Te Matatiki Toi Ora The Arts Centre has released the full programme for Off Centre, a festival to celebrate the centre’s restoration and the diverse creativity it supports.
With well over 50 programmed events crammed into a single weekend, 3-5 March 2023, Off Centre is bursting with music, comedy, theatre and vibrant entertainment. The great food and unique shopping offered by The Arts Centre’s retailers year-round will be complemented by a special festival mākete on both the Saturday and Sunday.
The full programme is a quintessential ‘Arts Centre’ line up – celebrating local talent, inclusivity, community, and cultural diversity, and offering something for everyone in a shamelessly eclectic mix. The weekend extravaganza includes kid’s activities, street performance, circus, spoken word, theatre, dance, classical music, local bands, and some well-known names in the New Zealand music industry. There are even workshops where you can learn to juggle, write poetry, or improve your sketching. Most events are free and family friendly.
Six headline acts represent the very best of contemporary creative talent in Aotearoa:
- Tiny Ruins: multi-award-winning Hollie Fullbrook and her indie-folk band bring together a rare blend of eloquent lyrical craft and exquisite musicianship, in concert in The Arts Centre’s beautiful Great Hall
- Toi Toi Opera: colourful site-specific operatic scenes for everyone to enjoy
- th’Orchard Dreamers Reprise: story-telling in song featuring Mark Vanilau, Solomon Smith and th’Orchard crew’s first ever single ‘Burn It All Down’
- The Tony Chestnut & Richard Rhythm Comedy-Thon: Brynley Stent, Rutene Spooner and friends bring us a wild night of top-notch comedy
- A Baby Called Sovereignty: a journey with local wāhine through impressive indigenous sound, movement, text, and visual arts led by Juanita Hepi
- The Revolver Club: two astounding cabaret evenings with Shay Horay and the team
The festival nods to the past and the future of The Arts Centre as it continues to be a much-loved Christchurch community resource and visitor destination. For fun-loving and nostalgic locals, Lumière Cinemas is bringing back late-night screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show for two nights only. Those interested in new ventures can sign up to tour the on-site Health Technology Centre under development, which exemplifies The Arts Centre’s understanding of the potential of creativity beyond, and in collaboration with, the arts as traditionally construed.
Arts Centre Director Philip Aldridge says Off Centre recognises years of patience and hard work after the earthquakes ravaged the heritage site. “The construction work is complete, the fences are coming down and people can once again walk through the centre of the site from east to west. It’s a significant occasion and we’re putting on a party to celebrate!” Mr Aldridge says he is particularly grateful to Leighs Construction for their restoration work and support as principal sponsor of Off Centre.
Indoor events will be ticketed, and all outdoor shows will be free to the general public, encouraging people to explore the freshly-opened site and wander from activity to activity during the festival.
Tickets are on sale now. Some free events still require booking due to space limitations so please check The Arts Centre’s website (www.artscentre.org.nz) for specific events you want to attend.
Off Centre is sponsored by Leighs Construction, along with the Christchurch City Council and Christchurch Casino. Specific performances are sponsored by Anderson Lloyd, Powell Fenwick and Dame Adrienne Stewart.