Corporate support for young artists neededCultural Affairs
Corporate support needs to match community support to ensure talented young New Zealanders have opportunities both here and overseas to further their careers, Hon Marie Hasler Minister for Culture and Heritage says.
"It is vital to maintain a platform for our young artists to perform and compete with their peers," Ms Hasler said in reaction to learning this year's Young Performer of the Year Awards may be the last.
"These awards give young people from all over New Zealand the opportunity to develop and display their talent and many competitors go on to a career in their chosen field.
"There is plenty of support in the community for these competitions, but corporate support is necessary at national level to ensure the awards continue.
"This weekend, 53 winners from the 38 community-based competition societies will be competing at the national festival in Wellington culminating in the finals concert on Sunday night.
"It would be a great shame to see this window of opportunity for our young talent close."
Ms Hasler said this year's competition included modern dance, highland and national dance, orchestral, speech and drama and for the first time a group entertainers award.
The national competition began in 1977 as a platform for 15 to 21 year-olds to demonstrate their abilities. Competitions at community level, beginning some 95 years ago, remain well support with an estimated 15,000 taking part annually.