Nineteen Pasifika festivals across the motu will receive funding to continue to adapt to the COVID-19 environment through the Tolu Wave, the third component of the Pasifika Festivals Initiative.
Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Hon Carmel Sepuloni made the recent announcement and says the Tolu Wave of almost $6.8 million will provide up to two-years of funding for the successful recipients to hold Pasifika festivals across Aotearoa in 2022 and 2023.
“It will help them continue to operate through ongoing disruptions due to COVID-19,” Minister Sepuloni says.
Funding has also included support for capability building to strengthen festival organisations, she adds.
Meanwhile, Creative New Zealand Chair Caren Rangi says Pasifika festivals are enablers of economic and artistic growth, particularly those that are focused on delivering to communities outside of our urban centres.
“They also provide an amazing gateway for wider New Zealand audiences to engage with and gain access to our cultures through performance and the arts,” Caren says.
The Pasifika Festivals Initiative provides $12 million over three years through a phased, four waves funding approach.
It is part of a suite of new programmes under Manatū Taonga’s Arts and Culture COVID Recovery programme announced by the Government in May 2020 to support the cultural sector’s recovery from COVID-19.
Creative New Zealand administer the Pasifika Festivals Initiative, in collaboration with Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage (MCH) and the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP).
Pacific Business Trust, as the Pasifika economic development agency, is working with the agencies on the initiative to help support the economic, business and development needs of eligible Pasifika festivals.
The engagement and talanoa with Pasifika festivals started with scoping and early research in 2019 by a joint agency approach by MCH, Creative New Zealand and MPP.
The first National Pasifika Festivals Fono was held in Wellington at Creative New Zealand’s offices in September 2019.
At the 10th National Pasifika Festivals Zono, held in August 2021, the Tolu Wave fund was announced to existing Pasifika Festivals Initiative recipients.
The Pasifika Festivals Initiative aligns with Creative New Zealand’s Pacific Arts Strategy 2018–2023 vision of powerful Pacific arts, led by passionate and skilled Pasifika people, for Aotearoa, Te Moana-nui-a-Kiva and the world.
Through this kaupapa Pasifika approach, we hope that the shared outcomes of the Initiative create positive impacts on Pacific communities, a focus of the Creative New Zealand Pacific Arts Strategy.
The Initiative delivers to Creative New Zealand outcomes around greater public engagement with the arts by reflecting the diversity of who we are, strengthening communities and society, and contributing to prosperous and resilient communities.
The Tolu Wave follows the earlier successful roll out of the Tasi and Lua Wave funds and will be followed by a strategic Fa Wave, the fourth and final initiative, which will focus on developing and strengthening the national ecosystem for Pasifika festivals.
Congratulations to the Tolu Wave recipients: