The 2016 Aspiring Conversations has finished with over 2,500 tickets sold over the the nine panel sessions and a sell out performance of the musical tribute to Dusty Springfield 'Dust to Dusky'. Festival director, Philip Tremewan said there was a clear and growing demand for this type of event in New Zealand. “The audience response has been fantastic. People have engaged with the issues and ideas raised and the discussions have continued long after each session has ended,” he said.

There will be more Aspiring Conversations in the Festival of Colour 2017, and the next stand alone Aspiring Conversations will be April 2018

Dust to Dusky

Saturday 23 April, 7.30pm, Lake Wanaka Centre
SOLD OUT Come and enjoy Tami Neilson, Bella Kalolo, Anna Coddington and Colleen Davis as they pay tribute to the iconic Dusty Springfield, and put their spin on one of the unique voices in the history of pop music. Hitch … Continued

Cool it! Dealing with climate change

Friday 22 April, 6pm, Lake Wanaka Centre
SOLD OUT We know we need to start work today or even yesterday to deal with climate change, but the politicians emerged from the climate change talks in Paris with just a set of good intentions. So how do we … Continued

Creativity and innovation drive prosperity

Saturday 23 April, 9.30am, Lake Wanaka Centre
SOLD OUT. As technological developments accelerate, organisations can’t stand still. Innovation becomes increasingly vital for their success. Sir Ray Avery and Kate Smaje explore how creativity and innovation work within organisations and for New Zealand as a nation. Sir Ray … Continued

The New Zealand project

Saturday 23 April, 11.15am, Lake Wanaka Centre
New Zealand was founded on a spirit of adventure and ambition. Max Harris argues that we need that same drive for this country to forge ahead in difficult global times. This session highlights trends affecting New Zealand politics – celebrity … Continued

Moods, microbes and the gut

Saturday 23 April, 1.30pm, Lake Wanaka Centre
SOLD OUT Research has established that the bacteria in your gut have a direct influence on your brain – on moods and behaviour – and on resistance to disease. In fact the sheer range, quantity and distribution of our bacterial … Continued

Who are we?

Saturday 23 April, 3pm, Lake Wanaka Centre
Strike out what doesn’t apply: Māori / Pākehā / Irish …. Our identity as New Zealanders swirls and shifts and two writers have been exploring some of our very different roots. When the All Blacks were welcomed on to Patricia … Continued

Advance Australia fair?

Sunday 24 April, 9.30am, Lake Wanaka Centre
We’ve seen their attitude to boat people and how they’ve set up detention centres in places like Christmas Island. We’ve also witnessed the behaviour of some of their sports teams. Their 1901 constitution includes provision for NZ to join up … Continued

To be or not to be

Sunday 24 April, 11.15am, Lake Wanaka Centre
Suicide is a difficult topic for discussion and the NZ media have for a long-time followed strict guidelines in keeping reporting to a minimum. That is starting to change as we seek to deal with this country’s high suicide rate. … Continued

Childhood is a different country

Sunday 24 April, 1.30pm, Lake Wanaka Centre
So often we return to our childhood and teenage experiences and find our lives shaped by those years. Both Albert Wendt and Victor Rodger have mined those experiences for their work, both have felt the loss of a parent, both … Continued

A still small voice - what does poetry do for us?

Sunday 24 April, 3pm, Lake Wanaka Centre
Poetry has kept going for at least 3,000 years – what is its appeal? And what poem would you take to a desert island? Or into your apartment in a locked-down city in Europe as the police patrol the streets? … Continued

2019 Performance Schedule