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Creative support for the vibrancy of our CBD this summer

Friday  18 November, 2022

Gisborne District Council is excited to team up with Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival to bring a festive vibe to our city centre in the lead up to Christmas.

A Christmas market and block party will take place on December 15  from 3PM - 8PM on Peel Street and throughout the CBD. There will be a main stage located outside the Library with live music from 4PM - 8PM.

Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival is known for creating experiences that showcase the many talents of our people and Gisborne is in for a treat according to Chief Executive and Artistic Director, Tama Waipara.

“The team is passionate about our community and wants to make it fun, free and full of flavour.”

Business Development Director, Eddie Ashwell says people can expect fun for the kids from face painting to bouncy castles as well as the opportunity to make gifts, just in time for Christmas.

“Our Kaupapa is all about creativity, community and connection so we are excited about working with our business community too.”

Council Chief Executive Nedine Thatcher Swann says this event is about bringing families and community together in a new and exciting way as parts of the CBD get re-invigorated.

“We love what the Arts Festival team do so it is a great chance for us all to work together. We look forward to seeing an interactive programme that showcases a Tairāwhiti Christmas.”

“We are looking forward to working with the Arts Festival team to generate a longer programme of activity and we love what they do.”

The event will replace the Christmas Parade. Council receives a small portion of funding through rates that goes towards city vibrancy, including the Christmas Parade.

“Over summer our region swells with thousands of visitors. We want to ensure our region is shown at its best with plenty to see and do and we want to place our town centre at the heart of it” says Ms Thatcher Swann.

“There will be a tamariki-friendly centre with plenty of activities including activating the vacant shopfronts with art installations and workshops on offer. Gisborne District Council and Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival aim to increase foot traffic to the CBD, providing a delightful, safe, and exciting event for whanau to enjoy the during the holiday season.”

“It will have heaps of free activities and entertainment for all ages. It’s so exciting and I look forward to seeing an interactive event that showcases a Tairāwhiti Christmas.”

“Trust Tairāwhiti held the contract during Covid and there were major disruptions to all events.  As we emerge from this experience Council is working with its partners to use the funding to reinvigorate the Christmas experience for our tamariki and also to support businesses,” says Ms Thatcher Swann.

Chief Executive Officer of Trust Tairāwhiti Gavin Murphy says in 2021 the Trust was forced to cancel our planned Christmas activities due to the red traffic light setting, so it’s great to see festive celebrations once again back on the calendar.

“Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival have a track record for delivering incredible events that are well-attended and enjoyed by our communities, and we know this one will be no different.”

While this is an interim programme of activities and entertainment, Council is looking at what the longer term approach should be.