Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 27, No. 5. 1964.
Dear Sir,—Why does Wellington have no annual festival of the arts? As a comparative newcomer. I was surprised to find that there Is no such concerted artistic effort in a city which cherishes a reputation for cultural liveliness. I expect the question has been raised before and that there are good reasons for the non-existence of a festival; but I feel that such an institution could solve some problems in Wellington's and particularly Victoria's cultural life.
If one were to be initiated it would not need to try to challenge the growing national character of Auckland's. It would however involve the working together of the various local cultural, intellectual and administrative bodies which at present remain largely aloof from one another.
This has particular application to us; there is current feeling at Victoria that we are somewhat isolated on the hill (emphasized by the fact that the university has within its precincts very good accommodation for its plays, concerts, etc., in the Memorial Theatre); and little is known by the general public about what goes on. Some coherent action by the relevant groups would perhaps have better results in making Victoria's public image more widely known, and highly thought of than the present peripheral contact made by each group on its own initiative with the others and the public at large.
There is an additional asset in students initiative or being in the forefront of the initiation of a Wellington Festival, in that the tendency to "philistinism" criticised last year in the Auckland Festival organisers by the editor of Craccum may be made a little more remote, even if it did not rule it out entirely.
L. E. Roddick.