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Christchurch City Council Media Release 15 October 2001

Awards Recognise Innovation For Gallery

Technical innovation and strong business partnerships; two recent awards have focussed attention on the way Christchurch's Art Gallery is shaping up to meet the challenges of the future.

In early October, Christchurch investment company Carter Group was recognised at the National Business Review Awards for Business Sponsorship of the Arts, with a special merit award for increasing arts awareness.

The award highlighted the partnership between the company and the Robert McDougall Art Gallery and the maximisation of their sponsorship through the development of the Carter Group Art Lecture Series. The annual series was launched at the Centra Hotel, Christchurch in May with the "Versace Legend".

In late September, the Gallery was also named as the only South Island finalist in the KPMG Innovation Awards for the Virtual Gallery project. The project allows 3D virtual mapping and comprehensive planning for display spaces in the new Christchurch Art Gallery, currently under construction.

Robert McDougall Art Gallery Director, Tony Preston says the awards reflect the focus of the Gallery, as staff plan for the transition into the new premises.

"The nature of Arts funding has changed considerably in recent years," says Mr Preston.

"We must be looking not only at building strong partnerships with commercial groups, but also at using those opportunities to gain new audiences for the Arts - the Carter Group Lecture Series is an excellent example of this."

"At the same time we are working behind the scenes, using the latest technology and innovative developments, to enhance what we can offer audiences of all ages, cultures and interests."

Carter Group principal, Phillip Carter, sees the partnership his organisation has developed with the Gallery as something that everyone benefits from.

"I see an investment in the Arts as a matter of giving something back to society," says Mr Carter.

"It is also an excellent way to promote the company."

For further information: Keri Watts or Gerard Blank, Glass Tower Strategic Communications, 03 365 1445 or 025 246 4785.

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