The countdown to the new biennial New Zealand IceFest, 14 September to 14 October 2012, is proof that Christchurch remains a vibrant city reaching out to an exciting future after the earthquakes, says Festival Director Jo Blair.
"New Zealand IceFest is set to become a major event on the country's festival calendar. We have so much to draw on. New Zealand has incredible links to Antarctica, from international programmes to a 100 year history of being an Antarctic gateway. New Zealand also provides a leading role with Antarctic industries including a range of scientific, business, cultural and international interests.
"Some great creative minds and sponsors are helping put the first stage of this event together. People will get a real sense of the awesome place that is Antarctica and how valuable it is to New Zealand's identity."
The Government, through the Major Events Development Fund, has committed $800,000 for the New Zealand IceFest to be held in 2012 and 2014 says Manager of New Zealand Major Events, Kylie Archer.
"This investment recognises the event's ability to showcase New Zealand as a visitor destination and New Zealand business and science as trade and investment opportunities. New Zealand IceFest will be one of the first new major events that Christchurch has hosted since the earthquakes so the event has a clear strategic goal for growing the event's international appeal in the future." Ms Archer said.
Support from strategic sponsors means that the festival has an excellent foundation for its first year, and with the help of the Major Events Development Fund for 2012 and 2014 the future development of the event looks good, says Jo Blair. Strategic sponsors include Christchurch City Council, University of Canterbury, and Tait Communications.
"In time it will grow to be an internationally recognised festival."
Hagley Park Events Village will be transformed into an Ice Station including a hovercraft and Hagglunds, a large ice skating rink, and talks at the UC Geo Dome on the big and small issues about Antarctica. Antarctic Trails will provide more family fun, and STILL LIFE: Inside the Antarctic Huts of Scott and Shackleton, will bring a visual and sensory experience taking visitors inside the historic huts of heroic polar explorers Captain Robert Falcon Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton. Christchurch International Airport will also host an Antarctic Air Day.
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