Publish date: 30/10/2017

An event that raises almost $18,000 for the local school in a matter of days doesn’t come together on its own – just ask Pegasus Bay Art Show organiser Mandy Palmer.

Run over two days and one evening in October, the Pegasus Bay Art Show exhibits and sells artworks from Canterbury-based artists, with 25% commission from the art sales going to Pegasus Bay School. Run in conjunction with the Pegasus Bay School PTA and Waikuku Artists Inc, the event made $9,400 for the school in 2017, adding to the $8,800 from the inaugural event in 2016.

Mandy says the main challenges in setting up such an event included getting a range of artists on board, sourcing and coordinating a team of volunteer helpers and widely promoting the event.

“Promoting it so that people realised it was a professional art show - not just the art of Pegasus Bay School children on show – was always going to be a challenge,” says Mandy. With the need for a budget that would enable widespread marketing, Mandy applied for Waimakariri Event Funding. This contestable event fund is provided by the Waimakariri District Council, managed by Enterprise North Canterbury and administered by Visit Waimakariri.

“Someone suggested we apply for the Waimakariri Event Fund,” explains Mandy. “I found the application process to be great. Sarah Waldron at Visit Waimakariri is very approachable if you are unsure of anything, and it was easy to supply the relevant information.”

Mandy’s 2016 application for $3,500 was successful. “We were absolutely thrilled to receive funding,” she says. “Without it we would have been unable to spend as much on advertising; something that is vital for a show like this in its early years.”

Mandy submitted another successful funding application in 2017, which helped promote an event which saw more art sales and, subsequently, more commission than the previous year. This year’s event attracted around 1,000 visitors, 13% of whom had never previously been to Pegasus.

“We hope as the years go on our reputation for being a well-run art show with a wide range of high calibre artwork on offer will make people keen to put it on their calendar as a must-see event!”

The Waimakariri Event Fund is allocated to support events that clearly demonstrate economic and/or community benefit to the Waimakariri District. The closing date for the funding rounds are March 31st and August 31st each year. For more information, guidelines, previously funded events and an application form visit  

Pictured from L-R: Paula Van Meer, Mandy Palmer, Jan Campbell and Rosie Coster; the 2017 Pegasus Bay Art Show Organising Committee. Photo thanks to Essence Magazine.