Replacement found for Stage Challenge

Mount Maunganui College won second place in the 2017 Stage Challenge: Photo: Dean Cohen.

Hundreds of young musicians and performers will get their first shot at stardom at new school arts events later this year, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today.

Mr Hipkins pledged support for a new event after the organiser of Stage Challenge and J Rock said they could no longer continue.

“I am delighted to announce that RockQuest Promotions Ltd (Rockquest) will run the events this year,” Mr Hipkins said.

“I couldn’t stand by and let these events disappear.

“They are a great opportunity for young people to affirm and celebrate their culture and identity, be creative, and increase their confidence and leadership.”

Mr Hipkins said the Ministry of Education ran a tender process and received a range of good proposals.

“Rockquest has a great track-record of delivering successful, large scale performance events for all ages and cultures and already has strong relationships with schools.”

The events, which have yet to be named, will enable Year 1 to 13 students to engage in music, drama and dance in their local communities. Successful performers will be offered the opportunity to perform in a national show.

The contract with Rockquest is for this year, funded by a one-off grant of $800,000 while the Ministry develops a longer term solution.