News & Events

City funds harmony as part of Creative Communities Scheme

Thursday April 15 2021

The Creative Communities Scheme is helping bring harmony to Palmy as part of its round two funding for 2020-21.

Photo shows quartet of singers in evening dress performing on stage.

Wellington quartet Grand Central are the headline act for the national Barbershop Harmony Convention, happening at the Regent later this year.

Thirty successful applicants to the funding round shared a total of $76,725.82 towards their community arts projects.

Among successful applications was the Manawatunes Chorus ($2,775), who are hosting the national Barbershop Harmony Convention 2021, The Power of Harmony, at the Regent on Broadway over four days, 22-25 September.

Funding has also been given for a parallel event, the 2021 Young Singers in Harmony National Competition ($4,248.85).

Manawatunes Chorus secretary and chairman of the convention committee Greg Thomson says it’s the first time in 21 years the convention has been held in Palmy.

“It’s great to see the event coming to our city in our 150th year. It’s also the 25th anniversary of the Manawatunes, so there’s plenty to sing about.”

Adding to the event’s popularity is that last year’s Pan Pacific barbershop convention in Auckland was cancelled because of Covid-19, meaning competitors will be relishing the opportunity to come together. About 500 competitors are expected just for the adults’ contest, as well as their partners.

“With the complementary events coming together, it’s a fantastic opportunity to show off Palmy, the Regent on Broadway, our city’s great facilities and accommodation options to people who might not travel here that frequently.”

The first two days of the event, 22-23 September, will see the Young Singers shine on stage, with adult competitions as part of the convention contents running Friday and Saturday, 24-25 September.

The public is in for a treat, too, with performances showcasing the champions of the Young Singers event on Thursday, and the adults on Saturday.

“It’s a great opportunity for people to experience four-part harmonies including tenor, lead, baritone and bass, as well as choruses ranging from 20 people to more than 100,” Thomson says.

“The different sounds of the vocal harmonies and the type of music we employ to get those sounds make for a great show. It’s great for the audience and for the competitors taking part. It’s not just singing, it can be quite a performance.”

The harmonies will also spill out into the community, with singers appearing at local venues in “After-Glow” activities (following competition during the day). “You can expect to see a Big Sing gathering in Te Marae o Hine – The Square.”

One of the groups attending, Vocal FX, from Tawa, has done extremely well in competitions in the United States and has previously performed in Palmy. The headline quartet act for the convention is Grand Central, from Wellington, who contributed recently to a youth coaching programme in the city in February.

Tickets to the Show of Champions will be available closer to the time through the Regent on Broadway.

The Creative Communities Scheme is a partnership between Council and Creative New Zealand that helps to fund local arts projects.


Creative Communities scheme 2020-21: Round two successful applications

Successful applications for the second round of funding (total $76,725.82) include:

Arka Gupta, Distancing (Atimari): A Movie Night with Superb Local Talents, $1,500

A film event including two short films made by local artists showcasing original writing and music, which was presented in April.

Scouting New Zealand – Manawatū Gang Show presents Showtime!, $3,000

A variety show at the Regent on Broadway in September, staged by the Scouts and Guides of the Manawatū.

New Zealand Young Singers in Harmony Trust, 2021 Young Singers in Harmony National Convention, $4,248.85

An annual national convention in September will bring students, teachers and music educators from throughout New Zealand to Palmy for two days of performance and competition.

Manawatū Art Teachers Association, Manawatū Combined Secondary Schools Exhibition, $1,000

This exhibition has evolved out of PNGHS exhibiting for the past 10 years at Square Edge. This year the plan is for a combined exhibition, August-September, to promote a collective shared experience for our Manawatū community.

Henrique Beirao, Palmy Drag Fest, $3,000

Palmy’s biggest drag show ever will bring performers from the Manawatū and from throughout New Zealand for one fabulous night of entertainment. Planned for July or August.

Karen Seccombe, Online Development of a WAI Website and Resources, $5,000

A project to set up a website, build promotional materials and resources that can then be used to apply for a Creative New Zealand Arts Grant for the 2022 WAI 10-year celebration exhibition, a written and online publication and a large nationwide women's collective work.

Taipari Waaka, Nga Kete Aronui 2021, $2,000

Nga Kete Aronui will use music, technology, social media and tikanga Māori (te reo māori, karakia, mihimihi, whakapapa, taonga pūoro) to encourage students to learn life skills. Students will have the opportunity to practice these skills in a safe environment, to be applied in real-life situations, such as school, home and in the community.

The Renaissance Singers, The Poet: A Song Cycle, $1,866

The Song Cycle was commissioned by Voices New Zealand and the New Zealand String Quartet. The poems are by Janet Frame. The Renaissance Singers will perform this in May as the centrepiece of a concert with a string quartet of local musicians, Nathan Pinkney, Joanna Dann, Sylvia Nield and Hayden Nickel.

Aaron McLean, Rhinoceros, $750

A community theatre production in July of the surrealist French drama Rhinoceros, written by Eugene Ionesco. A bizarre black comedy with elements of horror, it tells the story of a small town where the residents begin to turn into rhinos, and one melancholy alcoholic's coming to grips with it. An allegory about fascism and conformity, it speaks about individuality and how communities and individuals respond to an epidemic or crisis.

Graham Johnston, Aladdin Junior, $5,000

Creating an opportunity in July for the community to access, engage with and participate in local arts activities.

Manawatunes Chorus, Barbershop Harmony Convention 2021, $2,775

National competitions over four days in September with Young Singers the first two days and senior singers the next two days. This is a mixed competition, with both men's and women's quartets and choruses. It is 21 years since Manawatunes Chorus has hosted the event in Palmy.

Square Edge Community Arts, Art Trail Manawatū 2021, $6,000

Square Edge hosts the annual Art Trail Manawatū, with this year’s event on 16-17 October. This project is designed to continue building on the online and physical development from 2020. It will involve updating & creating new online artists' profiles, magazine pages, videos, photographs and written content. There’ll also be a trail guide maps and an exhibition of works, with regular artists hui and an event opening.

Hipnotize Bellydance, 2021 Spring Bellydance Festival, $1,000

Hipnotize Bellydance will present a weekend in October of bellydance, including a show and dance education. Bringing together bellydancers from throughout New Zealand together in this Middle Eastern-inspired event.

Matthew Steedman, Screen Time, $1,240

A solo exhibition by Matthew Steedman will showcase a collection of 15 new oil paintings at Square Edge in November.

Manawatū Writers’ Hub, Manawatū Writers’ Hub, $352.50

A hub where those with a passion for writing and those dreaming of writing can meet, engage with, and support each other.

Pamanlahi Cultural Ensemble, Cultural Immersion and Expression, $1,500

To enable young people (under 18 years) to engage with and participate in the arts. Including creating and documenting a collection of writing by young people, dance workshops for young people with a Filipino artist, creative workshops and dance performances.

Bhutanese Society of New Zealand (Manawatū), Creative Activities for Different Age Groups, $1,500

A project that aims to build leadership qualities and share Bhutanese arts cultures, traditions and belonging to young people through different creative activities.

Rose City Ballroom Championships, 2021 Rose City Ballroom Championships, $2,500

More than 150 aspiring, enthusiastic, North Island dancers (aged 5 to 75), including New Zealand champions, come to Palmy in August for this competition with their supporters.

Palmerston North Dance Association, PNDA 22nd Annual Dance Festival Competition, $5,000

A seven-day competition in October, including ballet, modern and hip-hop genres, involving solo, trio and group items. Dance competitors are aged from 4 years to adult.

Manawatū Lesbian and Gay Rights Association, Drag Story Time and Drag Show for Kids, $800

A drag storytime and a drag/performing arts show for children and young people in April.

Alexia Clark, Palmy Kids Rock, $5,000

A concert celebrating Palmy kids, New Zealand Music, and Palmerston North's 150 years while supporting children in our own backyard.

Palmerston North Choral Society, Shubert Workshop, $1,000

The Palmerston North Choral Society offer the experience of working with a visiting prominent Wellington conductor. A Saturday workshop in September will culminate with an open public performance.

Warren Warbrick, 150 Patai, $4,244.35

A sesquicentennial project for everyone to share their opinions, memories and feelings about the experience of being a Palmerston North citizen. The unique crowd-sourced material will then be shared with creatives to create new work.

Aotearoa Waitangi Awards Charitable Trust, Aotearoa Country Music Awards 2021, $4,000

An annual regional singing competition for all ages held in Palmy in September, that attracts entrants from throughout New Zealand. Winning an overall title at this competition allows contestants entry into the prestigious NZCMA Entertainer of the Year.

Tania Kopytko, Carmina Burana – A Work in Progress, by Crows Feet Dance Collective, $1,534.49

Support towards theatre and rehearsal venue hire, production costs and promotion of Carmina Burana – A Work in Progress, to be performed in the Globe Theatre Palmerston North in October. Involving the Palmerston North Crows Feet Dance Collective, combining with the collectives of Wellington, Kapiti and the Hutt Valley to create a major contemporary dance theatre work.

Kane Parsons, All the Right Notes, $3,000

A December family concert of music and comedy in the style of Victor Borge with the Manawatū Sinfonia and Youth Orchestra.

Muhammad Muzaffar Ali, Code-Switch, AFA Live Cinema Production Palmerston North Tour, $2,000

Twenty young people from a South Auckland community producing and taking their unique student-led, multi art-form, live cinema production to Palmerston North. Was presented in April (16-17).

Manawatū Theatre Society, Theatrefest 2021, $1,000

Theatrefest in June will bring together short plays from a wide range of schools and societies for judging and possible submission to the national finals.

REALM, Authors on Tour, $2,000

Promoting reading and literacy in Palmy by bringing well-respected authors and illustrators into local schools. This year, hosting New Zealand authors Stuart Lipshaw, Barbara Else, and Steph Mataku.

The KaRs (The Kane and Regan Show), the KaRs Music Videos, $2,894.63

To create three music videos for The KaRs kids educational songs.