History & heritage, Things to do  |  30 Sep 2021

From cemetery cycle tours to exhibitions and Irish melodies, the upcoming Christchurch Heritage Festival has many highlights.

The theme of this year’s Heritage Festival which runs from 9 to 25 October is “People and Place – our stories revealed.”

Christchurch City Council Head of Urban Design, Regeneration and Heritage Carolyn Ingles says the popular annual festival offers a window onto the past.

“We have many and diverse stories in Christchurch, from Ngāi Tahu and other iwi, European settlers, Pasifika and people of multiple ethnic and cultural backgrounds who have made their homes here and whose stories link us to this place.

“With all the events happening – many of them free – the festival offers people a wonderful opportunity to come together, celebrate their unique histories and bring the past to life for new generations.”

Open days, walking tours, workshops, talks, exhibitions and cultural performances are some of what’s in the programme.  

Discover Pasifika heritage in Canterbury at Canterbury Museum through artefacts, talks and discussion on 21 – 22 October. See rarely-seen Pasifika treasures from all over Te Moana Nui a Kiwa (the Pacific Ocean) that tell of journeys, resilience and innovation.

An exhibition at Te Hononga Civic Offices reveals the hardships, challenges and   achievements of the first Polish immigrants to Christchurch - four families who arrived in 1872.

Traditional melodies played on an Irish harp celebrate the order of nuns who built the Rose Historic Chapel on Colombo Street and the Irish roots of many who were educated on the site over its 80-year history.

Those who enjoy physical activity can jump on a bike for a tour of historic Christchurch cemeteries on 14 October. Or find some garden inspiration with a guided walk of the demonstration fruit and vegetable gardens at the historic Curator’s House. Tours every 15 minutes from 10am on 16 October.

Meet the artists and hear the stories behind the Arts Centre’s new Ngā Whāriki Manaaki Woven Mats of Welcome. This event takes place in the 1st floor Studio at the Arts Centre, 6-7pm on 20 October.

Share your photos to help create a picture of the city’s history. People can submit their images for the Photo Hunt contest throughout October, with images uploaded to the Discovery Wall in Tūranga.

For event details check out the programme at Christchurch Heritage Festival