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Hero Festival: New trustees announced

Mon 14 May 2007 In: New Zealand Daily News

Hero Festival Trust chairperson Michael Bancroft has announced the new board of trustees who'll take Auckland's LGBT festival into the future. The Hero Trustees, Brand Management Group (BMG) and some key stakeholders met informally last Friday evening to draw Hero 2007 to a close and plan for 2008 festival. This Friday 18th May is the deadline for proposals to organise the 2008 Hero Party. “Hero 2007 featured at least 35 festival events which in total drew crowds totalling well over 20,000,” said Bancroft at the meeting. “The sun shone – literally – on every event this year. From the moment we launched the Festival at the Maritime Museum then took over the viaduct with ‘Wigs on the Waterfront' where thousands turned out, the hugely successful ‘Big Gay Out' grew to new heights with an estimated over 12,000 attendees, to the Heroic Gardens, Hero Debate, Swim, Tennis and other meets everything seemed to just buzz. “The amazing Brian Andrews Photographic History; it's a D Thing, the Flirt Police and a whole myriad of 35 events and exhibitions led up to a dazzling HERO Party where over 1,500 danced and celebrated the night and morning away.” That Hero 2007 has drawn virtually no expressed criticism must be an indication of satisfaction, continued Bancroft. “Most organisers have already indicated their wish to be involved in Hero 2008 and already some new ideas have been talked about. It all bodes well.” Bancroft restated the Trust and BMG's thanks to everyone who created the events. “The months of planning, their presentation and the huge input as always from volunteers gave the wider community a great demonstration of our GLBTT vitality and diversity. Without them there is no Festival. Hero 2007 would also not have been successful without the huge input from sponsors, supporters and businesses, Bancroft pointed out. “The likes of 42 Below, the AIDS Foundation, George FM, Dawsons catering, Eventimento, M2 cannot go unnamed but don't forget to support all the others who were listed in the Hero Festival booklet,, Express, OUT and other media.” Bancroft also made a special note of thanks to Jane Henley. “For the last three years at least, Jane has been to the forefront of everything to do with HERO Trust and Hero BMG. She's really been the bearer of the load, the coordinator, the secretary and the treasurer. When there have been brickbats she's copped most of them, phone calls and emails to send she's made them. People to listen to, she's listened. Now she has decided it's time she stepped back or down, a well earned rest.” Looking forward to the 2008 festival, Bancroft announced the new full Board of Trustees. Michael Bancroft will be joined on the board by Mike Binis, Sheryl Glasse, Richard Kittelty, and Neil Denney. Discussions are in progress with two more women, so the Trust can develop a better male/female ratio. Advisors to the Trust, aech with special areas of expertise, are Dr Don McMorland (Trust Law), Wayne Lockwood (Finance), Bruce Kilmister (City Council Liaison). The premature rumours of the return of a parade in 2008 were also mentioned. Bancroft remarked: “Despite suspicions that there were undercurrents and secret activities taking place, there weren't. “Some very reputable event organisers were working together and having initial confidential and business discussions with potential sponsors, the police and city council representatives. In the end time constraints and potential dates just weren't favourable, so we said no for next year. “We are now engaging with our community seeking more feedback, some has already been received, we will review the survey taken a year or so ago, discussions are happening and will continue. “If there is to be a Parade in 2009 we would like to be in a position to announce that before this year is over.” Until an event organiser steps forward and can assure the Trust and BMG that there is money, backing and support to tackle such a huge event, a Hero Parade for 2009 is still only a pipedream, said Bancroft. “We need to know something of the level of support or otherwise out there and I hope that members of our various communities will let us know now rather than be the armchair critics later.” Communication is invited on email: or by post: HERO, P.O. Box 3132, Auckland. This Friday 18th May is the deadline for proposals to organise the Hero Party 2008. July 1st, 2007 is the deadline for expressions of interest in organising the Hero Parde 2009.     Ref: HERO (m)

Credit: News Staff

First published: Monday, 14th May 2007 - 12:00pm

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