After hearing great reviews for the last few years from friends and family about “Creation Fest” I was keen to go this year. The Festival is held annually in Rotorua and celebrates creativity with several sections for textile creations, performance and short film section as well. This year the date clashed with TEDx Tauranga held at ASB Arena. As my husband and I were on the organising committee for TEDx Tauranga I will have to wait until next year to attend “Creation Fest”.

Trish Strongman from Mount Maunganui won 2nd prize in the Metal Mania section of “Creation Fest” and the youth section saw a place for a Tauranga Girls’ College student. Photos I saw in the Rotorua Daily Post looked amazing and Sir Peter Jackson has announced he will be involved with the Short Film Section in 2015.

TEDx Tauranga

As part of the organising committee I won’t review TEDx Tauranga except to say it was a sell-out, with over 500 people attending. I can however review the entertainment as I had not seen the acts that performed until the day of the event.

First on stage was Calista. What a start, with a belt out bluesy number, followed by some great current pop songs and she finished with the theme from Funny Girl. A great future ahead for her with her wide vocal range as she has stated she would like to be a Broadway performer. Calista is 15 and was a semi-finalist in N.Z.’s Got Talent 2013.

Later in the evening Alice Sea and Aaron Saxon took to the stage. I had seen Aaron play at a couple of jazz festivals with his band and loved his cool funky style. His world music style with Alice Sea is so different but still totally cool. They both play guitar and sing but Alice adds her own unique style by playing an array of different instruments including a snail didgeridoo !! Their original songs and musicality got the crowd clapping and toe tapping until some of the crowd rose to their feet and spontaneous dancing erupted. Alice’s upbeat personality comes through in her performance and Aaron is the anchor with his brilliant guitar playing. I hope we get to see them playing gigs around Tauranga as they travel regularly to play in Australia.

Behind the performers and on the stage were contributions from some of our amazing young creative people here in Tauranga and Mount Maunganui.

The stage set design was by Benjamin Parkinson, a local graphic designer who also drew a graphic design freehand on the backdrop and designed the red perspex X sign made by George Wilkins. George is the Tauranga based partner of design firm, George and Willy, www.georgeandwilly.com, who design and make furniture and other items. They also provided two of their Project Trestle desks to display the free goodies in the break-out space.

The lamp was provided by Y.S Collective, www.yscollective.com, three guys based at Mount Maunganui designing furniture and lighting. The distinctive lamp was the “Tall Fellow Lamp” that they make.

Benjamin got the stage all set and then used one of his other talents to take photographs during the whole event. Multi-talented and a super nice guy too.


I always love a good book fair for a rummage and to go home with books I don’t need, but will read one day, or a book I have been searching for, for ages. Take a sturdy bag with you as holding on to a pile of books can get heavy until you reach the checkout ( or take a carrier person with you ). Reward them afterwards with coffee and cake! The latest one I attended was the Red Cross Book Fair. Upstairs there were hundreds of books on every subject and downstairs in the basement $1.00 books and puzzles. My son collects NZ art books so I’m always looking for those and my husband can’t go past the DIY and design books. We even went to the market at Greerton Hall and got some lovely potted colour to brighten up the winter garden.

We have a great circuit of book fairs in Tauranga. Easter sees the huge Rotary Book Fair held at Mount Maunganui, still going strong after 27 years, the Lions Club Book Fair at Bethlehem Town Centre which is usually at beginning of November and coming up is the Otumoetai College Book Fair at the beginning of August. You get to meet members of the local community, donate to a good cause and get a bargain at the same time. There are usually a number of other charity book fairs during the year for various organisations that are advertised in our local newspapers. But if you are travelling around there is even a website for national dates and venues, on the Chocs Books website.


This year National Poetry Day is Friday 22nd August. To celebrate this there are a number of events around Tauranga you can attend:

Tauranga Art Gallery is hosting ‘A night of poetry with Leon Gray on the piano’. Cash bar and book at the Gallery.        Thursday 21st August from 6 p.m. Cost is $10.00

Caught in the Act’ Expect the Unexpected! at Mauao Performing Arts Centre, 11 Totara Street, Mount Maunganui. Words, music & song.     Friday 22nd August, 6.30 p.m. for 7.00 p.m. start.

FREE ADMISSION! Bar and snacks available.

High Tea and Poetry   at the historic Athenree Homestead, Katikati. ( just off the main highway, heading to Athenree on the left hand side)

Saturday, 23rd August at 2 p.m. Devonshire Tea served.

Tickets $12.50 available at ‘Flowers on Main’ in Katikati. Enquiries Ph 07 5771753


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