The Three Lakes Cultural Trust was established in 2019 to support and encourage arts and culture in the Queenstown Lakes District in ways that enrich the quality of life of residents and that contribute to the cultural, social and economic vitality and resilience of the Queenstown Lakes District.
In this our 4th year of activity, it was a year of collaboration, connection, and advocacy as we partnered with Queenstown Lakes District Council and Kai Tahu to develop a widely adopted Creative and Cultural strategy, that is informed by the collective aspirations of our community.
This strategy is built upon the principle of shared commitment, aspiration, and responsibility. In the initial consultation phases, a total of seven hui were held district-wide in Glenorchy, Arrowtown, Queenstown and Wānaka, with attendees representative of our diverse communities. Including creative practitioners, educators, administrators, QLDC staff, Councilors, Regional Tourism Offices (RTOs), DOC, community groups, businesses and our rakatahi. The creative, culture and heritage sector is complex and dynamic, partnerships and collaborations with a range of external stakeholders will be critical to achieving the objectives of this strategy.
We were also very proud to launch Te Wāhi Toi/The Arts Place, a district-wide digital platform highlighting the depth and breadth of our creative community, as well as providing a virtual hub to network and collaborate. This was one of the key outcomes identified in the Master Cultural Plan, to establish and implement a centralised information hub for residents and visitors. A district-wide “What’s On” with listings of current and upcoming arts and cultural events, venues, artists, and organisations in the district. The launch was supported by a successful marketing campaign across digital and print to ensure uptake.
TLCT increased presence in national networks; contributing to monthly sessions of Regional Arts Network Aotearoa, attending workshops conducted by funding bodies, and upskilling within the team with our Chief Operating Officer accepted into the Executive Digital Capability mentorship program. A programme has been designed to provide tailored strategic technology and digital mentoring to cultural organisation leaders in Aotearoa and the Pacific.
And finally, we were very pleased that Queenstown Lakes District is again positioned as the second most creative city in Aotearoa New Zealand, according to the recently released Infometrics Creativity Index. This puts the district just behind Wellington, and ahead of Auckland. These results highlight the key contribution that the arts, culture and creativity sectors make to our local economy, with $69.5m injected back into the district’s economy from our homegrown world-class festivals in the past five years, and over 244,000 people through the doors of our cultural institutions in the last 15 months.
The Queenstown Lakes District has a rich cultural life, home to a vibrant ecosystem of creative practitioners, businesses, filmmakers, community culture and heritage organisations, galleries, festivals and events. With the right investment in people and resources, we can lay the foundations for the Queenstown Lakes District on its journey to become recognised not only for its natural wonders, but also as a place of cultural significance and exchange of music, dance, visual arts, theatre, and festivals that reflect our community values.
Kā mihi nui,