Cancelling Aspiring Conversations 2022

It is with heavy hearts that due to the current Red Light setting and the presence of the Omicron version of Covid in the community, the Southern Lakes Arts Festival Trust has decided to cancel the 2022 Aspiring Conversations.

As you may know, festivals and events are restricted to audiences of 100, and even if we could make that number work for us, it would be impossible to guarantee everyone’s health and well-being – our audience, our wider Wanaka community, and our staff and volunteers.

We truly appreciate how passionate our community is for this event, and we especially acknowledge the support we have received in getting us this close, including from our Sponsors, Benefactors and Patrons.

While this is yet another setback, we remain resolute that we will be able to come together soon, and we hope to reschedule much of the 2022 Aspiring Conversations programme into next year’s Festival of Colour. We’re not completely giving up on 2022 just yet though, so keep checking our newsletters and social media for updates.

Thank you for your support.

Alistair King, Chair Southern Lakes Arts Festival Trust
Philip Tremewan, Aspiring Conversations Programmer
Charlie Unwin, Executive Director
And the rest of the Aspiring Conversations team


Some reading from Aspiring Conversations speakers

Read the latest Guardian article from Dr Ranjana Srivastava, one of this year’s scheduled speakers:
“Bit by bit, dementia made him slip away. The beginning of the end came when he got lost in the city”

“There are no awards for the selflessness of these everyday heroes. Quiet and industrious, they are an example to us all, which is why we must shine a light on them while reflecting on the debt of gratitude that society owes them.”

Charlotte Grimshaw was also set to join us this year to talk about her memoir The Mirror Book. Read her interview and comments about her book, here, from 2021.


Dr Ranjana Srivastava and Charlotte Grimshaw (credit: Jane Ussher)


Looking forward to the NZ Arts Market

The Festival’s Artistic Director, Sophie Kelly, will soon be checking out the 2022 The Performing Arts Network of New Zealand (PANNZ) Arts Market and selecting the best shows for Wānaka.

The Arts Market will see pitching and showcasing take place over a four-day Digital Arts Market (28 February – 03 March), with a one-day In Person Market (postponed to June 2022).

We’re looking forward to hearing all about it, seeing what she finds, and eventually sharing it with you!

PANNZ Arts Market