Funding boost for Wānaka projects and events

7 Oct 2022

Media Release

Otago Community Trust have funded over $500,000 in support of a wide range of community projects in its September funding round, with the Upper Clutha | Wānaka area in particular benefitting from recent grant approvals.

A $180,000 grant was approved to the Snow Farm which will assist with the cost of building a new base lodge.  The Snow Farm is in immediate need of a base lodge which will serve all users, summer and winter, for both for recreational and school activities.

Snow Farm chair ‘Q’ Samuel Belk said the ski field’s new lodge needs to be complete by next season, as the ski field’s lease is up with neighbour Southern Hemisphere Proving Ground.

“Due to the speed with which we need to get into the new build, we will complete the facility in a couple of stages. Stage one costing an estimated $900,000 and stage two costing $800,000.”

“Thanks to the $180,000 grant from Otago Community Trust, an earlier $225,000 grant from Central Lakes Trust we now have strong momentum to reach our funding target for stage one and ensure that the Snow Farm continues to operate and grow as a community and national asset.”

Otago Community Trust chief executive Barbara Bridger said that Otago Community Trust is pleased to be supporting this important project for the Snow Farm.  

“The Snow Farm is a unique facility and having a base building is fundamental to their operations and the experience of the various users including school groups and cross-country skiers,” said Bridger.

Otago Community Trust was also pleased to award a $85,000 grant to Southern Lakes Arts Festival Trust to assist with the cost of delivering the 2023 Festival of Colour and the 2024 Aspiring Conversations events.

Southern Lakes Arts Festival Trust executive director Charlie Unwin said after the COVID-19 disruptions and forced cancellations of several Southern Lakes Arts events, in particular Aspiring Conversations we are very excited to be back planning for these iconic events that are now very much part of the fabric of the Wānaka community.

“The Wānaka community and visitors will be in for a treat, it is our hope that we will have the largest programme of free public events ever for the 2023 Festival of Colour.”

“Connecting the community and bringing the streets and local businesses of Wānaka alive with music, aerial dance, youth art, youth photography and poetry will be our key focus,” said Unwin.

In other grants, One New Zealand received a $10,000 grant to assist with the cost of holding the Wao Summit in Wānaka from 25-30 October 2022.

Otago Community Trust chair Diccon Sim said the six-day sustainable summit will bring together sector leaders to educate, inspire and discuss sectoral approaches to creating sustainable environmental change.  

Other organisations benefiting from community grants in September included Bike Wanaka Inc who were approved a $20,000 grant to assist with the cost of rejuvenated the Lismore Bike Park. Livingwell Disability Resource Centre were approved a $19,000 grant to continue the valuable work they do providing a disability and health related information service to the Otago region, and a $16,500 grant was approved to Hampden Hall Committee in partnership with the Waitaki District Council to help with the cost of the roof replacement of the Hampden Hall. 

In total Otago Community Trust approved $516,432 to 30 organisations in September 2022.