A Brief history of the founding years.

During 2002, a vision driven by David F. Sell, was instigated to form an organisation to promote the arts in Canterbury.
With many letters both snail-mail and by email he and Marie Rusbatch-Dawson brought together all the Community Arts Council representatives, funding bodies and notable artists to an exploratory meeting held in Ashburton. From this it was agreed that there was an obvious need to promote the arts fraternity. A working party was formed to set policies and structures and to seek funding.
It was formatted and agreed at forums and meetings that were held in many Canterbury districts that, initially, the visual arts produced by artists and displayed by galleries would form the basis of a website which would lead to a published arts guide similar to Nelson and Otago.
It was envisaged that Arts Canterbury would, in the future, also include other art forms such as film, music, dance etc.
Cottrell Law were appointed to create the constitution and other legal requirements.


A logo was developed and, as one of our founding members Geoff Cloake pointed out, the image needed to catch attention immediately and let the viewer know what the organisation is all about.
The Community trust made a $10,000 grant to create the logo and help with the development of the website, which went live in 2003
Other funding was sought successfully to run an office, paid administrator and employment of a project manager.

Guide Book

What was initially to be called The Canterbury Regional Arts Guide, would be created from the website and then published from that in printed form. Other art forms such as film, dance and music were to come on-board at a later date and be distributed on, CD, DVD, video and audio cassette.

The first guide book was published in December 2007 and retailed at $34.95 selling over $30,000 worth during it's first year through galleries, Whitcoulls, PaperPlus, Canterbury University Bookshop and other retailers and by direct sales via the website. It continued to sell well until the earthquakes in 2010/2011 which as a result, with many artists and galleries having either relocated or closed-down, it was decided in 2012 a new guide book was needed. This was to be free to the public and at no extra cost to Arts Canterbury members.
Our current Administrator took this in hand and the first annual DLE 72-page Art Guide was published in 2013.

Bill Hainstock 23/8/2017

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