Like many of you, we are back in our office, Level 1 style, and enjoying mingling with our fellow humans again. We’re proud of New Zealanders for our incredible effort in bringing COVID under control in our country, and proud of our community as we see the streets of Wanaka come back to life.

We’ve had the exciting job over the past two months of starting to put together the programme for the 2021 Festival of Colour.

Our focus will be rebuilding the heart of our region, and bringing our community back together again to share in wonderful arts and ideas experiences right here, in our place.

We are planning for a full-length festival, with an even bigger street programme, following on from the success of our 2019 expanded street day. We can’t wait!

Festival of Colour 2021 festival of arts & ideas – save the dates:


Playing Favourites with Tamatha Paul

Tamatha Paul was the first Māori woman to be president of Victoria University’s student association, and last year became a Wellington City Councillor, at the age of 22, where she looks at how a major local body can work on climate change issues.

She was scheduled to speak at the 2020 Aspiring Conversations. We didn’t get the chance to host her in Wanaka, but you can listen to her have a great conversation with Radio New Zealand’s Kim Hill here on Radio New Zealand.


A special sparkling wine offer just for you, from the team at Quartz Reef

Quartz Reef Wines has been the official ‘sparkling’ partner of the Festival of Colour and Aspiring Conversations since 2014, and they have a special offer for you, our festival family:

As a locally owned Otago artisan producer, we have relished our connection to this exceptional event and community. What an incredible privilege to experience such a vibrant extravaganza right here in our backyard.

As winemakers we regard wine as a natural complement alongside art, music, and performance connecting us to one another in celebration and friendship.

Quartz Reef would like to extend a special offer to you as a Festival supporter. Please see here for our special Festival of Colour wine offers and here for information on our special members Cellar Club.

We look forward to sharing in the excitement once again when the Festival of Colour and Aspiring Conversations return.

For further information please contact or head to our website


Musicians talking under cover

Banished Music has now released three episodes of their Under Cover series, which brings New Zealand musicians together via video link to chat and play each other’s songs, including several alumni of our festivals.

The series has paired Marlon Williams with Finn Andrews, Nadia Reid and Reb Fountain, and, this week, Liz Stokes of The Beths with Chelsea Jade.

Watch Under Cover online at The Spinoff.

Share your stories of lockdown life

The team behind one of our 2021 Festival of Colour shows is looking for local lockdown stories to help ground and shape their work. They are collecting stories, thoughts and impressions of life during lockdown.

If you’d like to contribute, please get in touch on All stories will be treated in strictest confidence.


Love our festivals? Help us move forward, together

The backing we receive from you, our supporters, makes our festivals possible. Patron and Benefactor supporters are a crucial part of our funding mix – ticket sales cover only 30% of our costs.

The rest of our expenses are paid for through the support of grantmakers, sponsors and private supporters like you!

Join us now as a Patron for $600 or a Benefactor for $2500 and be a part of bringing the Festival of Colour back to our community!

It’s easy to renew or join online HERE on our website.

Or you can:

  • direct deposit your donation into our Southern Lakes Arts Festival Trust bank account with your name as a reference
  • post or drop off a cheque to the festival office: PO Box 630, Wanaka, 9343
  • get directly in touch with General Manager Laura Williamson on, or on 443 4172.

How else can I support? 

  • Watch out for upcoming Festival of Colour crowdfunding campaigns
  • Make a one-off donation HERE.
  • Contact Laura on to find out about our range of awesome Sponsorship opportunities
  • Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@festivalcolour) and Instagram (festivalofcolour)
  • Forward this information to a friend who would like to support the arts in our community!

Arts and culture in our region

NZ Mountain Film & Book Festival
Wanaka and Queenstown June 26 to 28, 2020

Tickets are on sale now for this year’s reshaped, scaled down, online, offline, reworked NZ Mountain Film & Book Festival. Films and books tell stories of adventure sports, foreign cultures, remote travel and environmental issues. Grab your tickets at

The Daylight Atheist
Lake Hawea Community Centre
Sunday, July 26, 2020 @ 7 PM

The Daylight Atheist by award-winning satirical cartoonist Tom Scott, starring Michael Hurst. Ageing Irish raconteur Danny Moffat retreats from the harsh light of the world to his bedroom. There, he sorts through a lifetime of memories and regrets, from growing up as a boy in Ireland, to the hopes and disappointments of immigration to New Zealand. Based on Tom Scott’s own father. Tickets on sale in July.