Polyfest brings joy to audiences from afar

Masters of ceremonies (from left) Hana Davis (13), Kheelan Thompson-Tonga (18) and Sakaria Peseta (17) introduce schools' online performances for Polyfest 2021 this week.

NORE than 70 cultural performances from schools throughout the Southland and Central Lakes region were streamed online this week as a part of Miharo Murihiku Polyfest 2021.

The livestream ran from about 10am-2.30pm over three days.

Programme and events manager Tania Carran said production, staff members and the masters of ceremonies counted down the clock as Murihiku Polyfest’s livestream began on Monday morning.

“There was some nerves on whether it would all go all right but it started off amazing and I couldn’t be happier,” Mrs Carran said.

They worked alongside Strawberry Sound and Nga Kete Matauranga Pounamu Charitable Trust to present the programme to online audiences.

It was important to hold the event as it was a way to celebrate culture and make it accessible to others, she said.

“It makes us feel good and happy in a time when Covid-19 has been hard for everyone.

“So it’s good to be proud of our cultures and to bring joy.”

She recognised the effort schools had put in to take part in the event.

“We value what the schools have done and all the work they have put into their videos.

“We know it has been a hard time with Covid-19 and term four is a busy time but we appreciate all the effort.”

This year’s Polyfest masters of ceremonies were Invercargill’s Hana Davis (13), Kheelan Thompson-Tonga (18) and Sakaria Peseta (17).

“It’s been awesome to be a part of something which unites people and allows us to see different and diverse cultures,” Hana said.