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Silly Season Celebrations

Silly Season Celebrations

North Canterbury has put on its elf hat and pointed shoes and is playing perfect host to a wide range of events that capture the silly side of the season. We’ve found a collection of our favourite festive events, so get out your social planner and start making plans.


Silly Season Celebrations


Christmas Tree Festival
A fundraiser for the Waikuku Surf Life Saving Club & St John, pay a gold coin donation and vote for your favourite tree. The council foyer will be donned with many differently decorated trees – it really is a must see! Open for the Santa Parade too from 12:30 to 3:30pm.
7 December to 20 December 2018 9am to 4:30pm
Waimakariri District Council Foyer


Rangiora Toyota Santa Parade/Christmas Party in the Park
The Rangiora Toyota Santa Parade is one of the biggest parades in the South Island outside of Christchurch and each year more and more floats enter this community Christmas celebration.
Head into town for a wonderful day of entertainment and see your community come together to enjoy the magic of Christmas. Toyota Santa Parade starts at 2pm.
9 December 2018 12 noon to 6pm
Rangiora CBD and Victoria Park


Ice Breaker
A fun day of racing dragon boats over 200 and 500 metre distances including a 1km turns race. A great day for the whole family with coffee and food vendors available as well.
9 December 2018 9am to 4pm
Pegasus Lake


International Migrants Day
To celebrate your nationality, bring a favourite cultural plate of food to share with others, in the relaxing grounds of the Kaiapoi Community Garden.
18 December 2018 11am to 1pm
Kaiapoi Community Garden, Hilton Street, Kaiapoi



Summer Sweeteners

Summer Sweeteners

The city comes to life in the summer months, as we emerge from hibernation mode and prepare for some fun in the sun. Canterbury doesn’t disappoint, with a wide range of events to sweeten up the summer. So get your glad rags ready with our range of summer sweeteners.


Summer Sweeteners


1 December to 23 December, 2018
Meet Santa every weekend from Saturday 1 December until Sunday 23 December, from 10am to 2pm at Boys’ High.


10 March, 2019 Celebrate the autumn harvest in style at the coolest little wine festival in New Zealand. Discover seasonal flavours at an eclectic range of food stalls, sample an incredible selection of premium North Canterbury wines, and tap your feet to a sweet line up of local live music under the oaks at Glenmark Domain in North Canterbury.


14 December, 2018 The central city is buzzing with the festive feeling so head in and soak up the warm summer days as you tick off your gift list, from 6pm to 8pm. The central city will be buzzing with festivities and magical Christmas elves will be out in full force. Follow the Pockets of Awesome Facebook page for more information.


1 December to 22 December, 2018
Completely sold-out for the last two years, The Court Jesters’ fun, family-friendly and interactive version of A Christmas Carol is quickly establishing itself as a must-do Christchurch Christmas tradition at the Pub Charity Studio at The Court Theatre. Find out more at


25 to 26 January, 2019 The beloved summer tradition of Leighs Construction Outdoor Cinema returns to the Arts Centre te Matatiki Toi Ora for another sizzling season. Films for all ages will be screened on two dates each summer month in the picturesque North Quad – immersing cinemagoers in one of New Zealand’s landmark locations surrounded by stunning heritage buildings.


13 to 15 December, 2018 The Court Youth company presents Children of the Night. Brought to you by the co-creator of the original Christchurch Ghost Walk, this is an immersive horror experience where you accompany the characters from the greatest vampire story ever told as they hunt down the monster that became a legend. Tickets from


27 January, 2019 The Armstrong Prestige Hagley Park Polo Classic is returning to Christchurch. More than 2,500 attendees headed in for the first year and for 2019, this is expected to be bigger and better than ever before. Visit



Silly Season Celebrations

Silly Season Celebrations

Ashburton has put on its Santa hat and is playing prestigious host to a wide range of events that capture the spirit of the silly season. We’ve curated a collection of our festive favourites, so whip out your social planner and mark some dates.


Silly Season Celebrations


Marvellous Markets
On Sunday 9 December from 10am to 3pm, the Marvellous Mayfield Christmas Market will be making its magical mark on Mayfield, at the Mayfield Memorial Hall, State Highway 72. A delightfully relaxing Christmas country market, close to 60 stalls will feature giftware from wooden crafts, antiques and collectables, through to fabric crafts, clothing and jewellery.


Christmas Carols
On Friday 14 December, all the songs of Christmas will be making themselves heard at the St Stephens Church, 64 Park Street from 12-1pm and then from 5-6pm. Tickets are available on the door for $5 before the Mid Canterbury Choir rocks your Christmas socks off.


An Extravagant Affair
Roll up. Roll up. Roll up! The Extravaganza Fair is a family affair, it is a free entry, fun day out with something for everyone, bringing to NZ a unique style of interesting market stalls, arts and craft, food, musical entertainment, circus shows, performers, unique to NZ tiny homes, including open home and kids shows & games on Sunday 30 December from 9am to 5pm at the Ashburton Domain.


ABBAsolutely fABBAulous
This may just be the best early Christmas present yet. Direct from Australia, and following more than 5000 international shows, the world’s live ABBA tribute – The ABBA Show – is coming to town! Held on Saturday 8 December at the Ashburton Trust Event Centre, it’s a full-scale theatrical production featuring more than two hours of live musical performances.


A Broadway Beauty
Just think of the brownie points on offer if a loved one was to open tickets to one of the world’s best loved musicals on Christmas Day? Performed around the world numerous times, Cats is coming to the Ashburton Trust Centre on Monday 15 April from 7:30pm to 10pm.


Ice Ice Baby
We may not get to experience a white Christmas in our little corner of the South Pacific, but ice skating in March is the next best thing, right? Held at Allenton School, 110 Harrison Street, Ashburton from the 18 to 24 March, this has to be one of the coolest events around


A Colourful Experience
Lake Hood, Huntington Park, Tinwald, Ashburton will be playing prestigious host to a colourful day – the third Get Coloured by CanInspire colour fun run. Make someone else’s Christmas by getting in behind this event, with proceeds helping CanInspire Charitable Trust continue its wonderful work in the Mid-Canterbury community. From Sunday 7 April from 10am to 12pm.


Ready set, let’s go!
If you’re wanting to stick to the resolutions that come into effect when the clocks tick over to the New Year, Arrowsmith Station, Hakatere Lake Heron Rd, Methven will be the place to be on Saturday 30 March from 7am to 4pm for a 42.2 km High Country Marathon. Just contact Simon 027 274 6573 or



A fabulous fundraiser!

A fabulous fundraiser!

What ho, ladies and gentlemen! One of the most prestigious events of the year is but two days away – A Day at the Polo!


A fabulous fundraiser!


Presented by Ronald McDonald House South Island and the Port Hills Polo Club, partnered with Lion, Continental Event Hire and Lincoln University, A Day at the Polo features New Zealand versus Australia at the Port Hills Polo Club, Gilmours Road, Tai Tapu. This is the second year Australia has competed against New Zealand; no wonder this exclusive event is all but sold out already!

However, there’s another fab component to A Day at the Polo and that’s the Digital Auction. Yes, it’s back and it’s live – right now!
Simply text to 3840 then key in POLO2018 plus your full name to register, or visit There are incredible prizes up for grabs, so make sure you get in on the action. Tell your friends, your workmates and whoever else loves an auction. The live and silent auctions are fundamental to fundraising goals for this wonderful charity; support through donating prizes is warmly welcomed.

Every cent raised goes directly to Ronald McDonald House South Island, whose motto, Keeping Families Close, says it all. Your generosity supports families when their child is in hospital.


To donate a prize for the digital auction, contact or call the House on 03 377 3311.

Okay, so you’ve registered your bid – what now? Pull out the picnic hamper, you’ve your own polo party to produce, dahling!


Culture Comforts

Culture Comforts

It’s during the silly season that the Garden City puts her best foot forward. We’ve got the low-down on all the seasonal must-dos that you should be adding to your recreational calendar over the coming weeks.


Culture Comforts


Christchurch’s summer events programme kicks off with a bang on December 2 as the city welcomes the iconic Multi Media Communications Santa Parade back into the central city for the first time in eight years, with more than 100,000 spectators expected to join in the free fun, excitement and entertainment at this iconic community event. Grab the picnic basket and pull up your blanket, as the Arts Centre celebrates summer with another series of Leighs Construction Outdoor Cinema events for the whole family. With films screening on two consecutive nights in December, January and February in the picturesque North Quadrangle, get ready to snuggle up at one of Canterbury’s most unique and beautiful locations.

The city streets never look as colourful as they do at the start of each year. From January 10 to February 3 the Bread & Circus – World Buskers Festival takes over town, bringing with it a world class programme of local national and international acts. World-famous busking pitches and exceptional ticketed shows will be complemented by a banquet of delicious local food and beverage offerings to create a stand out month of spectacle. On Sunday 27 January, there will be some horsing around happening in the city, as the Armstrong Prestige Hagley Park Polo Classic returns to Christchurch. With more than 2500 attendees in its first year, there are hopes the second year will reach audiences of up to 5000. Tickets are on sale now at


Culture Comforts

Waitangi Day will go off with a bang at North Hagley Park with the UB40 concert and the much-loved Sparks in the Park fireworks event coinciding with the ever-popular Night Noodle Markets, running from February 6 to 17. Noodle lovers young and old should prepare their senses for a fusion of eastern flavours and Chinese lanterns at this ultimate Asian pop-up market experience. The end of summer marks one of Christchurch’s largest and most popular free events as the South Island Lantern Festival lights up our central city from February 22 to 24. Connecting with the Avon River, Worcester Boulevard and Cathedral Square, the event celebrates the best of Chinese culture, with music, performance, dance, food and vibrantly coloured lanterns lighting up the central city.

By Easter weekend it might just be time to head down south. Music For The People is hosting its inaugural Through The Valley Festival, Saturday 20 April 2019 at Cargo Brewery, Waitiri Creek, Gibbston Valley, Queenstown. The one-day boutique festival features a brilliant musical lineup of class Kiwi acts, headlined by the legendary Dave Dobbyn, in his only Otago show for summer 2019.



North Canterbury

Silly Season Spectacular: North Canterbury

North Canterbury – summer excitement central! Here’s a taster of some pre-Christmas events.


North Canterbury


Shopping night spectacular
Rangiora Christmas Celebration Night on November 23 from 5:30 to 9:30pm will see most of High Street’s retailers and eateries open late, with market stalls sprinkled along Rangiora’s central High Street. Live music, street performers, Santa himself, and fireworks, will start the silly season off with a spectacular bang!

Rose Magic

Imagine the nation’s finest roses, all bunched together. The National Spring Rose Show and Convention has picked North Canterbury, for the first time, to host its annual event. Rose Magic 2018 is the title and theme this year. Waimakariri Mayor David Ayers opens the show at 2:30pm, Saturday 24 November at the Woodend Community Centre. Door sales are $5, and under-16s free. Take time out to smell the roses! Visit

Christmas comes to Kaiapoi

Kaiapoi Christmas Carnival will transform Williams Street into a festive fantasy-land on Saturday 1 December 9am to 4:30pm. There will be entertainment and attractions from circus acts to artisan craft stalls. The Kaiapoi community market takes over the town centre from 9am to 12pm, then The Santa Parade commences at 1:30pm. It’s a full-on family fun day in this enchanting North Canterbury township.

Festive tree spectacular

The halls of the Waimakariri Council foyer will be decked with creative Christmas trees from Dec 7-20, 9am to 4:30pm. It’s a gold coin donation to enjoy this fundraising event for the Waikuku Surf Life Saving Club and St John.

Rangiora on parade

It just gets bigger every year. Rangiora central is the destination to be from 12pm to 6pm on Sunday December 9. The Christmas Party in the Park is the event to celebrate this flourishing community’s spirit, in Rangiora’s Victoria Park. And find a good spot and get cameras ready at 2pm for The Rangiora Toyota Santa Parade, with more floats than ever before.

Rangiora Christmas at the Races

The ultimate Kiwi Christmas party is coming to Rangiora Racecourse on Sunday 16 December from 10am to 5pm. Awaiting you is thrilling harness racing, live music and awesome hospitality options. Whether you’re looking to entertain friends, family or workmates, there’s a package to suit how you want to celebrate this festive season from general admission through to gazebo and marquee options.

Christmas in Space

The Oxford Christmas Parade takes off on the country town’s Main Street on Sunday December 16 from 12.30pm. This year it’s a Lost in Space theme, with prizes for the best floats and children in fancy dress – so come as your favourite character from this cool cult show. Enquiries contact Lyndsay 027 4190242.



Bread & Circus

The circus comes to town: In the city with Nick

Having been involved in media for the last thirty years, I’m aware this time of the year is a brilliant time to get into Christchurch and soak up the juice that is events in the city.


Bread & Circus


The Buskers Festival has always been a top favourite of mine and the re-invention, Bread and Circus, promises more excitement than ever.

Bread & Circus will run from 10 January to 3 February 2019. The festival kicks off with an intensive 10-day programme full of exciting free events, exceptional ticketed shows, a large-scale spectacle and world-famous busking pitches. The ticketed programme and festival hub will then extend into February.

With more than 50 talented performers from around the world, including 22 of New Zealand’s finest, it’s hard to pick favourites.
Mayor of Christchurch, Lianne Dalziel says she’s delighted that Strut & Fret are bringing their 20 years plus experience to breathe new life into Christchurch’s beloved World Buskers Festival, bringing Bread & Circus, a festival of world-class performances, to the heart of the city.

“The team at Strut & Fret have promised me that Bread & Circus World Buskers Festival will integrate the old and the new, with elements that everyone knows and loves, and a new range of phenomenal features to elevate the festival to a whole new level.”
This summer’s festival is bigger and bolder than ever before, with 527 performances and 90 hours of roving performers, an increase from 344 performances earlier this year. The number of buskers doing free street performances will double from 14 in 2018 to 29, with talent from New Zealand and around the world.


Nicholas Henare
Nicholas Henare








The Court Theatre

A Superstar Called J.C: The Court Theatre

This summer at The Court Theatre promises to be a sizzling one when iconic rock musical Jesus Christ Superstar takes to the stage on 24 November.


The Court Theatre


Written by dynamic rock opera duo Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, it packs just as much punch now as it did in the 70s.
“Of all of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musicals to bring to our stage, we felt this was his most enduring, and indeed his most exciting,” The Court’s Artistic Director, Ross Gumbley, says.

Director Stephen Robertson says his vision is to partially take the production back to its 1970s roots while maintaining a contemporary feel. “It was written as a rock opera, so the music and sound are being designed to honour this,” Stephen says.  The story centres on the last days of Jesus’ life with point of view coming from Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed Jesus. Through his eyes, the very human soul of Jesus Christ is revealed.

Nic Kyle (whose last performance at The Court was in the 2012 production of Grease) takes the leading role of Jesus, while Caleb Jago-Ward plays the infamous Judas Iscariot, and Monique Clementson plays Mary Magdalene. With musical direction by Richard Marrett, The Court Theatre brings this timeless musical to life with 27 singing and dancing superstars. “I don’t know that I’ve heard a stronger singing ensemble than the one we have for Jesus Christ Superstar,” Gumbley says.


For bookings, phone 03 963 0870 or visit


Christchurch Cool Vibes

Christchurch Cool Vibes

Post-quake Christchurch is a little bit of clever and a whole lot of cool. We’ve hunted out some of our favourite concepts to covet, objects to desire and things to do.


Christchurch Cool Vibes


Great grants! We’re excited to hear that Christchurch Casinos Charitable Trust (CCCT) has increased its 2018 Grants to $186,500. Since being established 23 years ago, Christchurch Casinos Charitable Trust has given a total of $4,092,250 in grants to support community groups working to support and educate for prevention of compulsive and addictive problems.


A powerful promenade On 25 November, Christchurch will be celebrating the opening of the City Promenade, so why not head into the CBD to enjoy entertainment, face painting, food, drink and a $10,000 scavenger hunt!


Christchurch Cool Vibes


Resourceful creativity From 8 – 11 November Necessary Traditions is a festival celebrating resourceful craft and other necessary traditions. Watch skilled demonstrations at the Arts Centre and sign yourself up for a workshop.


A sweet mix If it was even possible, New Zealand Cup & Show week at Addington Raceway just got better with Sons of Zion and Sweet Kids Mix hitting up Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup Day on the 13 November.


Christchurch Cool Vibes


Tasty Thai Treats On the 11 November we’re getting a delicious taste of Thailand right here in Christchurch. Authentic Thai food, traditional Thai dancing, music and cooking demonstrations will be held at the Thai Food Fair at the new Rauora Park.


Colouring in the red zone The Colour Zone Run will bring much more than red to the residential red zone, in fact, all the colours of the rainbow will be on display on Sunday 25 November during this 5km run/walk. Visit


Christchurch Cool Vibes


A charitable choir We’re loving the Cantabrainers Choir. Created for people with neurological conditions, such as Stroke and Parkinson’s Disease, its purpose is not so much to create sweet music, but to provide a safe environment in which members can rediscover their voice through singing and socialising. Head along from 10 to 11:45am on Wednesdays during school terms at Mary Potter Community Centre, 442 Durham Street Nor


Jesus Christ Superstar! We’re looking forward to The Court Theatre bringing the most loved rock musical to the stage in its summer production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Jesus Christ Superstar. Director Stephen Robertson and musical director Richard Marrett will be bringing a ‘70s feel to the theatre for this iconic musical, complete with a rock concert atmosphere that will thrill audiences throughout summer from 24 November.




Art helps charities: TakeHeART

A love of art and a quest to help charitable organisations succeed in a difficult fundraising environment is the motivation behind the first ever TakeHeART fundraising exhibition.




Christchurch woman Jen Duncan is organising the exhibition to be held at the Great Hall at the Arts Centre from November 30 to December 2; with an official opening night on November 29. Jen says the concept behind TakeHeART was to help 10 organisations raise money through selling art on behalf of the artist. On selling their artwork, the artist will receive 65 percent of the total and the nominated charity will receive 25 percent.

“The artists win, the people win and the charities win, so it’s a great result all round,” Jen says. Charities involved are The Cancer Society, Conductive Education, Upside Downs, Riding for the Disabled, Christchurch School of Music, Cystic Fibrosis Canterbury, Ski NZ, The Champion Centre, Mental Health Foundation and the Arts Centre Trust. “After working with small charities and fundraising groups I can see first-hand how hard it can be so I thought why not combine for one big event, benefiting everyone.”

With previous fundraising and marketing experience, Jens says all of the charities and artists are supportive of the exhibition. Local artists include Svetlana Orinko, Ben Reid, Philip Beadle and others. “It’s a great way for everyone to come together (in a prime central location) and showcase the work that charities do and our talented artists.”


Visit for further information on the event or phone Jen on 021 023 07322.