Archive for the ‘N C Musical Society’ Category

“Blood Brothers” Has a Great Opening Night

16 March 2012

The Blood Brothers opening night got a stand-up ovation from a very full Chervier Centre in Rangiora last night.  I have to confess that we knew nothing about the show beforehand (even although there is a billboard on my fence!) but Marilyn and I throroughly enjoyed ourselves.  The production was professional and fast-paced.

Well done, too, to the North Canterbury Musical Society for going ahead with the show despite the closure of the Rangiora Town Hall.  The Chervier Centre works well, although there must be a lot of constraints.

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Rangiora Town Hall Proposals Announced

31 January 2012

The Council has announced its proposals for the earthquake-prone Rangiora Town Hall.  They are part of the Long Term (10 Year) Plan due to go out for public consultation and timed for the first year of that Plan, starting in July this year.

The proposal is as I signalled in an earlier post on this blog.  It involves strengthening the existing building to at least 67% of new building standard, part of that being brought about by building a new addition around the west and south of it.  The new addition will include a smaller performance space with a more versatile flat floor. The seating in it will not be fixed. The movie theatre will be brought downstairs and will also be more versatile in that it will be able to be used for other kinds of presentations as well as movies. It is proposed that there will be toilets and dressing rooms (the current dressing rooms are under the stage) for cast and crew, as well as practice rooms for music. There will be storage areas as well.

Part of the proposal is to enlarge the foyer along the front of the Town Hall, incorporating a new front door coming in off High Street. Upstairs, the area where the movie theatre was will be turned into a reception area.  The upper floor will, of course, be serviced by a lift.

It needs to be emphasised that this is not a final decsiion and there are, of course, alternatives.  The Long Term Plan will be out for public feedback soon.

The Town Hall was scheduled for a major revamp in a year’s time, but has been brought forward because of its current closure.

Nearly Three Months On …

1 January 2011

I said I would keep this blog going.  This might have been a foolish promise, but my New Year’s resolution is … you’ve guessed it.

Obviously life has been busy, but since Christmas we have been able to get a bit of a breather.  Earthquake recovery has, of course dominated, and I’ll report on that in another post.  But also what has happened in the last three months has brought home the richness of community life in the Waimakariri District.

Richard and Dawn Spark and Phil and Jo Seal (Gulliver & Tyler Funeral Directors) have built a chapel at Rossburn Receptions that was opened in October by Hon Kate Wilkinson MP.

As well as funerals, the chapel will be used for weddings etc – in conjunction with the reception business the Sparks run.

On the same day, a concert was held to say to the people of Kaiapoi – hey! we’ve been hit by an earthquake but we can still have a good time.

One of the main organisers was Ben Brennan, newly-elected to the Kaiapoi Community Board.

Yes, a chain comes with the job!

The Rangiora A&P Show is always a highlight of the year and numbers weren’t too badly suppressed by the Earthquake Concert in Christchurch at the same time – although teenagers were noticeably absent in Rangiora.

The Kaiapoi Light Party, an annual event put on by local churches, drew a large crowd – especially of kids who were able to try everything out for free.

The Chamber Gallery in Rangiora staged an exhibition by Veronique Moginot who, although she is of French background, put on a show that had a strong Eastern Orthodox flavour.

This proved an ideal setting for Musica Balkanica who performed their Balkan repertoir in the Chamber Gallery in November.

Kaiapoi was the starting point for a group of peeny-farthings which headed for Oamaru via Oxford.  I presume they made it!

Both Kaiapoi and Rangiora High Schools had Road Crash days put on by the Police and Waimakariri Road Safety, with the help of many others, including the Kaiapoi and Rangiora Volunteer Fire Brigades, St Johns Ambulance and Gulliver and Tyler.

The Kaiapoi Christmas Parade seemed to be bigger than ever and drew large crowds – as did the preceding market in Williams Street. A sunny day with everyone in good spirits!

Congratulations to the Kaiapoi Promotion Association.

I’ve been to North Loburn School twice, for an Enviroschools day and for the inauguration  of active warning signs.  They get a lot of trucks going past the school from the Mount Grey forest and from the Whiterock quarry – and while the trucking companies and drivers are working well with the school, safety is always a concern. Pictured is the principal, Simon Green.

Cust is seeing if a market can work for their community – those in places like Oxford, Ohoka, Woodend and Kaiapoi are going well.

Like Kaiapoi, the Rangiora Christmas Parade had a great day.  Here is the crowd in Victoria Park afterwards.

Our Town Rangiora did well.

Oxford, on the other hand, struck a wet day for their Christmas Parade.  Here the the Union Parish take shelter waiting for it to start – fortunately the rain did stop for the parade itself and all went well.

The Oxford Lions again put on a good community day for Oxford.

It was good to have a temporary library open in Kaiapoi – and the Aquatic Centre too.

The launch of the book Our Soldiers at the Rangiora RSA helped further the growing ties between the Waimakariri District and Passchendaele in Belgium.

I’m with the the author Paul O’Connor, Belgian Consul Lieve Bierque and Bill Whitehead, President of the Rangiora RSA. (Photo from the Northern Outlook).

Josh Smith of Kaiapoi received a Young Totara leadership award from the Rotary Club of Rangiora for the leadership and responsibility he showed working in the welfare centre in Kaiapoi after the earthquake.

War Songs Concert

8 August 2010

We had a great time last night at the War Songs Concert, staged by the North Canterbury Musical Society but also featuring the Rangiora Brass Band, Toot ‘n’ Croon and the Rangiora Players. 

I guess you had to be a certain age (and, no, I wasn’t around for World War II) to appreciate the music, but a near sell-out crowd obviously had a lot of fun.  When you are dealing with war there were, of course, poignant moments but overall it was a trip back to a time when a lot of the music was designed to lift spirits through dark times.  With the full range of music-hall numbers, swing, marches and patriotic songs, our spirits were certainly lifted!

A Grand Old Lady Gets a Landmarks Plaque

27 May 2010

The Rangiora Town Hall received a “Landmarks” Plaque today – 84 years to the day after it was opened.  Somewhat controversial at the time (what’s new?) it now generates a lot of enthusiasm amongst many locals. It is one of the very few theatres of its type left in New Zealand.

The plaque was unveiled by Malcolm McIntosh (left), great nephew of the mayor of the time, Robert McIntosh (his wife Robina performed the actual opening in 1926). Robert was one of the two McIntosh brothers who were mayors of Rangiora and Kaiapoi at the same time.

As you can see, the plaque has yet to be fixed.  The wet weather has meant that the necessary adhesives might not work!

The unveiling featured songs from the 1920s sung by the North Canterbury Musical Society Singers (conducted by Gail Fox), speeches from Dave Sanderson of the Musical Society and from the current and former movie theatre operators, Patrick Walsh and Fred Read.  Yours truly added a few historical details.

Outside, there were a couple of Model A Fords supplied by Peter Bayler and Alan Hill. 

The grand old lady holds lots of stories and some were relayed by people present today.  It was a good way to celebrate one of the District’s notable buildings.

“Superstar” is Great!

8 May 2010

We went to North Canterbury Musical Society’s Jesus Christ Superstar and it was a fantastic performance.  I can highly recommend it and urge you to get your tickets. Be quick – I hear they’re going fast.  Tickets are available at Harrington’s Jewellers in Rangiora, at the Visitor Centre in Kaiapoi and at the Court Theatre in Christchurch.

Chess is Coming!

20 August 2009

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Funding for Performance Venue(s) Stays In

18 May 2009

The $5m (including $1m public fundraising) for a performance venue or venues has stayed in the Council’s 10-Year Long Term Council Community Plan (LTCCP) for 2013-14.

An additional amount of $50,000 for investigative work in the coming year has been substanially reduced because it was felt by a majority of councillors (and by many submitters) that much of this work has already been done in prevuous investigations.

Rangiora Town Hall

There is a strong expectation within the community that a significant amount needs to be spent on upgrading and enhancing the Rangiora Town Hall.  One of two Town Halls in the District (the other is Oxford’s – see Corners of Waimakariri in the Categories to the right), there is a lot of affection for the old lady and it is without doubt the most important performance venue that we currently have.

She is worth fighting for!

Performance Venues – All May Not Be As It seems

12 February 2009

As you may have seen in the Northern Outlook, the Council in its draft Ten Year Plan is proposing an immediate $50,000 to investigate and develop concept plans for performance venues in the District.  It has also put in, for 2013-14, $5m (including $1m of community fundraising) for venue development.

Note that 2013-14 is after the next election and after the next Ten Year Plan. It is by no means guaranteed, but the Council is obliged to act in good faith when signalling future expenditure to the community.rangiora-town-hall

 The money is not necessarily directed towards the Rangiora Town Hall.  The investigation will include other parts of the District, obviously Kaiapoi, and what is investigated in Rangiora will include Rangiora High School.

Nevertheless, it is clear to most locals that the Rangiora Town Hall is the venue that should be developed in Rangiora.  It is totally inadequate for modern productions like last year’s Les Mis by the North Canterbury Musical Society and such productions simply cannot happen in schools.  NCMS, for instance, was working in the Town Hall for two months for Les Mis.  Take it from a former Deputy Principal: no school can work around that!

Having said that, I am totally in support of developing a decent performance venue in Kaiapoi.  Quite simply, the town needs one.  If the Kaiapoi High School auditorium fits the need after an upgrade of its facilities, that would certainly be a good option.

The question is however, will the money allocated for 2013-14 be enough for two venues?

One piece of good news – the portacom proposal has gone!

Les Mis a Triumph!

10 April 2008

The North Canterbury Musical Society’s Les Misérables is a triumph! If you haven’t got your tickets yet, you might be lucky enough to find a spare seat somewhere. 

Update: Sorry Folks! – it’s all sold out!

Watch out for the next production from the NCMS.

“Les Misérables”

20 March 2008

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Tickets for the North Canterbury Musical Society’s Les Misérables are selling fast.  Be in!

They can be bought from Harringtons’ Jewellers in Rangiora, the Kaiapoi Visitor Centre (in the old station) or at the Court Theatre in Christchurch.


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