“Same, but different”

In a sign of the times, the Napier Art Deco Trust has changed some of its functions and dis-established the role of Festival Director due to the effects of the pandemic on the tourism sector. 

The iconic festival’s new model will be “Same, but different”. 

The Trust will continue to promote and co-ordinate the festival but will deliver fewer ticketed events allowing Hawke’s Bay hospitality organisations to become more involved. This approach will reduce the risks to the Trust by it becoming less focussed on delivering specific events, and more focussed on promoting the festival overall.

Heritage manager and Trust secretary, Jeremy Smith says, “Everything that people love about our festivals (Summer and Winter Deco) will remain: free public events in our wonderful public spaces, opportunities for connection and of course, celebration of Napier and Hawke’s Bay’s Art Deco Heritage. 

Noting that Government support from the Strategic Tourism Asset Protection Program fund was ending, Napier Art Deco Trust Chair, Barbara Arnott says: “To continue without change is irresponsible – not only from a governance and financial perspective, but also from a heritage perspective. The Trust is all about preserving Napier’s Art Deco Heritage, and having a sustainable festival means that we can continue our important work.

“The experience of the past two years means we need to change the way we deliver the festival, to de-risk and make our festival and other Trust activities sustainable over the long term … we look forward to sharing our plans in more detail later in the year.” 

The Art Deco Festival is not at risk; the Trust is changing the model so that the Festival is suited for a post-Covid environment. “We are 100% committed to designing and helping to deliver an outstanding annual festival,” says Smith.

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