The Albert-Eden Schools Cultural Festival has received a national Outstanding Event Award from the New Zealand Recreation Association at its awards ceremony on Thursday 9 November.

Now in its tenth year of partnership between YMCA and the Albert-Eden Local Board, the festival attracts 20 schools from the local area who perform dance and musical routines celebrating Auckland’s ethnic diversity and multiculturalism.

Attendance and participation in the festival has grown year-on-year as the result of the partnership agreement, and in 2016 the festival attracted a record 8,000 attendees and 1,700 performers ranging in age from 5 to 15.

The New Zealand Recreation Association (NZRA) commended the festival’s success in engaging local children in recreational activities within a cultural context, along with the festival’s sustainability and levels of community engagement.

Albert-Eden Local Board Chairperson Dr Peter Haynes says the award recognises the extraordinary dedication of the YMCA staff and volunteers to making the festival such a success.

“It’s a signature event for the Local Board area and we’ve been extremely lucky to have the YMCA running it.

“The performances are always amazing to watch, and the pride displayed in our diverse cultures is heart-warming.”

The festival is the largest of its kind in the Mt Albert area, and in 2015 was rated in the top 5 events across Auckland for overall public satisfaction. Last year’s participants included Kapa Haka, Indian, Tongan, Japanese and Samoan performers who all took to the stage with routines celebrating Auckland’s diverse cultures.  

This year’s festival will be held on Saturday 25 November at Mt Albert’s Rocket Park. Twenty schools and 1700 primary school students will deliver more than 60 performances across the day. The festival is open from 9:30am to 3pm and includes food stalls, markets and activities from a number of local community and health groups. 

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YMCA recipient of other NZRA awards
YMCA also received two other awards at the NZRA ceremony:

  •  Outstanding Community Recreation Programme merit award for YMCA's Jumpstart diabetes lifestyle and education programme
  • Outstanding Facility merit award to Mt Albert Community and Leisure Centre managed by YMCA