Our blog has often commented on events at the Arts Centre as it was at the heart of much Christchurch cultural activity. Having it closed following the earthquakes was a huge blow to Christchurch people. Now it is being lovingly repaired and restored. Little milestones have started to appear – the old Registry building is now usable and the Arts festival Spiegel tent is currently pitched in the Market Square. You can follow the painstaking process on the the Arts Centre with their regular Tumblr postings.
Tiny treasures are uncovered, the stonework is repaired with beautiful creamy limestone blocks, heroic workmen literally scoop out tiny areas of foundation with buckets and shovels before they add steel reinforcing and so on. What we will get in the end is a lovely piece of Christchurch history that we can all enjoy again.
Many of us will have memories – maybe as a student when it was still Canterbury University, perhaps going to music or ballet classes, going to a movie or just hanging out – in a sunny quad, at the weekend market, over a coffee or a drink in a cafe and so on. One of my favourite memories is sitting on the grass in the Quad on a mild summer evening watching a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream which starred the beautiful tree as the centrepiece of the staging. Magic. I’d love that to return.
Right now the Arts Centre trust is running a public consultation on its future plans. There is a draft vision and an online survey you can take. Why not help them formulate their plans – the centre was established for the citizens of Christchurch first and foremost.