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Festivals & events

Antarctic season opening festival

The festival, held each year in October, explores New Zealand’s gateway role, past present and future. The festival is tied to the arrival of the US Air Force’s C-17 which transports equipment, and scientists and support personnel from both the US and New Zealand Antarctic programmes to Antarctica for the summer. With support from the diplomatic sector, the festival focuses on the ‘how’ of the Antarctic: transport, survival, innovation and logistics. This is delivered through talks, exhibitions, activities and Antarctic Air Day (see inside a C-17!).

Antarctic talk series

This popular series, begun in Christchurch in 2016 with the support of the Antarctic community, is a forum to explore Antarctic science and topics connected to the Antarctic. Past participants have included filmmaker Anthony Powell on his experiences Living at the Other End of the World and the French Ambassador to New Zealand on the Paris climate agreement as a prelude to the documentary Ice and the Sky (La glace et le ciel).

National Antarctic festival

The festival explores the question: why is Antarctica important to me? The festival, planned for winter 2019, will be built around an international symposium and arts-related events. The Antarctic Office is working with a number of collaborative partners in the arts sector to explore ideas including an Antarctic musical, interactive digital installation, a film with live orchestral score and an outdoor dance piece involving an inflatable ice floe!