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The Christchurch Arts Festival has been an institution within the cultural fabric of Ōtautahi for more than 25 years in its current trust structure, and more than 50 years as an entity, delivering many Festival events, welcoming numerous performers to the city, and delighting audiences during that time.
It is therefore with considerable regret that the trustees of the Christchurch Arts Festival have decided not to proceed with a 2021 Festival, due to the current operating environment and the financial risk it poses to the entity. Subsequent to our 2019 festival, we have been - like festivals worldwide - impacted by COVID-19. Like many artistic endeavours in the post-pandemic world, we have grappled extensively with how to best support creativity within our city. This is a challenge for more than just us; in a small city, in a small country, where the arts are constantly seeking to balance collaboration with competition for funding.
Over the past three years, in response to challenges from our funders, we have worked through revisioning, rebranding and redirection. However, we’re ultimately unable to responsibly continue in our current format.
For the trustees of the Festival it is important for us to share with the Christchurch community where we’ve got to in our decision-making process; it’s not been an easy decision to arrive at and we look forward to hearing what our audiences have to say.
We’d like to thank the Ōtautahi community for their support and we look forward to continuing to advocate for creativity within our city.