Waitaki Arts Festival 15-24 October

Published on 02 September 2021


There’s something in the water here in the Waitaki! Join Frame, McCahon and Lilburn and get creatively juiced by the Waitaki Arts Festival.

Three of New Zealand’s most significant arts figures – Janet Frame, Douglas Lilburn and Colin McCahon – were all living and attending school in Oamaru in 1931. This year the Waitaki Arts Festival pays tribute to these three towering figures with an exhibition at Forrester Gallery as well as a grand concert of Lilburn’s compositions accompanied by the works of Frame and McCahon.

But these aren’t the only Kiwi legends being honoured. Miss Jean Batten celebrates the great aviatrix’s cool, glamorous and utterly fearless life. Meanwhile guided tours through your local arts facilities will put the region’s remarkable artistic legacy on display.

Today’s future artistic heroes are taking part in Meet the Maker where over 40 local creatives from Dunback to Duntroon are opening their studio doors to the public. Hear their stories, find out what it is about Waitaki that galvanises their creativity. You’ll come away buzzing!

Two of New Zealand’s best-loved musicians – classical pianist Michael Houstoun and foremost jazz trombonist and big band leader Rodger Fox, bring their acclaimed concert series to Oamaru featuring special guest, supreme blues vocalist Erna Ferry.

Voices Love Opera – a 16-strong ensemble are joined on-stage by four of New Zealand’s best singers for a romantic tour-de-force involving our operatic favourites.

Join Billy-T-Award-winning comedian Guy Montgomery for his first show in Oamaru. Fresh from season two of Taskmaster NZ, he’s ready to perform stand-up comedy again. So, that’s exactly what he’s doing.

Storytelling, science, poetry, crafts and literature all get their moments with special events. Be inspired, and drink in a festival filled with talent and take-away moments.

Find the full list of events on the Oamaru Opera House website.