The free Grow Ōtautahi garden festival has been postponed until 2023.
Grow Ōtautahi was a huge success in 2021, with around 25,000 people attended the first-ever garden festival designed to be free and specifically for the Garden City in Christchurch’s Botanic Gardens.
However, the Christchurch Garden Festival Trust has made the difficult call not to proceed with the event in 2022 due to the ongoing uncertainty around COVID-19 alert level changes and a funding shortfall.
Christchurch Garden Festival Trust Chairman Chris Walsh says it was a tough but necessary decision to defer next year’s event.
“We’ve been working closely with sponsors and partners over recent weeks, but haven’t reached our critical targets. We know we’ve got a great concept and the 25,000 people who attend the 2021 Festival agreed. The people of Christchurch want Grow to happen, but the reality is that we haven’t had the confirmed funding we expected at this point. This is hugely disappointing for everyone.
“We’ve got a good track record of overcoming obstacles: we beat Covid-19 twice to hold an amazing event earlier this year, and this is just another challenge that we’ll overcome. We are fully committed to 2023 and will focus on fundraising throughout 2022.”
“We are, however, very disappointed on behalf of all our supporters and the people who attended and loved our first-ever Grow Ōtautahi garden festival and were looking forward to next year.
“Our sponsors and supporters have been amazing and we’ll be working with them in coming weeks and months to get through this challenge. We’d like to thank everyone who has got behind the concept of a free garden festival that celebrates our community, champions education and promotes our environment. Especially to those who had already confirmed support for 2022.”
The Christchurch Garden Festival Trust will continue with planning over the coming year and gearing-up for 2023.