About Us

Action for The Arts

We work to make arts and culture matter within our district.

We are an independent entity driven by the will to ensure culture plays a stronger role in supporting social and economic vitality and resilience in the region. Established to address the lack of a cohesive, district-wide presence for the arts, the Three Lakes Cultural Trust is guided by the cultural masterplan we commissioned for our district in 2020. We are funded by philanthropy and donations from some generous members of our community, and registered as a tax-exempt charitable company with the Charities Services section of New Zealand’s Department of Internal Affairs in 2019.

TRUSTEES

Gizelle Regan

Chair 

Gizelle Regan

Gizelle joined us as a Trustee in April 2021 and has played major roles in marketing and communications across the district at Destination Queenstown and now as the Marketing and Communications Manager at Lake Wānaka Tourism.

Her career prior to moving to New Zealand was centred around the arts and cultural sector in Australia, with over ten years leading the direction of large-scale projects for Regional Arts Victoria (RAV), where she also held a position as Board Director.

A passionate advocate for the arts whose depth of experience offers an incredible skill set to the Board and operational team.

Gizelle is also the Editor and Chief of Playpen, a limited-edition independent print magazine in Aotearoa that has been established as a place for creative minds to explore the possibilities of diversity; through people, culture, art, and fashion. 

CLOSE

Annis Somerville

Kāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe, Waitaha Iwi

Deputy Chair

Annis Somerville

Annis was appointed to the District Court in 2001 and was the first Māori Family Court Judge. She and her husband were also the first husband and wife judicial appointments.
In 2017 she retired as a full-time Judge but continues to sit as a part-time Judge.
Born in Lawrence she went to the local primary school, then Waitaki Girls High School and subsequently the University of Otago graduating with a BA, Dip Tch, and a LLB.
Prior to becoming a Judge she was a teacher, had a clothing business and a label, was a lawyer for 24 years running her own law firm for 14 of those years. She was a founding member and convenor of Otago Women Lawyers Society (OWLS) and is now an honorary life member. She was also a founding member and subsequent Chair of the Family Law Section of the New Zealand Law Society. She is a past President of the Otago District Law Society. She was on the Board of the Council of Knox College and Salmond Hall Inc for 20 plus years. She is now a Fellow of Knox College.
During her time as a Judge she was a founding member and President of the New Zealand Association of Women Judges (NZAWJ). She was the Chair of Ngāi Tahu ki Tauranga Moana Inc Soc and a founding member.
She is currently a trustee on the Festival of Colour Board and the Lake Wānaka Arts and Cultural Charitable Trust (WACT) Board.
Both Annis and her husband have long-standing holiday connections to Wānaka and Queenstown. They have settled permanently in Wānaka and continue to enjoy visits from their whānau including their seven grandchildren.

CLOSE

Carroll Joynes

Trustee

Carroll Joynes

Carroll Joynes is a senior fellow at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and co-founded the Cultural Policy Center and served as executive director for its first ten years. He received his doctorate at the University of Chicago in 1981, taught at the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research in New York and at New York University, and returned to the University of Chicago as Associate Dean of Humanities in 1994.

In addition to establishing the CPC in 1999 and overseeing its development as co-director, he has served on the majority of its research projects, helping produce a comprehensive map of minority participation in Chicago cultural institutions, and contributing to Entering Cultural Communities: Diversity and Change in Nonprofit Arts.

He is co-principal investigator of Set in Stone, a large-scale study of cultural building in the United States. He also has served as a trustee of several cultural organizations in Chicago.

CLOSE

Abby McCormick O'Neil

Trustee

Abby McCormick O’Neil

Abby McCormick O’Neil is a founding Trustee and active board member of the Harris Theater for Music and Dance located in Chicago‘s Millennium Park. Founded in 2003, the Harris is the only major performing arts facility build in Chicago in the past 100 years, joining the Lyric Opera and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as an internationally recognized performing arts venues. Along with her current board service, Abby has previously held the position of board chair.

As a longtime advocate of arts and culture and its importance to community life and wellbeing, Abby has championed arts education in primary and secondary schools, supported a wide range of programming and artistic mentorship in Chicago’s vibrant music and dance community, and sponsored fellowships in art leadership programs. She also has relationships with many of the leading cultural institutions in Chicago including The Art Institute of Chicago and the Field Museum.

She has championed a wide variety of other philanthropic activities as well, including advocating on behalf of and supporting research for people living with bi-polar illness, protecting victims of sex trafficking, and supporting initiatives in LGBTQ communities. As a life trustee of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, she is committed to removing obstacles of inequality and improving life for those living in Chicago’s distressed communities. She has a family foundation that is deeply involved in all aspects of her work. Abby makes her home in Chicago and Queenstown.

CLOSE

Kate Smith

Trustee

Kate Smith

Kate arrived in Aotearoa in 1995 ‘for a year or two’ and never left.
 
She is proud to be of Irish ancestry but was born and brought up in Bath in the West Country of England.  
 
in 1995 she was headhunted to come to NZ by Peter Cullinane and was Strategic Planning Director for Saatchi & Saatchi NZ for 10 years, based in Wellington.  During this time she also sat on the S&S Global Planning Board.
 
In 2004 she left to set up her strategy consultancy and since then has worked with a wide range of clients to help them develop and execute strategies.  Arts and culture related clients have included World of Wearable Arts, the Arts Foundation, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and iD Fashion Week.  Locally she has worked recently with Lake Wānaka Tourism and Wao. 
 
Kate lives in Arrowtown with her husband and enjoys everything the local area has to offer, particularly getting into the outdoors.  

CLOSE

Richard Howarth

Trustee

Richard Howarth

Richard is qualified in telecommunications engineering and law.  For much of his career he specialised in international submarine cables, working for the French telecommunications giant Alcatel where he held several senior management roles in Paris, Singapore & Wellington.  He is a classical musician, and alongside his career has played viola in various orchestras and ensembles in NZ and overseas.  While with the Wellington Chamber Orchestra (WCO), he served as President of the Incorporated Society and Registered Charity for several years.  During this time, he negotiated and concluded an Agreement with Orchestra Wellington aimed at strengthening WCO’s financial and artistic capacity.  Having recently retired to Wānaka, he is now playing with the Central Otago Regional Orchestra and several local chamber music ensembles.  He is a trustee of the ‘At The World’s Edge Foundation’ which promotes an annual spring chamber music festival in the Central Lakes region, with the first held in October 2021.  As well as family and especially his two grandchildren, his interests include walking, tramping, cycling, bridge, all forms of the arts, and classic French cars.

CLOSE

Brittany Davies

Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Rangiwewehi, Te Ātiawa (Taranaki), Ngāpuhi Iwi

Trustee

Britt Davies

Ko Aotea me Te Arawa me Tainui ngā waka
Ko Ngāpuhi me Te Arawa me Te Atiawa Taranaki ngā iwi
Ko Ngāti Rangiwewehi me Ngāti Pikiao ngā hāpū

Ko Brittany Davies toku ingoa

Britt has been in the design industry for almost 10 years, specialising in brand identity, illustration and Toi Māori. Tauranga born and bred, she slowly ventured further and further south – first to Wellington, and then to Wānaka in 2019, which she now calls home.

Britt has worked agency-side as well as in-house at Trade Me, and has been running her own studio for three years right here in Wānaka. Through her studio, she has worked on local projects such as the rebranding of Lake Wānaka Tourism and the Wānaka Festival of Colour.

Britt is passionate about the arts and culture and wants to see our people thriving in these areas.

CLOSE

Ann Lockhart

Trustee

Ann Lockhart

As a senior leadership professional with extensive leadership and governance experience, Ann Lockhart is passionate about improving and empowering communities. Ann has worked with Boards, Senior Management, Central and Local Government, SOEs, Government departments and industry for over 20 years.

Stakeholder engagement, community, and philanthropy are the foundations of her career. Ann has led some of Otago and Southland’s finest organisations including the Queenstown Chamber of Commerce, the Southland Economic Development Agency, and Destination Queenstown. At the core of her work, Ann’s real desire is to balance the heart and hard work of business with community endeavours.

Most recently she has been involved in the development of the Queenstown Lakes Regenerative Tourism plan, ‘Travel to a Thriving Future’. This plan outlines the steps needed for the tourism industry to become carbon-zero by 2023. Ann is also an internationally accredited Disputes Resolution Mediator.

CLOSE

Lady Jan Edgar and the late Sir Eion Edgar

Co Patron

Lady Jan Edgar & the late Sir Eion Edgar

Sir Eion Edgar (K.N.Z.M, C.N.Z.M) retired as Chairman of Forsyth Barr Group Ltd in 2018, a Dunedin based firm of Sharebrokers and Investment Bankers and became their Ambassador. In 2004 he was named The NBR New Zealander of the Year and was inducted into the Business Hall of Fame and received the award of Senior NZer of the Year in 2010.

Until his passing he was the Chairman of the Winter Games NZ Charitable Trust and the Queenstown Resort College. He was Chairman of the Sinclair Investment Group (Family holding company) and was a former Trustee of the Arts Foundation of New Zealand and The Foundation for Youth Development (formerly Project K), a Life Trustee of The Halberg Disability Foundation, The Rhododendrons for Dunedin Trust and The Skeggs Foundation.

He and his wife Jan have made substantial philanthropic gifts; the main ones being $1 million to each of the Edgar Centre in Dunedin, The Edgar National Centre for Diabetes and Obesity, the Edgar Olympic Foundation and the NZ Dementia Prevention Trust. Their interests are family, all sports, travel, the arts and education.

CLOSE

STAFF

Samantha Kirk

Operations Manager

Samantha Kirk

Samantha Kirk is a passionate arts and culture advocate who brings a wealth of experience to her role at Three Lakes Cultural Trust. Alongside a Bachelor of Business from Southern Cross University, Samantha’s previous corporate event management experience allowed her to work with local musicians, production teams, and makers. Now, Samantha brings her commitment to customer experience and her impressive practical and organisational skills to this role to deliver key projects efficiently and effectively.
 
A valuable addition to the team and dedicated supporter of bringing arts and culture to the heart of the community, you’ll find Sam working across a wide variety of roles within the Trust, including as curator of Te Wāhi Toi.
 

Contact Sam:
samantha@threelakesculturaltrust.co.nz

CLOSE

Tamara Vivian

Digital Communications Coordinator

Tamara Vivian

A copywriter and creative based in Wānaka, Tamara has a background in digital marketing communications, copywriting, and campaign management. With a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Auckland majoring in English and Communications, Tamara is passionate about fostering and spreading the creative word wherever possible.

You’ll find Tamara across digital communications for both Three Lakes Cultural Trust and Te Wāhi Toi, supporting the team with a healthy mix of written comms and digital marketing.

Contact Tamara:
tamara@threelakesculturaltrust.co.nz

CLOSE

Partners & Supporters

Newsletter Sign Up