The Festival of Colour is the flagship arts event for the region. With six successful festivals under our belt, we are still fresh and stylish and punch well above our weight.  We have established our track record with sell-out seasons of music, theatre and dance performances and deservedly known as the ‘best little arts festival in New Zealand’.

Six extraordinary days and nights in the Southern Lakes

The 2015 festival at a glance:

  • 63 performances in 11 venues plus exhibitions, street theatre and schools programme
  • 11,000 tickets sold
  • 51% of our survey responses rated us at 10 (extremely satisfied); a further 43% at 8 or 9.

“The energy, from staff, to performers, to audience – everyone was up”

“Great variety. Original shows. First class presentations. International standard.”

“I absolutely loved the vibe around town it was such a great event I can’t wait for the next one”

Read our 2015 annual report

Click here for the 2016 Aspiring Conversations event report

2017 – Festival Number Seven!

We always aim for a programme that is rich and diverse – with something to excite, engage and entertain our audiences. The next Festival of Colour will take place 4 – 10 April 2017, and the second Aspiring Conversations will take place April 2018.

The Festival of Colour and Aspiring Conversations are organised by the Southern Lakes Arts Festival Trust, registered Charitable Trust CC27353.

The Festival Team

Prue Wallis (Patron)
The late Fiona Rowley (Patron Settlor)


Hetty Van Hale (Co-Chair)
Alistair King (Co-Chair)
Jo McGregor (Deputy Chair)
Tania Brett
Sir Eion Edgar
Fiona McPhee
Mike Toepfer
Mark Verbiest
Annabel Wilson 

Trust Advisors

John Beattie (Strategic)
Lloyd S. Davis (Education)
Wayne Findlay (Treasurer)
Dennis Schwarz (Technical) 


Philip Tremewan – Festival Director
Lindsey Schofield – General Manager
Sally Woodfield & Celia Crosbie – Publicity Consultants
Anna McConville – Event Manager
Katy Macpherson – Ticketing Manager
Laura Williamson – Schools Coordinator