Our chance to come together


The American Express Queenstown Winter Festival salutes the start of winter with a 10-day celebration of Queenstown’s culture and community – it’s all about remembering who we are, what we are and where we are.

 Strike percussion workshops 

Wellington-based percussion group Strike will teach a composition to be performed during their gig at the Opening Party.

Classes – open to musicians of all ages and abilities – focus on the basics of rehearsing and playing in a percussion ensemble.

When: Wednesday, June 24, and Thursday, June 25, 7.30-9pm
Where: Queenstown Primary hall, Robins Rd

Community connections

The American Express Queenstown Winter Festival is also proud to have a longstanding association with Queenstown Lions Club.

In the past four years, the club has donated nearly $75,000 to various causes from funds raised by selling mulled wine at the Opening Party and Mardi Gras.

Get involved in Mardi Gras mayhem with interactive workshops Winter Festival’s series of interactive mask-making, drumming and rhythm workshops focus on fun and new skills.

Email caroline@winterfestival.co.nz to book as spaces for workshops are limited.


Mask-making workshops

Donna Demente will teach people of all ages to make elaborate Venetian-style masks for Mardi Gras.

Each mask takes about 90 minutes to make and costs $15, which covers basic materials – mask-makers should bring decorative extras.

The drop-in workshops are supported by Flame Community Trust, Creative Communities NZ and the Central Lakes Trust.

When: Saturday, June 27 and Sunday, June 28, 10am-3pm
Where: Queenstown Art Society rooms, Ballarat St
Cost: $15

Rhythm Interactive workshop 

Learn African rhythms in a two-hour workshop with the Rhythm Interactive entertainers.

Participants learn beats on the Djembe drums provided, then join in a drum and fire show at Mardi Gras.

When: Sunday, June 28, 2.30-4.30pm
Where: Queenstown Primary hall, Robins Rd


Young, gifted and keen

Legend Lives On

Olympic skier, mountaineer, extreme sportsman and extraordinary individual, Queenstown adventurer Bruce Grant’s attitude to life still inspires local youngsters.

Grant was killed coming down K2 after summiting the mountain on August 13, 1995. Later that year the Bruce Grant Youth Trust was set up to commemorate him and recognise the efforts of local young people who show a similar passion for life and a desire to achieve.

It has since distributed more than $200,000 to Wakatipu youth.

Bruce Grant and Winter Festival

During the early 1990s, Bruce Grant scored handfuls of tax-free cash each winter in the Budget Rentacar Dash for Cash. He’d turn up on the day, seemingly without any special training or equipment, to blitz the field and grab the cash.

Grant remained the undisputed champion till the event was dropped from the festival programme.

All about the kids

The Bruce Grant Youth Trust aims to support Wakatipu youth reach their sporting or creative goals.

Trust recipients have followed their particular talents and gone on to compete or perform on the world stage.

Trustees are chairman Andy Brinsley, Alison Beaumont, Craig “Ferg” Ferguson, Evan Bloomfield, Christine Grant, Alexa Forbes and Chris Duffy.

Festival supports the kids

The Bruce Grant Youth Trust is working with the American Express Queenstown Winter Festival this year to raise funds and its profile.

Proceeds from the Media Suite Charity Breakfast on Monday, June 29, at Coronet Peak will go to the trust – buy tickets at www.winterfestival.co.nz or on 0800FESTIVAL.

The trust is also involved in Mardi Gras and the American Express Opening Party.