Christchurch Arts Festival 2017 will turn the city’s gaze outwards to explore the notion of connection – across time and space. In today’s increasingly online and virtually-connected world, how do we live up to the ideal of a globally connected city? Technology it seems may not necessarily be the friend of progress we had hoped.

At the heart of any arts festival is the thrill of live performance with the unique connection between an artist and their audience which cannot be gained through a device or online. In a varied programme that traverses dance, music, spoken word, visual art, theatre and comedy you’ll find it all: there’s the shocking, and then there is Shakespeare; there are killer songs and stories about killers; there are clowns, crooners, chefs, and construction workers (no road cones though – we promise!).

We thank the wide range of artists who will come to Christchurch in 2017 to share their stories from many different regions and cultural backgrounds; from places as diverse as China, Mexico, Denmark, the UK, South Korea, Sweden, Germany, Australia and our home-grown talent. And most of all we welcome you, our audience of new and old friends, patrons, supporters and sponsors; those of you who have been coming to festivals for years, and those of you coming along for the first time.

We know you will find treasures and gems, surprises and delights amongst the huge variety of experiences we are bringing to you. Our Board and team can’t wait to welcome you live and in person to new venues, old venues now returned to us, and into our emerging, enlivened city this year.

Let's go WILD about the arts

Jane Gregg
Festival Chair

Craig Cooper
Festival Director