© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2021

Inaugural light show surpasses expectations

Carmina Blewett
Nikki Carroll
Vietnamese lanterns
A chandelier of Vietnamese lanterns at Lumiere d'Akaroa on Saturday, May 18.  Carmina Blewett

Lumiere d'Akaroa attracted triple the expected numbers on Saturday night to the Banks Peninsula township.

The free, family-focused event was held in the Garden of Tane, and featured installments from local artists, as well as live music and food trucks.

Art installments included work from local school students and members of Akaroa Playcentre.

Akaroa Area School Principal Raymond Bygate, leading his band Ray and the Forest Friends, and local teacher Denis Brittenden, were two of the music acts that performed during the evening.

Akaroa District Promotions executive officer Hollie Hollander said about 1500 visitors walked through the historic reserve's gates, surpassing anticipated numbers.

People followed trails of light along the paths to various mini exhibitions spread throughout the garden from 6pm until 10pm. 

Akaroa Museum director Lynda Wallace said this event was the brainchild of four local residents, who were inspired by an episode of New Zealand reality programme, Design Junkies, which featured up-cycled light installations.

Lumiere d'Akaroa was hosted by the Akaroa District Promotions and the Garden of Tane committee, with support from sponsors and local businesses, including Christchurch City Council.

Lighting and sound effects were coordinated and installed by local Christchurch business Electrotech Services (ETS) who are regularly contracted by the city council for events such as Botanic D'Lights.

Hollander said the aim of the light festival was to profile the Garden of Tane whilst "creating a night community event".

Both Wallace and Hollander hope to see Lumiere d'Akaroa become an annual event.

Akaroa Playcentre fairyland. Nikki Carroll