History & heritage  |  2 Sep 2019

Snap into action for the Beca Christchurch Heritage Festival 2019 by sharing your photos to help create a picture of the city’s history.

This year’s festival theme is “Encounter Our Stories”.

See the full festival programme.

People can submit their images for the Photo Hunt contest throughout October, with images uploaded to the Discovery Wall in the central library, Tūranga.

Council Head of Urban Design, Regeneration and Heritage Carolyn Ingles says the Beca Christchurch Heritage Festival offers a portal to the past.

“With so many events on offer – and many being free – it is an amazing opportunity to explore our local history and heritage places,” Ms Ingles says.

“The Heritage Festival is one of the city’s popular annual festivals. By opening so many doors and sharing these remarkable local stories, we can learn about the history of the people who have made this place home and help bring to life ‘our’ stories for new generations.”

Among this year’s Heritage Festival highlights is “Postcards from the Past”.

Archaeologists and historians have discovered a treasure trove of material from many sites during the city’s rebuild, and those stories of daily life can be “encountered” at central city cafes.

Festival-goers will also have a rare opportunity to learn about the repair and restoration of stone and stained-glass heritage items as part of the project to reinstate Christ Church Cathedral.

A stonemason and stained-glass window craftsman will share their skills and knowledge during public demonstrations from Wednesday, 23 October to Friday, 25 October in Cathedral Square.

People can also book to go behind the cathedral’s construction fences and learn about the reinstatement work.

Meanwhile, several Spirited Cemetery Tours offer the opportunity to discover the final resting places of some of Canterbury’s most famous historic figures.

For those interested in their own family’s history, the Family History Fun Day at Tūranga on Saturday, 12 October is just one of the opportunities on offer to help people find fresh leads to grow family trees.

Meanwhile, people can step into the past on the Christchurch Heritage House Tour on Sunday, 20 October. Grab a ticket for the self-guided tour that unlocks the doors to six heritage homes, including Ngaio Marsh House.

For those who love a day out, head to Banks Peninsula for the Akaroa FrenchFest from the 11 to 13 October and the Orton Bradley Park Spring Fair on Sunday, 27 October.

The Selwyn District continues to be part of the Heritage Festival, with the Hororata Parish Spring Fair rounding off the programme on Labour Day.

For more information on the Beca Christchurch Heritage Festival, which runs from 7 to 28 October, check out the online programme or pick up a guide from local libraries, service centres or cafes.