First look: An artist's impression shows what part of Te Atamira will look like on completion


Work on the fit-out of Queenstown’s new arts and cultural hub, Te Atamira, will hopefully start at the beginning of next month thanks to a $700,000 grant from Central Lakes Trust (CLT).

Te Atamira development director Olivia Egerton says the grant takes the charitable trust past the half-way mark of fundraising for the $4.2 million project.

‘‘We are all elated.

‘‘The trust’s support is integral to achieving the fundraising goals for Te Atamira, and we are delighted to have CLT’s commitment towards this much-needed community facility.

‘‘We are continuing to push forward, and we will hopefully commence work on the fit-out in
the first week of November.’’

Egerton, who’s hopeful other funders will also come to the party, says the trust’s support’s
an important ‘‘seal of approval and vote of confidence’’ in the project, which is ‘‘by and for the community’’.

‘‘It also realises the decades of hard work of many who have supported arts and culture, and done so without fit-for-purpose facilities.

‘‘Hopefully, they will soon have a well-designed and equip ped space to create in.’’

On completion the facility, spread across two tenancies at Remarkables Park, will cater to
more than 40 groups and organisations, housing two dance studios, two theatre spaces, a
recording studio, multiple artist studios and music spaces, a pottery workshop, workshop
classroom, curated art gallery and flexible youth-focused space.

Groups keen to use the space so far include the Wakatipu Potters and Queenstown Performing Arts Trust, which includes DEVOS dance, Wakatipu Conservatoire of Classical Ballet, Remarkables Dance Crew, Turn Up The Music, Queenstown Arts Centre and independent art and music teachers.

CLT chair Linda Robertson says the trust recognises the need to respond to the region’s  population growth and the importance of arts and culture to its long-term resilience.

‘‘Arts and culture enrich people’s quality of life and con tribute to the cultural, social and
economic vitality of the district, something we need more than ever.

‘‘That over 40 groups have already indicated they would use the space shows the demand is certainly there,’’ she says.

Other local projects to receive grants in the trust’s latest funding round are Arrowtown
School, which got $45,000 for a playground climbing frame, Te Kura Whakatipu o Kawarau,
which got $55,000 for its playground project, and Wakatipu Yacht Club, which received
$10,200 for RS Quest boats for its learn-to-sail programme.