autumn at the outlet

Autumn at the Outlet via

Kia ora Festival Whānau,

Welcome to our May newsletter. We hope this finds you well as the days are shorter, noticeably cooler and colourful autumnal trees abound.

If Covid-19 hadn’t thwarted our Aspiring Conversations Festival this year, we would currently be in post-Festival phase, however, we have had the time to re-group and welcome to our team, Ruth Heath. We are now looking toward our Festival for 2023 which will include a number of Aspiring Conversations sessions.

Programming and planning for our 2023 Festival is in full swing with our artistic director, Sophie Kelly, scoping Internationally for artists and performances to bring to our ‘best little Festival in the world’ (UK Guardian). This will see Sophie heading off shortly to attend ‘Rising’ – the Melbourne Arts Festival – in June, and the Edinburgh Festival for August.

With the borders opening and travel plans in action, especially for our international community in Wānaka, we have an opportunity for you to look at that may fit in with your itinerary. For those of you continuing to remain in our beautiful part of the world, we are happy to promote some arts and conversational experiences that you can access from the comfort of your home, the Wānaka library, or an experience that will encourage you to step out and engage with your neighbourhood in a different way, along with the rain…

If you would like to get in touch with the Festival of Colour at any time, you can contact us via We are in the office on a Tuesday and Thursday from 9am to 5pm to answer your call if you would also like to talk to us – 03 443 4172.


The Royal Ballet – ‘Flight Pattern’. Royal Opera House
fundraising initiative for Ukraine

‘Flight Pattern’ performed by The Royal Ballet you can stream to watch.

Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite has been acclaimed as ‘one of the most talented and intriguing choreographers working today’ (New York Times). ‘Flight Pattern’, created in 2017, is her first work for The Royal Ballet. Critically acclaimed at its premiere, Flight Pattern is a poignant response to one of the biggest humanitarian crises facing current society.

This special stream of Flight Pattern, available to watch from the comfort of your own home, is presented in support of Ukraine. The Royal Opera House is asking for a minimum donation of $13.40 to watch, and you are welcome to offer a larger donation. All net proceeds will go to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) for Ukraine.

Streaming is available to watch until 22nd May 2022.  Click here to purchase and view.

Here is a link to a short and insightful BBC interview with choreographer Crystal Pike, on her award winning work and discussing how art can effect change in times of crisis.

Jordi Savall

Jordi Savall played in Wānaka at the 2019 festival. If you enjoyed the performance by this music superstar, and if you are in Scotland in August, then head to the Edinburgh International Festival for two gorgeous performances by Jordi and his Hesperion team:

Wednesday 17 August – Ibn Battuta: The Traveller of Time

Thursday 18 August – Istanbul 1710

A Celebration of Local Youth

Friday 13 May, Lake Wānaka Centre, Doors open from 5.30pm, Free event

“Our Voices Matter and We Deserve to be Heard”
Wānaka Library has partnered with Kahu Youth and Mount Aspiring College for this youth focused event in celebration of Youth Week NZ @AraTaiohi.

Local youth are leading this community kōrero and we invite you to hear them speak and join the conversation. Meet our youth panelists who will share their stories and insights on real issues like growing up in a small town, social media, creating positive change & the impacts of COVID.

Click here to reserve your seats

A Rain Walk

Remembering the lovely, ‘A Rain Walk’ from our last Festival, and celebrating whenever it rains here – rain being a seldom occurrence, we have a few Rain Walks to share with you. Email us at with ‘Rain’ in the subject line, to collect yourself a lovely experience in a box that you can save for a rainy day.

“We invite you to a Rain Walk – accompanied by the voices of children from Wānaka and Melbourne. With their guidance, the rainfall will become your own private theatre, a space in which to observe, imagine and play…”

Be someone who makes it happen!

The Southern Lakes Arts Festival Trust runs the Festival of Colour Arts Festival and its sibling event, the Aspiring Conversations Ideas Festival.

Planning and delivering both of these events is a huge financial undertaking and would not be possible without the support from the community.  We invite you to consider supporting us by becoming a Patron or Benefactor of the Trust so we can:

We need you to help us bring the best arts and ideas to the Southern Lakes!

Become a Patron or Benefactor of our Trust so we can:

  • Bring our community together for unforgettable arts experiences
  • Host speakers who address issues that matter to the people who live here
  • Offer an incredible schools programme to our young people
  • Keep tickets affordable so everyone can enjoy our festivals
  • Commission fantastic new works of art

Click here to join us

Performing Arts Centre

Just a reminder if you would like to contribute and support the process towards a new Performing Arts Centre. Please click here to access all the information regarding this important cause.


Benefactors and Patrons

We are eternally grateful for your continued support of our Festivals and bringing the Arts to Wānaka. Please let us know if there is anything we can assist you with, or to update your information at any time. Please feel free to contact Ruth directly at

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