Awesome things in tough week for city

22:25, Sep 13 2012
Kiel Johnson
CARDBOARD INSPIRATION: Californian artist Kiel Johnson leads creation of a new-look city in Press House.

This is a reasonably challenging week for Christchurch. Schools closing. More houses zoned red. Many of the people I talk to are on the low side of the emotional rollercoaster that is life in our city.

And one of the things that I want to make really clear about Ministry of Awesome is that we're not trying to put our heads in the sand. We're not trying to ignore or evade. There are lots of hard things in our environment that have to be dealt with, that mustn't be ignored or evaded.

But our city is more than just its challenges. And while we fight with our insurance brokers and negotiate yet another pothole, we are also finding time to laugh with friends, organise amazing community initiatives and inspire each other.

So here are three Awesome Things that make me glad I live in Christchurch:

The first is the dynamic duo of Flatman and Quakekid. We have our own superheroes, people!!! And they are awesome!!!

The second is our homegrown Olympian Sophie Pascoe. How awesome is this chick??? Six medals - three of them Gold - and already setting her sights on Glasgow 2014.

But the third is potentially the most important: it's Magna Carta Christchurch, the cardboard city.

You probably saw it on the news or in The Press. And what I love about it is that it wasn't made by a fancy artist, or a superhero, or an Olympian. It was made by us: by hundreds of Cantabrians who turned up with their creativity and their craftsmanship and their passion for our city. And it's just awesome.

Magna Carta Christchurch is currently on display in the lobby of Press House, Gloucester Street opposite Isaac Theatre Royal.

It's got a monorail. Skate parks. A castle with a moat in Hagley Park. A treehouse. There's even a Where's Wally! But I'm not gonna tell you Where...

Next Thursday, we're hosting the Second Ever Ministry of Awesome Awesome Evening.

Awesome Evenings are open to anyone, and it's a simple recipe: we supply the venue, some nibbles and a cash bar.

There are a couple of speakers who are given 3-5 minutes and can ONLY talk about whatever awesome thing they're working on-none of this, "You know what they should do...?" nonsense.

We'll reveal the winner of the Awesome Flashmob Competition. And we go on faith that if you put a bunch of people in a room who are open-minded enough to turn up to an event like this, who care about Christchurch and who care about awesome, magic will happen.

Feel free to come along. And feel free to let us know about the awesome things you see in Christchurch. We can't ignore our hardship. But we can acknowledge that there is more to us than that.

Thanks for being awesome.


The Press