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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 28, No. 10. 1965.

"The Best Ever"

"The Best Ever"

Arts Festival at Victoria

"Arts Festival this year should be the bestest ever." opined the Controller, undergraduate political scientist John Pettigrew.

Speaking to a Salient reporter, Mr. Pettigrew mentioned that he hoped to move away from having a purely student Arts Festival and try to make it into something to benefit the city as well, to the extent that this can be achieved without spoiling the informal and experimental atmosphere of this Festival for New Zealand university students.

"We are hoping to put on some high quality concerts, especially in the music and drama, and I hope also that the Folk Singing people should be able to turn on a first-class performance." he said. Music and drama will be presented at several 8pm concerts both at the University and in town, whereas the jazz and folk-singing will have a student concert at 11pm. followed later in the week by public concerts which will include the best performers in each activity.

As well as concerts there will be discussions, seminars, and panels in all fields of the arts, with well-known practitioners and students swapping ideas and conflicting opinions. This has been one of the main activities in past Festivals and Mr. Pettigrew considers that this introspection on the part of those who indulge in or are interested in the arts is very valuable both to appreciation and to the development of the arts in New Zealand.

Other activities will include chess, a law moot, debating, literary discussions and workshops, bridge, and both a pre-Tournament revue and the usual Combined Revue.

Exhibitions will also be held in the visual arts, including photography, painting and sculpture, with special exhibitions being organised on lithograph art and possibly printing. The Festival is being spread this year to the other side of the Tasman with the Trans-Tasman Art Competition, with prizes to the extent of £222 sponsored by the ANZ Bank. It is open to students of Australian and New Zealand Universities.

We asked Mr. Pettigrew where the money came from to pay for the Festival.

"In the past the Students' Associations of the individual universities have paid all costs on a proportionate basis. I feel that while Arts Festival does not usually lose a great deal it would be better were it self-supporting, although to do this solely by takings at the box-office could tend to lower the quality and remove much of the experimental spirit existing at present. The best method then seems to be to follow the lead of other large Festivals and seek sponsorship. Consequently we have approached about 20 firms in Wellington, with results from the ANZ Bank, the Evening Post and Cable-Price-Downer. We hope to find more sponsorship to cover advertising and publicity costs, and we are speaking to the Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council in the hope of a grant."

The Festival is a nationwide student activity held in co-operation with Sports as the annual Winter Tournament, and held this year at Victoria. Naturally this requires considerable organisation, and Mr. Pettigrew was strong in his praise of his helpers, both those on the central committee and those helping in the individual activities. However, he pointed out there is still much to do before the Festival is held in August, and if anyone "with a few clues" seeks experience in administration on a national scale he has no doubt that they can be found some extremely difficult and ulcerous backroom job.