Monday, April 22, 2024

Toitoi takes out national venue award

Toitoi – Hawke’s Bay Arts & Events Centre has won a national event industry venue award.

The Events Venues Association of New Zealand (EVANZ) award for best small venue – less than 1,000 seats – recognises the venue’s clarity of vision, tangible objectives and plan for sustainability, including efforts to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions.

Judging was undertaken by a panel of judges assembled from leading entertainment and events organisations and EVANZ Board members, with Toitoi named Ungerboeck Small Venue of the Year.

“I’m thrilled to see Toitoi win this year’s EVANZ award for best small venue. Toitoi is a venue full of heart, with Aroha at the centre of everything they do,” said EVANZ Board member, James Wilson.

“There is a hugely exciting change happening in our regional arts venues in NZ and Toitoi is at the forefront of that shift. It’s a shift that reflects the confidence, growth and voice of regional New Zealand.”

Mr Wilson said Toitoi was leading the country with its programming and outreach and its community-led approach.

“This approach has a direct and tangible impact on everyone who uses the venue. This is a way of operating that is far more pro-active, and relies on deep connections to the community in which you are located.”

Hastings District Council Arts & Culture Manager and Toitoi Kaiwhakahaere Megan Peacock-Coyle said it was an honour to win the award, which reflected the ongoing success and hard work of the whole Toitoi team.

“We have such an amazing, supportive and talented team who all bring their own strengths and passion to work every day. They’ve been tireless in their dedication and ability to constantly rethink and adapt as the national COVID-19 restrictions evolve.”

“It’s awesome to see that mahi being recognised by our peers, as it has been a hard couple of years for our entire industry,” she said.

Other finalists in the Small Venue of the Year category included The Globe Theatre in Palmerston North and Haere-Roa in Christchurch.

Hastings District Council chief executive Nigel Bickle said Toitoi has had an incredible year, despite facing constant challenges.

“It’s extremely gratifying to know that the heritage venue we have invested in, here in Hastings, isn’t just the best in Hawke’s Bay, but all of Aotearoa, for its size,” he said.

“Toitoi’s ongoing success at a national level reflects the skill and leadership of its staff. They are resilient and adaptable and always have manaaki for our community, their audiences and their clients at the heart of all they do,” Mr Bickle said.

“The Toitoi team’s passion for Hastings and seeing arts and culture thrive in our district is evident and we can’t wait to open the last part of the Toitoi puzzle, the Municipal Building next door, in 2022.”

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