Necessary Traditions Festival coming to the Arts Centre

13 September 2018

On November 8 2018 the Arts Centre of Christchurch will become home to the inaugural Necessary Traditions Festival – a celebration of resourcefulness, craft and the reinvigoration of traditions vital to the sustainability of our people and planet.

Hosted by Rekindle, Necessary Traditions brings together over 40 resourceful craftspeople with a vast array of practices including shoemaking, Windsor chair making, rag-rug making, blacksmithing, willow basketwork, pin-hole photography, sourdough baking with local flours, soap making and other household essentials, cup, bowl and spoon carving, Kintsugi, reforestation, darning and hand-sewn button-holes, preserving and fermenting, heritage building techniques, raranga harakeke weaving, bookbinding, ceramics with local pigment and clay and many more.

During the week of the festival, from November 8 to 17 2018, these craftspeople will share their unique resourceful skills with festival goers through demonstrations and workshops.

Rekindle founder Juliet Arnott describes the festival as “reinvigorating the way craft is viewed in our society, that it is seen as necessary for a healthy future, both in terms of our wellbeing and the health of the ecosystems we rely upon.”

She hopes festival goers will feel inspired to see the role these necessary traditions could play in their own lives.“It is an incredible honour to hold the festival at the stunningly restored Arts Centre, and this will mean so much to all who attend.”

Arts Centre Chief Executive Philip Aldridge says he is excited for the Arts Centre to be home to so many makers during the event.

“Brilliant! This is what the Arts Centre is for – making and celebrating art and craft.”

The full programme of workshops will be announced on Monday September 17.

Important Necessary Tradition Festival dates:

Thursday 8th November – Festival Opening and Pecha Kucha in the Great Hall at the Arts Centre of Christchurch.

Saturday 10 – Sunday 11 November – Necessary Traditions main event. Over 40 skilled people demonstrate their necessary traditions at the Arts Centre. An opportunity to learn new resourceful skills, enjoy local food and music.

Saturday November 10 – Saturday November 17 – Necessary Traditions Guest Speakers. Hear from botanists, ecologists and other tohunga about the history, use & health of local resources or taonga e.g. harakeke, tī kōuka (cabbage tree), tōtara and other indigenous species, basket willow, water and land.

Monday November 12 – Saturday November 17 – Necessary Traditions Workshops. Learn from craftspeople in a vast array of classes. Bookings will be essential.

For further information, please contact:

Jane Lyons | programmes and partnerships executive| the Arts Centre

(03) 363 2835


Juliet Arnott | founder, Rekindle