April news briefs from NCC (New Zealand) Ltd.


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1.            Christchurch Convention Centre: New Appointment is dream job for graduate


Venue manager NCC (NZ) Ltd has appointed Trisha Chyr as Event Coordinator for the Christchurch Convention Centre, Town Hall and Westpac Centre for Sport and Entertainment, effective 23 May. Trisha, a Bachelor of Commerce and Graduate Diploma in Management from the University of Canterbury, came to New Zealand from Malaysia 10 years ago for her high school education. Her first career was in supermarket retail. In August 2003 Trisha enrolled in the Graduate Diploma in Event Management at CPIT, her industry internship was with NCC (NZ) Ltd.


"I just loved every day of my internship, and was delighted to be working at the country's leading conference venue. Since then, I've been back on fixed term contracts, and more than anything I've wanted to get a full time position in this wonderfully varied and exciting industry. I'm delighted to have now been appointed to the events team, which I go into the job with my eyes wide open about how challenging and interesting it will be!"


Trisha's interests are travelling, food, wine and music.

 Contact Trisha on  or phone (+64 3) 363 3304



2.            Christchurch Convention Centre: Research Winner


Research co-ordinator Andrea Mitchell won the ICCA Youth Scholarship at ICCA's Youth Forum in Melbourne, and will use it to attend the ICCA Data Workshop in June. Andrea, a Psychology graduate, said the workshop is all about research as a business tool and how to get the most out of the ICCA database.


"One of the most challenging aspects of research is the lack of specific information about events. Ideally we want to know as much as possible about previous events so that we can gauge how well they would work with our venue, and thus whether they are worth bidding for. Often it is a challenge to find the most basic information, such as how many delegates there were," Andrea said. "The ICCA Youth Forum was an inspiring experience, and I'm excited about having the money to further my knowledge about this fascinating industry. As for the job itself, it's ever-changing. There is always something different to do and research, whether it be finding new leads or providing in depth information about possible clients to our sales executives."

3.            Christchurch Town Hall: Big and beautiful banners

A colourful banner display celebrating the performing arts resident at the Christchurch Town Hall has been installed for winter down under. The banners capture some of the emotion of opera, theatricality of live shows, drama of dance, and the symphony of sound and song. The Christchurch Town Hall is home to Canterbury Opera, Christchurch City Choir, Christchurch Symphony, Showbiz Christchurch and the Rieger Pipe Organ, and regularly hosts the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Music New Zealand. NCC has also published a special newsletter ONSTAGE 2005 devoted to the resident performing arts companies. A second edition will be published in July.


Executive Director Mike Kelly said the quality and diversity of entertainment in Christchurch this year has been outstanding and reinforces the commitment Christchurch makes to offer its citizens an enriching cultural life. “Once again we are proud to recognise and promote the resident performing arts companies and their contribution to this amazingly varied calendar of events. As venue managers we play a significant support role. Backstage operations support and enhance the performing arts, often with considerable creativity!”


4.                     CHRISTCHURCH TOWN HALL: Douglas Lilburn remembered

A plaque has been put up near Door 5 of the Christchurch Town Hall Auditorium – now named the Douglas Lilburn Auditorium. Douglas Gordon Lilburn (1915-2001) was New Zealand’s “father of composition” and had international stature as a composer, teacher, mentor and pioneer with electronic music. He graduated from the Royal College of Music in London. During the culturally-heady 1940’s he lived and worked as a teacher, musician and composer on the site of the present-day Town Hall, at 175 Cambridge Terrace, and was in a group of creative friends including writer/dramatist Ngaio Marsh, painters Rita Angus and Leo Bensemann and poet Allen Curnow. His compositions include Landfall in Unknown Seas, Aotearoa Overture, Festival Overture, Prodigal Country and Drysdale Overture.


Christchurch is The Garden City of the World so when venue manager NCC (NZ) Ltd wanted to update artwork in the corporate suites at the Westpac Centre for sport & entertainment it asked local school children to produce funky flowers. The project was also used to link the venue with the neighbourhood schools and the broader community.


When it was time to update artwork and interior design in the corporate suites of the seven year old Westpac Centre, Mike Kelly, Executive Director for venue manager NCC (NZ) Ltd wanted to use the opportunity to involve the local community. Three junior schools nearby were invited to participate in an art competition that saw five and six year old pupils submit drawings of funky flowers.


The teachers and their schools were Christine Berry at Wharenui School, Judy Walker of St Teresa's School and Kate Crabb at Addington School. While the offer of tickets to the winners for upcoming shows at the Town Hall, another venue managed by NCC, came later, the teachers and the parents were as thrilled as the children for the extra surprise. 


"We wanted art work that complemented Christchurch's standing as a multi generational international garden city, and we called it funky flowers because the junior artists were free to draw flowers as they wanted - and we were delighted with the results," Mike Kelly said. "They're fresh and vibrant expressions of how small children perceive flowers - some painted in vases and others in their natural environment or just floating on a colourful background. Some have sprinklings of glitter that twinkle in the light. I think we can boast artwork that would be hard to duplicate anywhere in any arena around the globe."


"We've invited the local schools before to participate in special events, such as the first performance of Disney Live! Winnie the Pooh and the Perfect Day, so we've got some history with the schools. Many of the Funky Flower contest winners attended Disney Live! The painting initiative took it a step further and teachers, schools, pupils and parents have been very positive in their reactions."


On 8 April the 20 prizewinners were invited to bring their parents to see their paintings mounted and exhibited on the walls of the 18 corporate Pacific Suites. Interestingly, the children in the Westpac Centre neighbourhood come from a widely diverse backgrounds, from countries such as Romania and India, as well as around the Pacific. The paintings captured elements of these different backgrounds.


"It was very satisfying to see how excited the young artists were, and how proud they were to show their paintings to their parents. The paintings do look very professional in their black mounting and simple black framing presentation and already we've had corporate guests attending concerts express surprise - and delight - at the source of the art and that the artists were so young."


"During the site tour, the children weren't daunted by the sophistication of the suites. They were just as interested in preparations being made for a Scenic Circle Canterbury Rams basketball game! They loved the huge open spaces, and were soon busy exploring and filling them, running along the rows of seating and milling around on the centre court where their proud parents snapped photographs of them. Just like kids everywhere, I guess."




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