New artistic director for Festival of Colour

Sophie Kelly will take over from Philip Tremewan as the new Artistic Director for the Festival of Colour.

The Southern Lakes Arts Festival Trust has announced the appointment of Sophie Kelly to the role of Festival Director for the 2023 Festival of Colour in Wānaka.

Kelly replaces Philip Tremewan, who has programmed every Festival of Colour arts festival, as well as the off-year Aspiring Conversations ideas festival, since their inception in 2005. 

A dedicated arts advocate with an extensive background in event curation and management, Kelly is the former Festival Director of Nelson Arts Festival, Summer Events programme and Opera in the Park, as well as Festival Director of Upsurge Bay of Islands Arts Festival and Project Manager of Te Ramaroa Light Festival. She is also the current manager of Nelson’s Adam Chamber Music Festival.

Tremewan will deliver his final festival in April 2021, said Kelly, and I will be down working alongside him and will take over the role on August 1 2021.

“The team has restructured slightly. I will be taking on an artistic director role, and another staff member will be taking on some of the work that Philip has been doing.

“I will be commuting from Nelson,” she said.

“What made me want to take on this job? I really enjoy working at festivals, and I know this festival and have worked with Philip before. I have a good sense of what this festival looks like and how much support and ownership there is from the Wānaka community. I know it’s very much supported and much loved and this attracted me.

“And the other thing was that I enjoy the challenge of getting to know a community. Wānaka audiences are very discerning; they are well informed about what companies are doing well and are interested in what is topical.”

Tremewan said: “I’ve loved working in Wānaka over the years. The town has a tremendous sense of ownership of the festival and people so much enjoy the roll-out of shows over the festival week.” 

Tremewan will stay on to programme the 2022 Aspiring Conversations festival of ideas.

Kelly will be in Wānaka throughout the 2021 Festival of Colour (April 12-18) to take part in the running of the festival.

Read edition 1004 of the Wānaka Sun here.

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