Share the Stage - Support your Regional Theatre
In October 2019, just after I was inaugurated as Mayor, I had the pleasure of standing alongside the why I wanted our city to be bold.
This week, I recalled that conversation when I attended the sod-turning for the Waikato Regional Theatre.
When it was first mooted, the Waikato Regional Theatre was an audacious goal. Some said it wasn’t do-able. I not only believe it is but also know it's going to put Hamilton on the map as a cultural centre, a vibrant riverside city and a place where community can showcase their culture and talents.
A while back, alongside Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Chair of the Waikato Regional Property Trust Ross Hargood and Chair of Momentum Waikato Neil Richardson, I attended the sod-turning for what will be a world-class performance space.
And then central government backed that vision, with a $12 million investment, for which we are grateful.
Yesterday I was able to attend the opening of the Share the Stage Fundraiser (supported by the Waikato Times ( https://www.stuff.co.nz/waikat...) to get the last $5M needed to make sure the theatre will be the best it can be. It was wonderful to meet John Rys-Davies once again (star of Lord of the Rings) who is so committed to this project he says " If you need anything just put me to work!"
I pay tribute to, and thanked those involved in that partnership…. Momentum Waikato, the private sector, philanthropists, other Waikato councils and central government and now, the Waikato Regional Property Trust. It will be Trust which will manage the building of this Theatre.
I also acknowledged Kelvyn Eglinton, the Chief Executive of Momentum Waikato, for his commitment, his passion and his tenacity.
I’m proud to be part a Council that also supported this vision for our city. Our Council has committed an investment of $25 million into this project. That is what this project is. It is a major investment in Hamilton and in the wider Waikato region.
Visitors will come to our theatre, of course – and that’s fantastic. The will eat, stay and explore.
But for the growing number of people who call Hamilton home – it’s more than important than that.
The Waikato Regional Theatre is another building block in the complete rejuvenation of our central city.
It is also everyone's place. Council made sure that the community can use it not just super stars of the stage.