Step into a River of Words

You can become part of Christchurch’s own River of Words.

River of Words is a ten metre wide installation in the South Quad of the Arts Centre, part of the House of Travel Botanic D’Lights (6pm to 9pm from Wednesday 8 August to Sunday 12 August). It is an interactive animation featuring a flow of words in six languages, and representing the changing nature of the people of Christchurch. Your shadow becomes a space for animations related to the words. We dived into the river last night, and had a ball – moving around, shining torches, and becoming part of the art.

River of Words has been developed by artist John Maillard from Ara (Programme leader, Photography), installed by Spectrum Lighting, and supported by Enliven Places Programme at the Christchurch City Council.

That’s us in the River of Words – my child to the left, me to the right.

Making the River of Words

John had the idea for the river of words, and put out a call on social media for people to share their words representing Christchurch:

Making the most of the expertise at Ara, John worked with Te Puna Wānaka Māori and Pasifika – Ara who suggested appropriate Māori words.

Once he had the words and kupu, John explored game design and technology to see how it might work. The project started out as a mystery technically, but due to working with colleagues and experts like Spectrum Lighting, his knowledge grew exponentially. Using the programme Isadora (known for its use in theatre lighting and effects), vector animation, and security cameras, he came to a technical solution that brings his vision to life:

Christchurch has been through many painful experiences in the last few years, both personal to the people, who are the city’s lifeblood and to the buildings and roads that make up the city.
Even though the infrastructure of the city was damaged, the people of Christchurch have moved and flowed through its changes adapting and embracing its reinvention, though the process has been slow and stressful.

The inhabitants of this city are part of a human river, are always moving and flowing in this, our city. Each person is a part of the changes to the landscape of the city, and we are all linked by the words that we share about the city. These words bond us together. I have asked for people in the city, my friends and neighbours to lend me words that represent Christchurch, the people the cultures and the languages of the city. The words in the river represent the ever-flowing people in our city. The words within each person represent their humanity and resilience as we navigate through our lives in this city.

John’s workspace.

John says “I think people truly love Christchurch”. He’s right, and going into the River of Words feels like a warm embrace of Ōtautahi.

Creating this work is his way of giving something back to the community. It’s the antithesis of art as a commodity – this is art that can’t be bought. It is art for everyone to experience and enjoy.

River of Words – The Future

River of Words will carry on as a legacy piece from the House of Travel Botanic D’Lights. This 18 metre wide version will be installed for six months at 110 Cashel Street, and projected on to the vacant wall of 112 Cashel Street. This project is part of the Enliven Places programme, completed in partnership with the events team and Ara with the aim of enhancing the night time experience in Christchurch through innovative lighting.

One of the interesting aspects of River of Words is its adaptability. In September, it will be themed around Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori – Māori Language Week.

More about artist John Maillard

John Maillard has exhibited in galleries around New Zealand and the United Kingdom for over three decades. John has specialised in documenting people and landscapes. For the past sixteen years John has been studying New Zealand landscapes and in particular the culture of rural New Zealand, assembling a body of work which will reflect his love for this country.

He has published or collaborated in four books on native plants, New Zealand landscapes and cultural history. John is working on a new book documenting the location of native habitat for migrating birds from the Alps to the ocean with Canterbury University Press.

John has worked as a photographer in many countries around the world, notably, Gambia and west Africa, the United States and Europe.

John’s previous works at Botanic Night of D’Lights

A brief history of Botanic D’Lights

Light up the Leafy Night was an event run in July 2013 as part of the 150th birthday of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens.The gardens were lit up for 8 nights with installations and performances.

In July 2015, The Press Night of D’light in the Botanic Gardens took place (also part of KidsFest). It expanded in August 2016, and became Botanic D’Lights.

In July 2015, it began as The Press Night of D’light in the Botanic Gardens – part of KidsFest. It expanded in August 2016, and became Botanic D’Lights.

In 2018, the House of Travel Botanic D’Lights is bigger and better – and it’s on in both the Christchurch Botanic Gardens and the Arts Centre of Christchurch.

Come and visit – Wednesday 8 August to Sunday 12 August, between 6 to 9pm each night, with recommended last entry at 8.30pm. Prepare to be stunned! Here’s a sampling of what you will see:

Central and transitional – Christchurch City Libraries in the central city since 2011

Christchurch’s Central Library in Gloucester Street closed after the earthquake on 22 February 2011. As we move towards opening Tūranga – your new central library – on Friday 12 October 2018, here is a look at the temporary town libraries we’ve operated since 2011:

Central South City Library

South City Shopping Centre, 555 Colombo Street 
Opened on 8 July 2011
Closed 15 July 2012

Preparing for opening
Preparing for opening. Central South City Library, July 2011. Flickr CCL-2011-07-08-Central-South-City-DSC00091

Central South City Library was a 136 square metre retail space in the South City Mall, on Colombo Street. The library was situated next to the only supermarket open in the area at the time (New World), adjacent to the food court and across from Paper Plus. People enjoyed the convenience of shopping and using the library. In the one year the library was open, 162,830 people came through the doors.

Central Library Peterborough

91 Peterborough Street
Opened on 19 December 2011
Scheduled to close from 5pm Sunday 26 August 2018

Christmas Market at Central Library Peterborough
Christmas Market. Sunday 8 December 2013. Flickr 2013-12-08-IMG_1042

Central Library Peterborough is a 1,250 square metre building. It was one of the first businesses to open in the area after the February 2011 earthquake, and it provided a good reason for people to come into town and provided library services to the local community. The first 12 months saw 305,800 visitors through the door. It was the venue for Christchurch Art Gallery outer spaces exhibitions. Since then, it has been a popular community library with lots of events and activities for whānau.

Central Library Tuam

121 Tuam Street
Opened on 23 July 2012
Closed Friday 1 November 2013

Front
Central Library Tuam opening day – Monday 23 July 2012. Flickr CCL-2012-07-23-IMG_5564

Central Library Tuam occupied a space of approximately 1,000 square metres next to the main public transport hub. Escarto the coffee cart operated in front of the library. The other end of the building housed the CCC Central Rebuild service, and the Christchurch Art Gallery shop.

Central Library Manchester

36 Manchester Street
Central Library Manchester opened 20 January 2014
Scheduled to close from 5pm Saturday 18 August 2018

Central Library Manchester
Central Library Manchester. Friday 17 January 2014. Flickr 2014-01-17-IMG_1591

Central Library Manchester has been the location for important resources like the Aotearoa New Zealand collection, local history and genealogical resources, Ngā Pounamu Māori and the Ngāi Tahu Collection / Ngā Rākau Teitei e Iwa.


Town library timeline 2011-

  • Central Library (Gloucester Street) closed 22 February 2011.
  • Central South City Library opened 8 July 2011
  • Central Library Peterborough opened 19 December 2011
  • Central South City Library closed 15 July 2012
  • Central Library Tuam opened 23 July 2012
  • Central Library Tuam closed 1 November 2013
  • Central Library Manchester opened 20 January 2014
  • Central Library demolition. September and October 2014
  • Groundworks begin on the new Central Library site. 22 February 2016
  • Central Library Manchester scheduled to close from 5pm Saturday 18 August 2018.
  • Central Library Peterborough scheduled to close from 5pm Sunday 26 August 2018.
  • Tūranga scheduled to open Friday 12 October 2018.

Information on our temporary libraries

Read your way around the New Zealand International Film Festival 2018

Let’s take a walk on the cinematic side! Here are the movie-related books from this year’s Christchurch leg of the New Zealand International Film Festival (it’s on from Thursday 2 August to Sunday 19 August):

Based on Books

CoverCoverCoverCoverCoverCoverCoverCover

Border

Based on the short story ‘Border’ from his anthology Let the Old Dreams Die by Let the Right One In author John Ajvide Lindqvist, this genre-defying supernatural romantic thriller draws us into the mysterious life of a gifted outsider.

Breath

Actor Simon Baker’s directorial debut is an adaptation, with Top of the Lake writer Gerard Lee, of Tim Winton’s celebrated novel Breath.

Burning

A love triangle and mystery based on a Haruki Murakami short story ‘Barn burning’ in the book The Elephant Vanishes.

Disobedience

Set inside the conservative community of Orthodox Judaism, Sebastián Lelio’s graceful adaptation of Naomi Alderman’s novel Disobedience is a probing look at the illusion of freedom in both religious and secular life.

Juliet, Naked

Rose Byrne, Ethan Hawke and Chris O’Dowd are perfectly cast in this romcom, based on Nick Hornby’s novel Juliet, Naked about an indie rock obsession that leads to romance.

Lean on Pete

A profoundly moving account of life on the margins of America, based on Lean on Pete by Willy Vlautin.

Leave no trace

New Zealand actress Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie is mesmerising as 13-year-old Tom living off the grid with her war vet father. Based on the novel My Abandonment by Peter Rock.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post

Chloë Grace Moretz delivers a heartbreaking and nuanced performance as a queer teen shipped off to a gay conversion camp in Desiree Akhavan’s touching drama based on the novel The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth.

You were never really here

A startling, nerve-shredding thriller about a brutal hitman contracted to save an abducted teen. Based on the novel You were never really here by Jonathan Ames.

NZIFF-related Books

CoverCoverCoverCoverCoverCoverCoverCoverCoverCoverCover

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story

Find books and resources about actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr

Celia

Find books by New Zealand author and social commentator Celia Lashlie.

If I leave here tomorrow: A film about Lynyrd Skynyrd

Music by – and books about – the band Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Kusama – Infinity

Books about the artist Yayoi Kusama.

McKellen: Playing the part

Books about actor Ian McKellen, and movies that star him, and more.

McQueen

Books about designer Alexander McQueen.

Merata: How Mum decolonised the screen

Books and films by – and about – New Zealand filmmaker Merata Mita.

Paul Callaghan: Dancing with Atoms

Books by New Zealand scientist Paul Callaghan.

RBG

Books about Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda

Music by composer Ryuichi Sakamoto.

Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist

Books about – and by – fashion designer Vivienne Westwood.

and – of course, there is a movie about ONE OF US  …

Ex Libris: The New York Public Library

Follow the Festival

Visit our page about film for movie resources and information.

Red Zone Futures – Have your Say!

Visit Regenerate Christchurch’s Red Zone Futures Exhibition at 99 Cashel Street, Cashel Mall (between Colombo St and the Bridge of Remembrance) and take a look into what the future of the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor could be. While you are there:

  • Come and try out the virtual reality kayak and see what the Ōtākaro Avon River could look like in the future.
  • Experiment building your own stopbanks and address river flooding with a state-of-the-art sandbox.
  • See the exciting activities and ways the former red zone land could be used in the future
  • Find out how the area could become a living laboratory to create, test, experiment and explore new technologies and ways to address climate change and sea level rise
  • Explore the Green Spine and the three Reaches
  • Have a chat to the friendly Regenerate Christchurch team.

When: 10am to 3pm, seven days a week (10am to 7pm on Thursdays). It is on until 30 June 2018.
Why: It’s your opportunity to see what’s planned for the 602-hectare Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor between Barbadoes St and Bexley, and have a say on the types of activities and land uses you’d like to see featured in the area.
Who: the Cashel St venue is accessible to everyone. Children are welcome (there’s a corner for them if parents want to spend more time reading information).

Red Zone Futures Travelling Exhibition

Regenerate Christchurch’s Red Zone Futures travelling exhibition will visit a range of public spaces, places and events around Christchurch until 30 June. Here are the libraries (and CCC facilities) you can view the Red Zone Futures travelling exhibition at:

View all the venues and times for the travelling exhibition.

Explore the online version of the exhibition.

Like Regenerate Christchurch on Facebook.

HAVE YOUR SAY!

Matariki – Māori New Year 2018

Matariki – the Māori New Year – will take place on 6-9 July 2018. During Matariki we celebrate our unique place in the world. We give respect to the whenua on which we live, and admiration to our mother earth, Papatūānuku.

Matariki 2018 at Christchurch City Libraries continues the theme of ‘Te Iwa o Matariki – the Nine stars of Matariki’, this year with a focus on Toitū Ngā Mahinga Kai o Matariki – Sustainable natural resources of Matariki: Tupuānuku, Tupuārangi, Ururangi.

During June in the lead up to Māori New Year we’ll be offering a range of whānau-friendly celebrations and activities at our libraries.

Matariki promo image 2018

Matariki Toi – Community Art Project in the Library

Each year a community art project runs in our libraries for all to explore their creative side. This year the project is create a replica manu tukutuku (traditional Māori kite). Materials are supplied, all you have to do is bring your creativity.

Matariki Wā Kōrero – Matariki Storytimes

In addition to our normal Storytimes we have Matariki Storytimes. Come celebrate and welcome the Māori New Year with stories, songs, rhymes and craft activities. All welcome, free of charge.

See our list of Matariki Wā Kōrero – Matariki Storytimes.

Matariki storytimes
Matariki storytimes at Lyttelton Library, June 2017. File reference: 2017-06-Matariki-Matariki – Community Art Project LY 6

Matariki Whānau Fun Days – Saturday 9 & 23 June

Matariki StarsCelebrate Matariki at our two free whānau fun days! We’ll have art activities, colouring competitions, storytelling, exploring the stars with Skyview and much more!

Aranui Library
Saturday 9 June
10am-1pm

Ōrauwhata: Bishopdale Library and Community Centre
Saturday 23 June
10am-1pm

Matariki Connect

Our Learning Centres are offering special Matariki Connect sessions for schools, introducing students to the key concepts of Te Iwa o Matariki, and involving a range of fun activities. This programme is now fully booked.

Find all Matariki events at the library

Other Matariki events in Christchurch

Matariki Celebrations: The Arts Centre – 8 June – 22 July

The Arts Centre invites you to come together as a community / whānau to celebrate Matariki 2018 with a variety of activities including a talk by Māori astronomer Dr Rangi Matamua, kapa haka, music and themed storytime sessions.

Matariki Celebration – Ara: Institute of Canterbury – 11-15 June

Ara will be having a whole programme of celebrations and activities 11-15 June across all of their campuses, including waiata, games, speakers, and food.

Matariki Celebration at Bromley Community Centre – Friday 15 June

Pop along to the Bromley Community Centre to celebrate Matariki (Māori New Year)
Free entertainment, free activities, free tea and coffee, free fruit, plus affordable, yummy Māori kai available to purchase! Bromley School Kapa Haka Group will be performing at 4:30pm

4-7pm
Bromley Community Centre
45 Bromley Road

Matariki Star Craft – Saturday 16 June 11am

Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū – Listen to a new story, The Stolen Stars of Marariki by Miriana Kamo and Zak Waipara, and then make your own Matariki mobile to take home.  Ages 4-9. $5 per child, book online.

Matariki in the Zone – Sunday 17 June

Organised by Avebury House, Avon-Ōtākaro Network and Richmond Community Garden.  Guests are encouraged to contribute produce from their own garden or pantry, dropping off at Avebury House at 11am to contribute to the shared meal from 12 noon to 2pm. Please RSVP to let them know participant numbers and harvest contribution at: www.aveburyhouse.co.nz

  • Māori crafts (wood carving and flax weaving)
  • Live music
  • Fun things to do for kids.
  • Shared kai of soups by Richard Till, and a hangi
  • blessing and opening of the Native Edible Garden in the Richmond Community Garden

Avebury House,
9 Eveleyn Couzins Ave
Richmond

Te Whare Roimata & the Linwood Community Arts Centre presents “Te Whare Maire O Nga Punawerewere” Festival of Maori Art & Culture Monday 18 June to Friday 6 July

Beginning on Monday 18th June at 5pm with a powhiri, this exhibition showcases contemporary and traditional art works by local Māori artists. Free Kapa haka classes will be held throughout the exhibition and follow the theme of the seven stars of Matariki. The classes offered this year are kite making, movies, waiata and a concert on the final night of Friday 6th July at 5pm.

The children’s activities will be held Tuesdays 4.30pm – 6.30pm & Fridays 5pm onwards throughout the exhibition.
Tuesday 19 June Kapa Haka arts storytelling
Friday 22 June Traditional Games
Tuesday 26 June Movie night
Friday 29 June Whānau movie night
Tuesday 3 July Kapa Haka arts storytelling
Friday 6 July Concert night.

There is no charge for classes however registrations are essential. Call 981 2881 to book. Children and families most welcome.

Eastside Gallery
388 Worcester Street
Gallery Hours:
Monday to Friday 11am – 4pm
Saturday 12pm – 3pm
Most art works will be for sale

Subscribe to the Facebook event.

Light Up Matariki Lantern Making Workshop – Sunday 24 June

Create nature inspired lanterns this Matariki at the Gardens. Combine twigs, leaves and paper to make LED candle lanterns and light up the chilly nights of Matariki. Limited places and parents and guardians will be required to help with construction. Please note that we will be using hot glue. This workshop is most suitable for 7 to 12 year olds, but all ages are welcome. Cost $5 per child.

10am to midday
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
Visitor Centre and Ilex Cafe
Rolleston Avenue

Matariki at the Hub – Sunday 24 June

Celebrating Matariki at the Phillipstown Community Hub!
A family day with lots of activities, bouncy castle, face painting, carving, music, waiata, traditional sports, photo booths, arts & crafts, kapa haka, and – of course – kai!

11am-2pm
Phillipstown Community Hub
39 Nursery Road
Christchurch

Rehua Marae Matariki Whānau Day – Saturday 30 June

Matariki celebrations at Rehua Marae – subscribe to the Facebook event.
Kai and craft stalls, entertainment from local kapa haka and Maori musicians, free workshops. Entertainment: Kaitaka Tupuna O Rehua, Nga Toi O Te Rangi, Lisa Tui, Nga Manu a Tane, Mahina Kaui, Te Ahikaaroa, Te Kotahitanga, and the Koro Band. Workshops (start at 11.30) include star weaving, miniature kite making, tiki making, lantern making,and poi making. Some workshops have limited spaces.

The mobile library van will also be on site.

11am-3pm
Rehua Marae
79 Springfield Road
Christchurch

Matariki at Rehua Marae
Rehua Marae, St Albans, Christchurch. Saturday 28 June 2014. File Reference: 2014-06-28-IMG_0501

Matariki Market Day – Thursday 5 July

A student led market with stalls, performances and lots of fun. All welcome.

2pm to 4pm
Haeata Community Campus
240 Breezes Road

Matariki Night Makete / Markets – Friday-Saturday, 6-7 July

The Matariki Night Markets will include:

  • Kapa Haka performances and NZ music from singer songwriters
  • Traditional kai and New Zealand favourites such as fish and chips and pavlova
  • Art, crafts, jewellery all with a New Zealand feel/twist

4-10pm
The Arts Centre
2 Worcester Boulevard
Christchurch Central

Matariki Dawn Planting – Sunday 15 July

Join rongoā practitioners as they celebrate Matariki the Māori New Year with a dawn karakia and tree planting as a symbol of new beginnings. The dawn planting will be followed by a hui with kai (bring a plate of food to share) and discussion of the plans for the next 12 months for this new park.

There will also second planting event at 10am. This planting event is suitable for families.

Rongoā Garden – Styx
565R Marshland Road
Ouruhia
Christchurch

More on Matariki

 

Record Store Day – Saturday 21 April 2018

Record Store Day is on this Saturday 21 April. It is an annual international event designed to celebrate the record store as a community. For more info, read Russell Brown’s Friday Music post The Shopping news and What’s happening for Record Store Day across NZ, this Saturday? Peter McLennan on Dub dot dash.
Here is our compilation of what’s happening here in Ōtautahi.

What’s on in Christchurch

Galaxy Records

Galaxy Records on 336 St Asaph St are an “Indie Institution’ in Christchurch, selling new and used vinyl. Like Galaxy Records on Facebook.
Record Store Day at Galaxy Records: Subscribe to the Facebook event
Rare & Collectable goodies! Featuring DJs: Pinacolada Soundsystem , Missy G & Skew-whiff from midday. Darkroom Bar will be open

Lyttelton Records

Lyttelton Records have spilled out of their home recording studio to open a shop (and bar) in Woolston. You can buy merch here, guitar strings and maybe catch a live performance. Like Lyttelton Records on Facebook.
Record Store Day at Lyttelton Records: Vinyl discounts, live music, happy hour 12pm to 4pm 650 Ferry Road

Penny Lane Records

If you are a record store fan in Christchurch, you can visit Penny Lane Records – they are at Eastgate Mall in Linwood, and in Sydenham at 430 Colombo Street. Penny Lane specialise in great quality second-hand music formats and collectibles. Like Penny Lane Records on Facebook.
Record Store Day at Penny Lane Records: The crew were cagey as to what’s happening – so there might be some good surprises on offer. What they did say was they are open at 8am, there will be Record Store Day exclusives available, and stuff happening for customers, as well as specials.

(here’s a pic from RSD 2017 at Penny Lane)

Sadhana Surf and House of Creativity

Sadhana Surfboards is at Shop 52 at The Tannery, 3 Garlands Road Woolston. Like Sadhana Surf on Facebook

sadhana
Sadhana Surfboards

Another hot tip for record fans: Vinyl Cafe at 24b Essex Street is a must visit for vinyl lovers. Like Vinyl Cafe on Facebook,

Get on down to your local record shop, buy yourself some vinyl to spin while the weather goes wild. Talk to people who appreciate quality music. Who knows you may make a new connection…

Record Appreciation – Fee

I love records! I still have a halfway decent collection of records. When I had to replace my stereo a few years back, I made sure it came with a turntable. I’m a purist – like Neil Young I can hear more depth and texture of sound in an LP (Long Player), than I can on a CD or a download. Neil developed PonoMusic to develop modern sound recording formats that delivered quality of sound almost as good as the studio, or the original record. (See Waging Heavy Peace, one of Neil’s engaging autobiographies.)

Other bands and artists such as Iron Maiden and New Zealand’s Shayne P. Carter, have steadfastly resolved to continue releasing albums on vinyl as well as other formats. Shayne P. Carter has been heard to lament the difficulty of reducing sleeve artwork to fit CD cases. I sure as heck can’t read the release date on CDs, and most won’t tell you when the original album was recorded. The discussion about sound continues…

Did you know that you can still buy turntables? I’ve discovered them at The Warehouse, The Listening Post (330 St Asaph Street), the Top Hi-Fi Shop (35 Carlyle St, Sydenham), and Soundline Audio (329 Madras St), Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi.

Now to put the record collection in alphabetical order

Record Store Day resources

Vinyl and music at the library

Fee and Donna
Vinyl appreciators

A bit of a stink

image_proxySometimes in libraries we think about poo. Not necessarily because we want to but because our public toilets sometimes get blocked, sometimes books get Suspicious Stains on them, and sometimes we wonder how many royal toddler toilet training picture books there are…

And if you really think about it poo is quite important, and you certainly can’t escape it. So, I’ve been poking around a few of our resources to see what I can find about poo and sewage and other stinky things like that.

Searching on our catalogue the keyword ‘poo’ and the Official Subject Heading (we librarians do enjoy a good subject heading) ‘feces‘ finds a lot of children’s books – not unsuprisingly, but it also brings up entries from Access Video – an eResource featuring lots of fascinating documentaries – about sanitation in the developing world.

Sanitation has an interesting history in Christchurch. We’re all familiar with more recent issues in this area, which has been carefully documented by CEISMIC, however there’s a long history to explore.

image_proxy (1)

The Christchurch Drainage Board has a well documented history – so vital for a city built on a swamp – and according to John Wilson‘s Christchurch – Swamp to City Ōtautahi has ‘been the best drained and and most efficiently sewered city in the country’ (p11). The importance of pumping stations in the city has been recognised as part of the Architectural Heritage of Christchurch Series – reminding us that the functional doesn’t have to be ugly. Underground Overground Archaeology (I don’t think they employ any Wombles) has written a great overview of sanitation in Christchurch.

If you’ve ever wondered what the poo of our native wildlife looks like, then DigitalNZ is the website you need! Searching for ‘poo’ brings up a lot of helpful visuals to assist you in identifying that mystery turd, plus a positive plethora of poo-related media articles, research papers and videos.

I also had a look on Papers Past for poo related content. However the 19th century and first half of the 20th century were more conservative eras so ‘poo’ and ‘excrement’ don’t bring up a huge amounts of hits – although there is definitely content for those with an interest in public health. I’ve also found out about pakapoo – a Chinese lottery game brought to New Zealand by gold miners – and The Mikado.

Do you have any #codebrown stories you’d like to share? [Ed: we welcome the use of euphemisms for the benefit of those with delicate sensibilities]

Find  more

Happy Pride! Christchurch Pride Week – 15 to 24 March

It’s nearly Pride Week! Lasting a little bit longer than an actual week, starting Thursday 15 March, Pride Week is a celebration of sexuality- and gender-diverse folks in Ōtautahi, and it’ll feature allsorts, from parties to seminars, art shows to dog walking. The rainbow flag will fly at the Christchurch City Council Civic Offices from 15 to 25 March.

However, pride celebrations have pretty sombre beginnings. The first pride marches in the USA were protests against the mistreatment and discrimination of LGBT+ people by the police, public services, and the law. As rainbow communities have largely seen great leaps forward in these areas over the past 40-50 years, these pride events focus more and more on celebrating diverse identities – but it’s important to take a moment to remember that there is still a struggle; that people are still being discriminated against because of their sexuality or their gender identity, both close to home, and globally.

Find out more about Christchurch Pride:

Pride Picks

Here’s my top 3 pride events you should check out happening in Ōtautahi in the coming weeks:

QCanterbury Quiz Night

I have a slight bias towards this event because I’m the MC! But who doesn’t like a quiz??
Friday 23 March 7pm to 10pm, The Foundry, 90 Ilam Road

Art Show

Christchurch Pride has started with an Art Show for a few years now, and it’s always a good night, with lots of mingling and snacks! Plus there’s an opportunity to buy some new artwork and support local LGBT+ artists at the same time. Thursday 15 March 5pm to 8pm, Windsor Gallery, 386 St Asaph Street

Bingo Fundraiser

I’ve been along to this event in previous years, and it is ridiculous fun. With all proceeds going towards a local youth support group, and the chance to win some fabulous prizes, it’s well worth it…who knew bingo could be so much fun?! Tuesday 20 March 7pm to 10pm.  Sixty6 On Peterborough, Christchurch Casino

More Pride

If this is a topic you’d like to learn more about, the library has some great reading/viewing material! Here’s some of the things I’ve enjoyed recently:

CoverQueer: A Graphic History  Meg John Baker and Julie Scheele – A non-fiction graphic novel style book delving into the history and key milestones of LGBT+ rights, as well as an introduction to queer theory. Engaging and witty and fun to read!

CoverPride – a film with all your favourite British actors about an unlikely partnership between gay and lesbian activists and striking miners in Wales.

Milk – a beautiful and heartbreaking film about Harvey Milk, an openly gay politician and activist in San Francisco in the 70s.
CoverThe library has a book about Harvey – and an opera.

CoverTomboy Survival Guide – Ivan Coyote – Brilliant, funny, serious, adventurous stories about growing up in rural Canada and navigating gender and sexuality.

Read our blog posts about Ivan, and Look up Ivan on YouTube too! They’re an incredible live storyteller.

Of course, there’s a never ending list of books and films to read and watch that explore what it means to be sexuality- and gender-diverse from a range of different cultural perspectives – Why not introduce yourself to something new this Pride Week?

Regardless of your orientation or identity, pride is a time to celebrate diversity and promote inclusion – a good reminder to have a look at your workplaces and community spaces and check they are inclusive and welcoming environments; or educate yourself on some new language or ideas within the rainbow community; find out what is going on for rainbow communities in other parts of the world; and, most importantly, check in with LGBT+ people in your life and remind them that they are loved.

Happy Pride!

Ray

Victoria Square reopens – Friday 9 March 2018

Today Victoria Square has reopened. It has been closed for a year, having a revamp and repairs.

What’s new:

  • New pieces of art have been added including Ngā Whāriki Manaaki – Woven mats of welcome, and a Literary Trail (series of text sculptures).
  • The Bowker Fountain will be working again and will put on a water and light display.

Here’s what Victoria Square looked like this morning:

Find out more about Victoria Square

22 February 2011 / 22 February 2018 – Remembering

Seven years ago Christchurch was hit by an earthquake that killed 185 people. It’s a sad anniversary, and sometimes it is hard to know how – or where – to commemorate it. For the last seven years, my way has been to walk and think and take some photos.  This morning I visited the former CTV site on the corner of Cashel and Madras Street. Ōtākaro Limited has landscaped the site, and it opened to the public today.

Sign at the Former CTV site
Sign at the Former CTV site. Thursday 22 February 2018. Flickr Former CTV site #IMG_6489

Diagonally across the road, is the 185 empty chairs installation by Peter Majendie.  This is an artwork that rends your heart. I’ve only be able to stand near it, and somehow felt the chairs were sacred. But today, Peter and some helpers were cleaning the rain and water off the chairs so I joined in and helped. It felt profound.

File reference: 185 chairs #IMG_6501
185 empty chairs, Flickr 185 chairs #IMG_6501

See photos from the former CTV site and the 185 chairs.

We have a list of commemorative events on today, and places that you might like to visit: Thursday 22 February 2018 – Earthquake Commemorations.

Wherever you are, whatever you feel, however you choose to reflect – you are not alone. Arohanui, Ōtautahi.

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