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”

At the 2015 Annual General Meeting we were pleased to announce that in the last financial year we made a modest profit of $34,834 over two year period of 2014/2015 which included the inaugural Aspiring Conversations. Chair, Hetty Van Hale thanked all of our sponsors, funders and supporters for their continued support.  “The breadth of programming, our experienced team and our beautiful setting ensure we continue to be regarded as one of the best festivals in the country. Overall we are on sound financial ground as we enter the planning stages for the next two festivals,” she said.

Read our 2015 annual 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 – 9 April 2017, and the second Aspiring Conversations will take place 22 – 24 April 2016.

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

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


Hetty Van Hale (Chair)
Wayne Findlay (Treasurer)
Tania Brett
Lloyd S. Davis
Sir Eion Edgar
Caroline Hutchison
Jo McGregor
Fiona McPhee
Dennis Schwarz
Mike Toepfer
Mark Verbiest
Annabel Wilson

Strategic advisor to the board – John Beattie

Philip Tremewan – Festival Director
Lindsey Schofield – General Manager
White Ink Communications – Publicity and PR
Anna McConville – Artist Liaison, Marketing Assistant & Venues