Opening Ceremony

"Oamaru - Home and Heart of the Stone"

At 10am on Saturday, February 21 there will be a powhiri given by local Maori and the symposium will be officially opened by Otago MP Gavan Herlihy
An organiser, Whitestone Community Arts Council member and Waitaha elder, Anne Te Maiharoa-Dodds said an open invitation is extended to everybody to attend the welcome celebrations. 
"We will lay the path open for the carvers and wish them well", she said. 
After the formal ceremony, the sculptors will start work on the pieces they plan to complete during the month-long seminar. 
At 6pm the evening will start with performances from the Bolivian Folk Group, Vilcabamba and Declan the Magician. 
At 8:15pm the telling of the legends and stories behind the significance of Oamaru stone to the people of Waitaki will begin. 
Members of the Awatea Edwin's Kilmog Productions Group and local Maori cultural groups will perform and sing, Henry Te Maiharoa, the chairman ot the Waitaha Taiwhenua O Waitaki Trust Board, will introduce the performance, and orators from all the cultures that make up the Waitaki district will tell their part of the story of the stone in words, song and dance.  Oamaru choreographer Bronwyn Judge has combined  traditional and modern dance into the performance as well as incorporating masks created by Donna Demente. 
The evening will include a duet from Richard Nunns playing the Maori flute with Tony Gallagher playing the Irish pipes and a peace prayer. 
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