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Wellington’s love for WOW® writ large on Waterfront

15 Sep 2017

Wellington’s love for the World of WearableArt™ Awards Show will be on display on the waterfront this season, courtesy of a two-and-a-half metre high sign erected today on the Wellington waterfront.

WREDA WellyLovesWOW 04
WOW® Chief Executive Gisella Carr and Wellington Mayor Justin Lester

Constructed by Newtown firm Anderson Design, the bright red sign is the high-profile centrepiece of an enhanced programme of street-level excitement surrounding this year’s event.

Wellington City Mayor Justin Lester says it’s the unique energy that WOW® brings to Wellington that keeps the visitors coming back year after year, and makes it such a signature event for the capital.

“Wellington loves WOW® because it’s audaciously imaginative, and irresistibly creative. WOW® energises and celebrates so much of what makes Wellington unique, and we look forward to it every year.”

Warrick Dent, Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency General Manager, Events & Partnerships, says the sign is a tribute to WOW® and everything it’s brought to Wellington since 2005.

“In the spirit of WOW®, it’s designed with creativity at heart. We’re inviting people to sit, stand or pose among the letters to create photos full of personality and fun. With the harbour looking stunning in the background, it’s an opportunity to create a unique memento of your experience in Wellington for WOW – for locals and visitors alike.”

People posting photos with the sign on social media, using the hashtag #WellyLovesWOW are entered to win spot prizes including WOW® merchandise and vouchers from Wellington bars, cafes and restaurants.

Located next to the lagoon bridge, the sign is a short walk from TSB Bank Arena, the venue for WOW®. Outside TSB Bank Arena, under the sails on Queen’s Wharf, the WOW® HUB will bring more of the show’s magic to the streets of Wellington.

World of WearableArt Chief Executive Gisella Carr says the WOW HUB will give dedicated fans and the wider Wellington public an additional taste of the visual and theatrical feast that will be happening in the TSB Bank Arena.

“The WOW HUB will be a great gathering place.   WOW will have our staff along with Wellington Visitor Hosts in a dedicated outdoor ticket site, where we can help the thousands of New Zealanders who are coming into Wellington over the three weeks of WOW.  Wellington really switches itself on for WOW, and we know our audience will be drinking coffee, eating, shopping and having fun in the city.     “The HUB features a mini-display of award-winning garments so that visitors will be able to see up-close these amazingly-constructed garments, and marvel at the work of the designers who created them.  There will also be some special live performances throughout the season.”

The WOW® HUB is open 10am-5pm from 18 September to 8 October, plus 90 minutes before evening shows start.

Throughout the city, Wellington shop windows will be sparkling red with love as part of the annual WOW® Window Dressing Competition.

Mr Dent said this year’s competition was set to be bigger than ever, with more than 70 retailers taking part.

“Wellington retailers love a chance to push their creativity beyond the limit, and the competition makes shopping, or even just exploring the city, an experience full of surprise and delight.

They are excited that the Judges Award is back this year, with Dame Suzie Moncrieff and New York designer Mio Guberinic picking the winner.  The retail competition also has a People’s Choice Award, which anyone can vote in, with one lucky voter winning a $1000 shopping spree at David Jones on Lambton Quay.”

Wellington’s celebrated hospitality sector is also getting in on the action, with a range of special WOW®-inspired menus and dining offers throughout the city.

Since its arrival in Wellington in 2005, the World of WearableArt™ Awards Show has been seen by more than 400,000 people, and last year contributed an estimated $25 million to the regional economy in visitor spending.