Welcome Back to Your Cultural Places!

Published on 03 May 2022

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With the Covid peak finally past, your Council facilities are thrilled to welcome you back!

On the special ‘Welcome Back!’ weekend of 28-29 May, an array of activities are taking place at Forrester Gallery, Ōamaru Library, Ōamaru Opera House, Waitaki Aquatic Centre and Waitaki Museum and Archive. And in the weeks leading up to the special weekend, kids are invited to hunt for clues on a scavenger hunt across all the facilities, with prizes to be won at a free movie screening at the Opera House on 28 May! Treasure Maps with clues can be found in next week’s Ōamaru Mail, with extra maps available at each facility.

So, what’s on?

Building on the work of the Storybook Trail, the Ōamaru library will be hosting ‘Story time with the Mayor’ at 11.00am on 28 May. There will be some spot prizes for families and children that come along. Mayor Gary Kircher says, “One of the greatest things we can give our children is a love of reading. No matter what a person’s circumstances are, reading books can be a form of escape, of discovery, of learning, of entertainment and so much more. I’m looking forward to sharing my love of reading with some of our youngsters!”

At 1.30pm on the afternoon of Saturday 28, join Forrester Gallery Curator, Imogen Stockwell, for a tour of the Maritza Boutique | Ōamaru-London exhibition and explore the idea behind the show about 1960s and 1970s Ōamaruvian women who were taking on the business world through their creativity, ingenuity and determination. The Maritza Boutique made clothing for the people of Ōamaru for over a decade, keeping the local community up-to-date with the latest fashions and importing wonderful and unique fabric.

Sew far so good … then at 3pm on the Saturday, head to the Opera House for a free 4pm screening of The Greatest Showman. With free popcorn and prizes on offer, it’s an afternoon of big-top, musical fun! Make sure to pick up your free movie tickets from the Opera House in advance so you don’t miss out.

All the facilities will have cool displays to peruse and there will be activities on offer before the movie in the Opera House foyer.

At the Museum on Sunday from 10am-1pm, join Waitaki Museum Curator Henry Buckenham in Tracing the Past as he helps visitors learn about how we construct the past from skeletal remnants and fossils in a fun, hands on activity.

The Aquatic Centre has events on both days including a free learn to swim taster and giant inflatable fun on Sunday.

To cap it all off, Sunday evening welcomes the first big show of the year at the Opera House: Voices Love Opera! Some of New Zealand’s best classical singers debut a new show that explores both the triumphs and the heartbreaks of love. Straight from the opera stages comes this romantic tour-de-force involving Carmen, Madame Butterfly, Lucia de Lammermoor and other operatic favourites. Featuring a 16-strong ensemble joined on stage by 4 soloists. Just the kind of joyful noise we need to celebrate a return to normal for our facilities!

Show them how much you’ve missed them and make the most of this special weekend. 



Oamaru Library:

Saturday 28 May, 11am Storytime with the Mayor

Aquatic Centre:

 Sat 28

Free Learn to Swim Taster 11.30 – 12.30 booking required

Free Aqua Exercise session 12.30 – 1pm

Sun 29

Free Aqua Exercise session 12.30 – 1pm

Free Flippa Ball 1.15pm – 2pm

Giant Inflatable – 2.30 – 3.30pm

Forrester Gallery: 

Maritza Boutique | Ōamaru-London Tour: 1.30pm, Saturday 28 May

Free entry

Bookings essential, at gallery@waitaki.govt.nz or 03 433 0853

Oamaru Opera House:

The Greatest Showman: doors open 3pm, Saturday 28 May

Free entry

Tickets essential

Voices Love Opera: 7.30pm, Sunday 29 May

Tickets: $19-$49 (+ fee)

Waitaki Museum and Archive:

Tracing the Past: 10am-12.30pm, Sunday 29 May

Free entry


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