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Queenstown Memorial Hall Upgrade Project

An Invitation to Join Our All Star Cast of Supporters


Iraj Barabi

your name will take pride of place on the stainless steel ‘All Star Cast of Supporters’ wall of the enlarged Memorial Hall foyer


Introduction Queenstown Memorial Hall was built as a living memorial to remind generations to come of the values of freedom and personal expression that our soldiers fought and died for. For more than five decades, it has been the beating cultural and social heart of the Wakatipu. It has been home to everything from Anzac Day services to zumba sessions, Showbiz Queenstown and Wakatipu High School productions, Old Farts Balls and Jazz Festivals, community forums and conferences, commemorations and celebrations, and proud parents watching their prodigy’s annual ballet show. Our Hall contains great memories for many in our community, of well loved people and events and the huge breadth and depth of talent in the Wakatipu. But it is now tired, bedraggled and lacking critical resources. Our community deserves and needs a better performing arts and cultural facility. The aim of the Queenstown Memorial Hall Trust is to make the Hall a versatile, sustainable, safe and comfortable community centre venue, which continues to exist as an RSA Memorial for decades to come. Even when our community can afford a purpose-built Performance Centre, Queenstown Memorial Hall will remain a valued community facility.


Executive Summary The issues: •

lack of structural seismic safety,

a mezzanine with poor sightlines and sound quality, that reduces the Hall’s seating capacity and is difficult to fit out for community or conference events,

dangerous, heavy and uncomfortable tiered seating that no longer anchors together,

low stage roof and beams that do not accommodate modern sets, which means Queenstown has fallen off the touring show circuit,

inadequate stage wing space,

no performer access to the existing basement changing rooms,

lack of versatility for smaller performances or conference breakout rooms,

unattractive entrance and poorly operating lobby/foyer with inadequate “meet and greet” space,

inadequate or non-existent heating, cooling and ventilation systems,

bedraggled appearance,

lack of lighting and sound resources and infrastructure,

inadequate toilets,

deficient RSA Memorial focus,

lack of disabled access,

capacity shortage,

poorly operating backstage area,

substandard “public face” through inadequate signage and lack of light spill during events,

poor acoustics,

unsafe pedestrian environment outside of the Hall.

Consequences of these issues are many and serious, meaning we need to act now.


The proposed solutions: •

significant structural strengthening (to more than 67% of building code, compared to a marginal 32% at present),

remove the mezzanine,

install new comfortable, retractable, automated tiered seating,

raise the stage roof and beams to fit modern sets,

widen and declutter backstage to give wing space on both sides,

upgrade downstairs changing rooms and provide internal access to them,

install a retractable wall to partition the main hall,

extend and modernise the foyer and lobby,

install efficient heating, cooling and ventilation systems,

improve exterior presence and signage, repaint and refurbish inside and out,

improve lighting and sound infrastructure and resources,

add more toilets,

upgrade Gallipoli room, display space and RSA Memorial,

improve accessibility with stage wheelchair ramp, wheelchair lift to Gallipoli room and disabled parking,

increase capacity through removal of the mezzanine and the new tiered seating,

improve and increase safety and functionality of backstage and wings,

move signage to face the main street and include an appropriate RSA symbol,

improve acoustics,

improve pedestrian safety immediately outside,

and much more…


The benefits to our community •

a safer, more comfortable, more attractive and better resourced environment for performers, audiences and other Hall users,

increased capacity (for shows, from 294 to 412),

more and better quality tiered seating (up from 124 to 172),

return of touring shows to Queenstown,

vastly improved backstage, wings and changing rooms,

the ability to create smaller, intimate performance spaces with the retractable wall, also useful for conference breakout rooms,

ability to attract and stage a greater variety of events,

modern, attractive and functional new lobby and foyer, tripling the available “meet and greet” space,

appropriate recognition of the Hall’s RSA Memorial focus and its place in the heritage of the Wakatipu,

greater affordability for community use (more resources provided, cross subsidy from commercial use, able to hire smaller spaces at cheaper rates),

creation of a useful and attractive 150 - 400 person conference venue,

increased sustainability through more commercial use when the Hall is not in use by the community,

a more accessible venue

and much more…

The result will be increased community use and enjoyment of a better quality, safer, more versatile, sustainable and viable venue for audiences, performers, backstage crew, and conference and event organisers.


Your Opportunity Do join our All Star Cast of Supporters. This project is your opportunity to contribute positively and visibly to our community. Queenstown Memorial Hall is central to so much of what makes our community rich and vibrant – but it needs help to regain its rightful centre stage position. The Central Lakes Trust has kick-started our fundraising campaign with a $1 million grant. Queenstown Lakes District Council has committed to $300,000 in the 2012 annual plan, subject to consultation, taking its total contribution to $475,000. Showbiz Queenstown is contributing $125,000 worth of lighting and sound resources. Other donors and professionals offering pro bono work or discounted fees took the total already raised by mid December 2011 - just six weeks after our project was officially launched - to over $1.6 million. The full project is estimated to cost $3 million. So we have around $1.4 million more to raise through donations, sponsorship, contributions of labour and resources, grants and fundraising events before construction is planned to start in August 2012.


Your legacy as part of our all star cast Contribute to the cultural, social and geographical heart of our community. Every donor will have their name etched in steel on the feature wall of the extended and modernised foyer. As well as the fun of being part of this production, your investment offers you or your company a choice of opportunities:


ICONS OF OUR STAGE ($50,000 or more) Pride of place on the “Our All Star Cast of Supporters” roll of honour. Preferred hosting rights before community and, when possible, commercial events in Queenstown Memorial Hall - a wonderful leverage opportunity to get your business in front of clients. An agreed percentage of first night house seats for each commercial and community event, for you or your clients, for the five years after completion of the Hall upgrade. Acknowledgement of your contribution in every Showbiz Queenstown programme for the next decade. Social media, brochure and/or electronic media opportunities for exposure of your business to conference attendees, with the agreement of conference organisers. Preferential booking for all shows at Queenstown Memorial Hall when promoters allow. Acknowledgement in media releases of your contribution.

STELLAR PERFORMERS OR CORPORATE STARS ($20,000-$49,999) Second in line on the “Our All Star Cast of Supporters” roll of honour. Six free seats for every Showbiz Queenstown opening night for the five years after completion of the Hall upgrade. Acknowledgement of your contribution in every Showbiz Queenstown programme for the next decade. Social media, brochure and/or electronic media opportunities for exposure of your business to conference attendees, with the agreement of conference organisers. Preferential booking for all shows at Queenstown Memorial Hall when promoters allow. Acknowledgement in media releases of your contribution.


LEADING LIGHTS ($10,000-$19,999) Third in line on the “Our All Star Cast of Supporters” roll of honour. Four free seats for every Showbiz Queenstown opening night for the five years after completion of the Hall upgrade. Social media, brochure and/or electronic media opportunities for exposure of your business to conference attendees, with the agreement of conference organisers. Preferential booking for all shows at Queenstown Memorial Hall when promoters allow. Acknowledgement in media releases of your contribution.

SUPPORTING ACTORS ($5000-$9999) Fourth in line on the “Our Star Cast of Supporters” roll of honour. Two free seats for every Showbiz Queenstown opening night for the five years after completion of the Hall upgrade. Preferential booking for all shows at Queenstown Memorial Hall when promoters allow. Acknowledgement in media releases of your contribution.

ESSENTIAL BACKSTAGE CREW ($1000-$4999) Next in line on the “Our Star Cast of Supporters” roll of honour. Preferential booking for all shows at Queenstown Memorial Hall when promoters allow. Acknowledgement in media releases of your contribution.

AND THOSE WE COULDN’T DO WITHOUT ($500-$999) Your name on the “Our Star Cast of Supporters” roll of honour. Preferential booking for all shows at Queenstown Memorial Hall when promoters allow.


The Small Print Donations to the Queenstown Memorial Hall Trust upgrade project will qualify for a tax rebate. For companies, this is 30% in the dollar, for individuals 30 to 33% and for trusts 33% - up to the annual net income of the donor. A tax rebate receipt will be given on provision of an address. An invoice can also be provided if required. If you would like to make a donation by direct credit, please do so to the Queenstown Memorial Hall Trust account at SBS Queenstown: 0313550701863-00. Please put your name as the reference. By sending your full name, address and the date and amount of your donation to us at memorialhalltrust@qldc.govt.nz , you will be assured of getting your receipt and your name on the “All Star Cast of Supporters” donors’ wall. Cheques can also be given to the Trust via Queenstown Lakes District Council’s reception desk in the Gorge Road office, where a receipt will be given for tax rebate purposes. Pledged donations can be made in quarterly payments, by arrangement. To so arrange, please contact us through the e-mail address above.

Further Information If you would like to know more about the Queenstown Memorial Hall Trust or the upgrade project, please visit our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/QtMemorialHallTrust), follow the link on the Queenstown Lakes District Council website or contact trust chair Cath Gilmour (cath.gilmour@qldc.govt.nz).


In summary‌ A central place where people can gather to celebrate, commemorate, perform and create magical memories is essential to the health of a community. Queenstown Memorial Hall is this place for Queenstown. Please do join our band of supporters. An upgraded Queenstown Memorial Hall will be a place we can all have fun, watch our children endeavour and excel, commemorate lives well lived and those cut short in the service of our country, experience culture of all kinds, see businesses prosper, learn new skills, stretch our minds and bodies, come together as a community and celebrate the wonderful place we are lucky enough to call home. Join the cast today.

Cath Gilmour Queenstown Memorial Hall Trust chair



Queenstown Memorial Hall Trust