February 24 2020 by Bill Moran - Chair of the Three Lakes Cultural Tru
Over the past decade there has been a growing desire amongst residents to expand offering of all kinds, and allow the community’s various cultural needs to be considered.
The long-term goal is to make the cultural life of the district a much stronger driver of both community well-being and economic benefit, particularly at a time of rapid population growth, a diversifying population and rising economic and social pressures.
Arts and culture play a leading role in a dynamic, well-rounded and diverse society. The World Health Organisation has confirmed that arts engagement can enhance multidimensional wellbeing, including positive emotions in daily life, life satisfaction and a sense of meaning and purpose.
To achieve this, and create a more diverse, dynamic, distinctive and sustainable cultural life, the district needs a unified plan to which stakeholders and the community can commit as the way forward.
The Three Lakes Cultural Trust was established in 2019 to develop and advance a view of culture in the district as an integrated whole, not just a discrete set of individual elements. To this end, it commissioned international experts, Adrian Ellis and Associates (AEA) to produce a cultural masterplan for the district.
The AEA masterplan is based on a rigorous audit and analysis of the current cultural provision and built infrastructure, with a public survey followed by widespread community consultation.
The Trust will test the AEA recommendations with the cultural community in order to confirm key priorities for action over the next 3-5 years.
The Trust recognises that it is just one organisation amongst many. It is specifically not here to tell the cultural and wider community what to think or do. Rather, its role is to ensure that the voice of the community informs the decisions of key stakeholders now and in the future.
Ultimately, we believe everyone wants the same thing – a vibrant, diverse and distinctive culture that over the long term enriches the well-being of the people of the district and those who visit it.
With the AEA cultural masterplan to hand, the Trust is now well-placed to do this and through it, assist the Queenstown Lakes District Council and others to achieve these goals.
This Friday night we launch the Cultural Masterplan to the public. We are delighted to be able to share our findings and key recommendations with the local community. We hope this will be a big milestone for the extraordinary diversity of participants in the arts and cultural scene of our region.
Bill Moran - Chair of the Three Lakes Cultural Trust