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Gallery Celebrates First Anniversary

19 April 2004

One year on and with visitor numbers exceeding all expectations1, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu is preparing to celebrate an extremely successful inaugural year.

The Gallery, which was officially opened by Prime Minister Helen Clark on Saturday, 10 May 2003, will mark its first year in operation with a weekend of celebratory events on 8 – 9 May.

On Saturday, 8 May, the Gallery hosts the Christchurch Symphony which will perform Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture, Dittersdorf’s Harp Concerto in A and Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 in C, K.551 (Jupiter).  The First Anniversary Concert will also include ‘Homage to Monet’, a presentation of costume, music and movement by fabric artist Jenny Gillies and the Southern Ballet.

On Sunday, 9 May, the Gallery holds its First Birthday Party, with a day-long programme of entertainment. The free event will include give-aways and prizes, family activities, music and performance. In keeping with the birthday theme, the Gallery will also provide balloons and cake, as well as flowers to mark Mothers Day. The day will culminate with an official cake-cutting ceremony with Mayor Garry Moore.

“We hope the people of Christchurch and Canterbury will join us in celebrating the First Anniversary of their Gallery,” says Gallery Director Tony Preston.

“This is one way of thanking  all our supporters who have helped us establish a cultural facility that is the envy of the rest of New Zealand.”

“It has been a spectacular first year for the Gallery – one which has enabled us to reach a far broader audience than ever before.”

Over the inaugural year, the Gallery has hosted 23 exhibitions, including four international touring shows. The Gallery has also developed two national touring exhibitions, Te Puawai o Ngai Tahu and George D Valentine: A Nineteenth Century Photographer in New Zealand.

“But our successes this year would have been much less without our community’s commitment – they  have reinforced a remarkably successful fundraising campaign for the building, by continuing their support of the Gallery and its programmes,” says Tony Preston.

Tickets for the First Anniversary Concert are $35 and $25 (strictly limited), available from Red Tickets, at your local PostShop, by calling 0800 000 575 or online at  (Booking charges apply.)

[1 Official visitor estimate for first year of operation (May 2003 - May 2004 )  623,590 +/- 10%]

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