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Pōkarekare Ana turns 100 and launches this year’s CubaDupa

Mar 11th, 2016 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

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CUBA STREET: One of Wellington’s iconic Cuba Street signs. IMAGE: Emma Moody.

Pōkarekare Ana’s 100th birthday this year will be celebrated in the opening act of Wellington’s second annual CubaDupa street festival on March 19.

The Royal New Zealand Air Force will lead the ballad from Upper Cuba Street to Swan Lane and anyone is welcome to join the mass choir.

The Air Force band link is a coup for CubaDupa because later this year Pōkarekare Ana will be gifted to the band by the whānau and iwi of creator, Paraire Tomoana.

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MARKETING MANAGER: CubaDupa’s marketing manager Brianne Kerr. IMAGE: Emma Moody

Brianne Kerr, CubaDupa’s marketing manager, says the festival is a celebration of Cuba Street and Wellingtonians being the heart of the city.

“After the Christchurch earthquakes, I thought about what would be Wellington’s version of the cathedral, obviously it would be the Beehive, but it would also be the bucket fountain.

“The bucket fountain is the heart of Cuba Street, and Cuba Street is the heart of Wellington, so I guess you could say the Bucket Fountain is the mana of the city,” she says.

Ms Kerr, who has also been involved in the organisation of Fringe Festival, says there are about 110 local and international acts involved in CubaDupa.

The selection process of the acts started with an open registration where anyone who wanted to could apply to perform, have a stall or an interactive booth at the festival.

Ms Kerr and her team then had to pick and choose what acts they wanted to include.

“Our artistic director Drew James travels all around the world and really has his finger on the pulse of what international acts he wants to bring into New Zealand,” she says.

One of the international acts is a French sculptor Elparo, who in the three days leading up to CubaDupa, will create a one-of-a-kind, recycled wood sculpture in Te Aro Park.

Elparo’s sculpture will represent the importance of Te Aro Park to local Iwi.

Along with the international acts, there are local Wellington acts which will add to the atmosphere and celebration of Cuba Street.

There is no wet weather contingent for CubaDupa but if the bad weather does set in, the plan is to go indoors where possible.

“There was a touch of bad weather on the Saturday last year and it didn’t really bother Wellingtonians at all.

“The show goes on,” Ms Kerr says.

CubaDupa starts midday Saturday March 19 and runs to 5pm Sunday 20, with road closures on Cuba Street (from Karo Drive down to Wakefield Street), Kensington Street, Footscray Avenue, Kelvin Grove, Abel Smith Street, Wigan Street, Dunlop Terrace, Bute Street, Marion Street, Swan Lane, Garrett Street, Furness Lane, Ghuznee Street (Victoria St to Taranaki St), Leeds St, Inglewood Place, Eva Street, Dixon Street (Victoria St to Taranaki St), Christeson Lane and Lukes Lane.

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ELPARO’S CANVAS: Te Aro Park, the site of French artist Elparo’s recycled wood sculpture. IMAGE: Emma Moody

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