Despite being home to a number of performing arts institutes, Kāpiti currently does not have a community theatre. In fact there isn’t a community theatre from Wellington to Palmerston North.
The Kāpiti Performing Arts Centre started as a Kāpiti College initiative. The College has a reputation as a training ground for burgeoning performing arts creative talent. Wanting to do more to support its students, the College set about planning to build a new performing arts centre. Aware that the Centre could be more than just a College facility, and seeking to connect the College to its wider community, the College initiated discussions with the Kāpiti Coast District Council as part of its planning process.
Following community consultation, what started as a College project has grown from an initial $5 million design for a performing arts centre to suit the school’s needs as well as some community use, to a $10 million project designed to meet the wide gap in community facilities available and strong interest from outside groups.
Our community continues to grow. Its estimated resident population for 2015 was 50,000, up from 47,500 in just ten years. Key strategic assets including the airport and the motorway extension further define and add to the region’s potential to attract business and economic activity, and so also residents. To complement the region’s economic development, the District Council is also committed to ensuring the arts have a role in the expression and development of individual and community identity, pride and wellbeing. It shares the College’s vision that a thriving performing arts scene is part of what brings Kāpiti together and grows pride in community and culture. The Kāpiti Coast District Council recognised the need for a purpose built performance facility in the region in its long term plan for 2015 – 2035 – Future Kapiti.
In response to a well-recognised need and with the support of the Ministry of Education, the Council is supporting the Kapiti College initiative to build a central performing venue for the Kāpiti Coast.
Progress to date
The College Board is working with the Ministry of Education and the Kāpiti Coast District Council on plans to build the Kāpiti Performing Arts Centre. We are well along with our planning; we have land, roading infrastructure, detailed architectural plans and 90% of the funding needed. The foundations have been completed and the concrete panels for the walls and structural steel are being built offsite.
We still need to get the community (local businesses, philanthropists, performing arts groups, families etc) to come on board and raise the final $800,000, for this project will benefit the entire region, across all ages!