Te Ramaroa celebrates the collaborative nature of art, science and technology, and most of all, the ability of light to illuminate and transform, and to make a winter night a whole lot more magical!
From the beginning in 2013, the spirit of the event was shaped by the community. Most of the installations are made by people from the Nelson community – school teachers, chocolate makers, scientists, distillers, electricians and the like – most works were created in people’s spare time, in their lounge room, and with an unlimited amount of passion and commitment (and endless patience and encouragement from their family and friends!). And then, we so invite a selection of artists and creatives from around the country to be part of the fun.
The community involvement is what makes Te Ramaroa so unique - it really couldn't happen anywhere else in the world.
We look forward to doing it all again in 2025 - with dazzling installations placed all over town!
The name Te Ramaroa reflects the concept of a beacon - honouring the past, celebrating the present and holding a light to a bright and positive future. We could not think of a more fitting name for the joy and light our festival brings!
With the new name came a fresh creative direction: we expanded over a wider footprint with a trail of carefully selected installations placed around central Nelson Whakatū, NMIT, Piki Mai / Church Hill and various laneways, as well as one major work in the Queens Gardens.
The decision to move away from the Queens Gardens being the central space was made for a few reasons. Since the event's inception in 2013, we have seen phenomenal growth in attendance and participation, with the first event attracting 16,000 people and increasing to more than 40,000 people attending in 2018. Managing these large crowds became increasingly complicated, and challenged us to address how the event could be reshaped to ensure it remained enjoyable and safe for everyone, as well as sustainable to deliver.
The move into the city centre created incredible opportunities for transforming our city, and set Te Ramaroa off in a new direction.