Stage Challenge hopes rekindled

The Government has promised to step in so that the popular J Rock and Stage Challenge competitions, which thousands of school children take part in annually, can continue.

Last month organisers announced that the events had been axed because they were not economically viable. J Rock and Stage Challenge events were held at more than 10 venues nationwide, with local primary schools and colleges taking part in Auckland. The Stage Challenge Foundation has run the professionally staged events annually since 1992, with support from the Ministry of Education.

On February 5, Education Minister Chris Hipkins pledged to provide new opportunities for children and young people to engage in events that promote music, drama and dance.

“Regional and national activities of this sort are too important to lose,” Mr Hipkins said.

He says while the Stage Challenge brand itself is licenced and cannot be replicated, he is inviting potential providers to put forward expressions of interest to run national and regional opportunities for students to showcase their skills. He says that the Ministry has already allocated $267,000 for this purpose for each of the next two years.

“I have asked officials to free up more funding for the activity this year to increase the chance of it continuing,”


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