The Wanganui Competitions Society Inc was founded in 1912, after a call for a competition society in Wanganui. The first competition was in 1921, after the completion of the Opera House expansion, and the first few festivals ran for up to ten days, with over 1000 entrants. We have been running festivals annually ever since. In 2022, the committee and members voted at the AGM that it was in the best interest of the society to trade as Whanganui Performing Arts.
The Society runs festivals biannually for dance, including ballet, jazz, modern dance, and tap. Speech and drama competitions, along with vocal and instrumental competitions, are held once a year. Historically, the Society also held classes for Highland dancing, jump rope, poi, canoe, elocution, and other art forms. The festivals provide an opportunity for children and youth to develop valuable life skills. Along with public speaking and confidence, performers learn self-presentation, diligence, cooperation, and anxiety management, all within a safe and supportive learning environment.
The mission of the Society is to advance education by promoting, encouraging and fostering the continuation of young people in the performing arts through the study of Dance, Music, Speech and Drama, or any other subject selected by the Executive Council. Each year the society nominate performers to represent Whanganui at the Performing Arts Competitions Association of New Zealand (PACANZ) National Award competition. Competitors from the Whanganui have gone on to perform and compete nationally and internationally, with many taking their passion for performing arts into adulthood.
The WPA look forward to our 110th anniversary centennial festival in 2022, and hope to see many faces, old and new, joining us for a week of celebrations, including public concerts in the evenings. If you would like more information regarding our 110th, please email our secretary.
In 2022 Whanganui Performing Arts Academy. This will offer an academy of performing arts to a select number of students. Classes will include Musical Theatre, Drama and Stagecraft. Students will perform in showcases, participate in workshops and compete on behalf of Whanganui at local, regional and national events.
Images courtesy of Papers Past and the National Library of New Zealand & Personal submissions to the society
wcs committee 2022
HAYLEY SELLARS - PRESIDENT LAUREN ASHTON - 1ST VICE PRESIDENT STACEY HAYES - 2ND VICE PRESIDENT (on leave) MEGAN HARTLEY - TREASURER LISA SWINBANKS - SECRETARY KIRSTEN KJOSS - COMMITTEE MEMBER (on leave) PETER FRASER - COMMITTEE MEMBER SAMANTHA HIRST - COMMITTEE MEMBER KATTE JOHNSTON - COMMITTEE MEMBER kellie benefield - committee member PAT WILLIAMS - Wpa LIFE MEMBER EILEEN BENNETT - Wpa LIFE MEMBER JIM ENNIS- Wpa PATRON
Our festivals are proudly supported by
Wanganui Competitions society Inc is a not for profit organisation and registered charity. You can see our Charity status Here