Appointment of new Artistic Director for Te Ahurei Toi o Tāmaki Auckland Arts Festival
Published: Friday 1 December, 2023
The Auckland Festival Trust announces the appointment of their new Artistic Director Kaitohu Toi, Bernie Haldane. Bernie will take up the position from January 2024 and will lead the artistic programming for the 2025, 2026, 2027 and 2028 Festivals. The 2024 Festival is the fourth and final Festival programmed by Artistic Director Shona McCullagh.
Board Chair, John Judge, says that when making the appointment they were looking for someone who was in touch with the changing face of demand for arts experiences in New Zealand’s largest and most diverse city.
“Bernie has extensive experience both nationally and internationally across multiple art forms which have reached and connected with many different communities of Auckland. The Board looks forward to working with Bernie, implementing her creative ideas, and continuing to evolve our city’s globally recognised celebration of the arts.”
Bernie has been at Auckland Live - the largest performing arts centre model in the country, and kaitiaki (custodian) for 11 iconic Auckland venues, since 2015 - most recently as Creative Director. A devoted advocate for the live performance and arts sector in both Australia and Aotearoa, she has previously held roles as Director of Presenter Services at Arts Centre Melbourne (Victoria, Australia) and as the Chief Executive of HotHouse Theatre (Albury Wodonga, Australia). Bernie is an active participant in various industry groups in Australia and New Zealand, particularly those focused on national and international touring, driven by her commitment to helping artists prolong the life of their work.
Bernie brings a wealth of experience across many facets of the performing arts and events industry including the development of new presenting partner relationships, connection with new audiences and the commissioning and development of work from the artists of Aotearoa.
“I'm thrilled to assume the role of Artistic Director Kaitohu Toi for Te Ahurei Toi o Tāmaki Auckland Arts Festival, an opportunity to foster connections between artists and audiences, crafting experiences that intrigue the curious and adventurous. The Festival has been an exhilarating creative catalyst for Tāmaki Makaurau, and I'm eager to expand upon past festival programmes, infusing energy into a city and a creative sector that I deeply care about.”
As the Board and organisation continues work on presenting the 2024 Festival, they wish to acknowledge the hard work and dedication from Shona who has led the programming of another stellar line-up of international and local artists for the city to enjoy in March.