Stage Challenge replacement found with $800k grant

By Jessica Tyson

RockQuest Promotions has been announced the host of a new performing arts event which will replace Stage Challenge.

Stage Challenge started in 1992 but was scrapped in January after its organisers couldn’t keep up with the costs involved.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins says he “couldn’t stand by and let these events disappear” so pledged support for a new event, funded by a one-off grant of $800,000.

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

Hipkins says 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,” says Hipkins.

The events, which have yet to be named, will enable year one 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 will cover 2018 while the ministry develops a long-term solution.