The Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust (the Appeal Trust) was launched by the Prime Minister on 27 February 2011. With other earthquake relief funds meeting the immediate needs of individuals, the Appeal Trust focussed on rebuilding the features at the heart of Christchurch communities, the places and services that make a city worth living in. 

A total of $20.82 million has been allocated to heritage/culture projects including:

  • Christchurch Arts Centre – $14.2 million to be used towards the rebuild and restoration of the Clock Tower and the Great Hall.  The Arts Centre Trust’s vision is to create a vibrant hub for arts, culture and education
  • Court Theatre – $2.5 million towards the new temporary theatre in Addington, The Shed, which opened on 7 December 2011
  • Isaac Theatre Royal – $2.5 million towards its re-opening in November 2014
  • Canterbury Cultural Collections Recovery Centre, Air Force Museum, Wigram – $1.5 million  to support community cultural institutions displaced by the earthquakes providing for the conservation, storage and recovery of heritage and cultural collections
  • Music Centre of Christchurch – $2.5 million towards a new Centre which will include a 300-350 seat concert hall; two 100 seat concert spaces; arts administration spaces; teaching studios; exam and rehearsal spaces
  • Christchurch Symphony Orchestra – up to $1.25 million to help CSO establish a permanent rehearsal and administrative space to replace its venue lost in the earthquakes.

A number of further arts and culture projects have received funding from the Vodafone Foundation Canterbury Fund which is 50/50 funded by the Vodafone Foundation and the Appeal Trust.

In March 2014 the Lottery Significant Projects Fund made a grant of $6 million to the Theatre Royal Charitable Foundation to aid the reconstruction of the Isaac Theatre Royal.

Creative New Zealand is the national arts development agency supporting artists and artistic content/product.  Of its two staff members based in Christchurch, one is specifically dedicated to assisting with earthquake recovery for the arts and co-ordinating streams of advice.   Through its Earthquake Recovery Grants, CNZ has dedicated funding for the recovery of the greater Christchurch arts sector.  To date it has provided over $2,093,634 in earthquake recovery grants. CNZ is committed to continuing the Fund through to the 2017/18 financial year.

Concrete Propositions; image courtesy of Gap Filler

Concrete Propositions
Source: image courtesy of Gap Filler

CNZ also provides advice and logistical support to artists, organisations and projects. It introduced a targeted plan to address capability building issues in Christchurch for some organisations and will continue to assess needs and support where it is able. 

In addition to its Recovery Grants, CNZ has also continued its ongoing support to Canterbury artists and organisations through its other funding streams. The following amounts quoted cover three financial years – 2011/12 – 2013/14:

Investment Programmes

Funding for continuous programmes of activity and ongoing infrastructure:Toi Uru Kahikatea (Arts Development) and Toi Tōtara Haemata (Arts Leadership).  Investment clients in Christchurch include the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra (CSO), Physics Room, Court Theatre, Arts on Tour, Christchurch Arts Festival, Arts and Industry Biennial Trust (SCAPE) and the Christchurch Book Festival Trust.  CNZ has provided $7,350,541 to Christchurch clients through its investment programmes.

Project funding

Provided through CNZ’s Arts Grants and Quick Response grants: since June 2011 grants have been made worth a total of $897,159.

Community Arts

Provided through the Creative Communities Scheme devolved to the CCC: the Community Arts Development Fund (CADF) is a special one-off fund provided by CNZ to the CCC.  The aim of the fund is to strengthen arts networks and support organisations and local professional artists to build skills and connections, undertake special research projects and develop community-based arts opportunities. In the last three financial years $736,353 has been allocated.

Capability Building Programme

This is in addition to its standard ongoing capability building programme for its investment clients: in 2014 CNZ introduced a targeted plan to address capability building issues in Christchurch.   $50,000 was allocated in 2013/14 for a series of bespoke interventions to ten Christchurch arts organisations

One-off Funding

In its 2013/14 budget CNZ allocated an additional one-off amount of $1 million towards Christchurch initiatives to support: the completion of ArtBox and BeatBox; matched funding for the CSO (to be delivered by the CCC); additional funding for community arts and a subsidy for the hire of the VBASE Arena for certain performing arts events.  CNZ has committed to further funding of $800,000 per annum for targeted initiatives up to 2018.

Since late 2010 the Christchurch City Council’s recovery initiatives have provided new, responsive and flexible support for experimental, emerging and established creative initiatives.  This support has included facilitation, advice, new cultural infrastructure around interim use, the establishment of two new funds which continue to evolve in response to changing needs, and complementary public works. In these projects CCC is supporting opportunities to integrate the Ngāi Tahu narrative, a commitment made in the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan. 

Fabriko: A successful Creative Industries Support Fund recipient The Fabriko Makercrate being installed on the Pallet Pavilion site

Fabriko: A successful Creative Industries Support Fund recipient The Fabriko Makercrate being installed on the Pallet Pavilion site; image courtesy of Carl Pavletich

The recovery initiatives are:

Creative Industries Support Fund (CISF) (launched in 2012)

CISF focuses on retaining the central city's creative talent and integrating the creative sector into the rebuild and recovery of the central city.  This funding model is designed as a fully integrated approach between urban regeneration and the economic development opportunities for the creative industries.  The ventures funded to date represent a broad cross-section of organisations and professional disciplines.  This has resulted in a number of vibrant creative business and arts hubs returning to the central city and actively demonstrating innovations in creative entrepreneurship, creative social enterprise models and financially viable collaborations across industries.  $820,000 has been allocated through the fund over the 2012/13 and 2013/14 financial years. $308,220 is allocated for the 2014/15 financial year.

Transitional City Projects Fund (launched in 2012)

The aim of this fund is to encourage the temporary use of vacant space for public benefit.  $100,000 has been made available for central city projects in 2013-14, with $145,000 granted in the previous financial year.  The fund supports a wide range of temporary vacant space projects led by individuals, groups and businesses and includes temporary artworks, installations, structures, gardens, events and festivals.  Projects require a partnership approach which has fostered new dialogue between artists, community groups and business.  The fund’s coverage continues to evolve and now includes recovering commercial centres as well as the central city.

Transitional City Work Programme (launched in July 2012)

This is a new programme of temporary public realm projects to support the recovery by testing ideas and commitments made in the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan. Investment in this programme has meant high-profile opportunities for artists in temporary public realm projects, including streetscapes and Cathedral Square.


The awesome team at Exchange Christchurch: A successful Creative Industries Support Fund recipient. XCHC provides affordable production and showcase space to emerging businesses in the creative industries.

Gap Filler, Greening the Rubble and Life in Vacant Spaces

CCC has awarded $780,000 funding support for these initiatives (between 2010 and 2014).

Events Production

In the 2013/14 financial year expenditure on projects from the CCC Events Production Team totalled $186,000: Summertimes $104,000, KidsFest $25,000 and $57,000 for other events.  During NZ IceFest 2014/15 CCC Events Production will spend approximately $170,000 on artists, musicians and designers.

Ever-Evolving Events

In 2012 the Events Production Team created a new partnership delivery model to provide opportunities for testing new events and cultural programming.

Strengthening Communities Fund and Discretionary Response Fund

Arts programmes and organisations received approximately $935,000 through this fund in the 2013/14 financial year. 

Updated on 23rd July 2015