in operating costs as the event grows in popularity. 

Murihiku Maori & Pasifika Cultural Trust chairman Parker Ormond said it cost the trust about $280,000 to run all their services each year. 

That covered everything from the Polyfest festival, art exhibitions, workshops and programmes for adolescence. 

It cost the trust about $60,000 to run the Polyfest festival, he said. 

Last year's gold coin entry was not enough to cover the cost of running the event. 

The trust relied on funding and grants from groups like ILT and the community trust of Southland. 

"Even with the funding, we don't have enough ... the money only goes so far."

A least 6600 performers were expected to take part in 2017 Polyfest, with an estimated 30,000 spectators expected to visit ILT Stadium Southland during the five day festival in August.

Murihiku Maori & Pasifika Cultural Trust and 2017 Polyfest co-ordinator Pauline Smith said the success and growth of Polyfest in Southland was fantastic. 

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"The flipside to this is the increased costs, which the trust are hoping to offset."

The showcase would be made up of performances from high schools throughout the Southland, Otago and the Southern-Lakes District and would feature King Kapisi as an MC.

After six months of deliberation the trust has decided offering a showcase at an increased cost was the best way to help cover the cost of running the event.

In previous years people had left in the middle of performances, watching the only what they wanted to see before leaving, she said.

"We want it to be more of a showcase where the audience purchases tickets to watch the whole show.

It would cost $10 for adults and $5 for children for the Thursday night performance, Smith said. 

"The cost will only change for the Thursday night performance, the rest of the week will still just be a gold coin entry."

A limited number of tickets would be given to schools for performers and their families, Smith said.

"This should help make the event more affordable for families.

"If we had enough funding we would not change for tickets. This is not about making money, it is about covering costs."

 2017 Polyfest will run at LIT Stadium Southland From Monday, August 21 to Friday, August 25. 

 

 

 

 

 - Stuff

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