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Wellington street artists help locals get in the Christmas spirit

1 Dec 2017

Five of Wellington’s most prolific street artists have put their colourful stamp on walls around the capital to help locals’ countdown to Christmas.

Gina Kiel Wellington Advent Calendar 2017
Artist Gina Kiel and her waterfront-inspired artwork

Gina Kiel, Xoë Hall, Dside, Sean Duffell and Mica Still have created street artworks, which are being digitised to make up the Wellington Advent Calendar – a popular promotion that offers Wellingtonians a new deal every day from 1 December to Christmas Eve from 24 retail and hospitality businesses.

Behind each digital door hides a special free or discounted treat, starting with $2 bao buns from Vietnamese restaurant, The Old Quarter on Dixon Street. The deals are redeemable from the day the advent door opens until the end of January 2018.

WREDA General Manager David Perks said after eight years of doing the Advent Calendar it’s been a fun challenge to keep it fresh.

“The Wellington Advent Calendar has gone from strength to strength since we launched it eight years ago. We challenge ourselves each year to work with retail and hospitality businesses to come up with offers that we know Wellingtonians will love.

“We like to keep it looking “Wellington” – creative in style, and full of recognisable features and landmarks. Each year we try and top what we did the year before, and this year I think we’ve really highlighted what is great about Wellington. Street art is part of what has made Wellington “the coolest little capital” and it’s great to see this collaboration between five of our greatest local artists.”

Each of the artists was tasked with producing a design inspired by a distinctive part of downtown Wellington. In keeping with street art tradition, the artworks were painted on location in Wellington, in the areas that inspired them. They were then converted into an interactive, virtual platform by digital agency DNA for

Artist Gina Kiel created the Waterfront-inspired design, and says it was a project she and the other artists enjoyed taking on.

“Street art naturally has a direct relationship with the urban landscape it appears in. Interpreting areas of Wellington with paintings is a nice way for us street artists to give back to the city and acknowledge some of the spaces that make it so great, especially at a time of year when Wellingtonians can take a break and enjoy them the most.”

Tony Dong from Dixon Street’s The Old Quarter restaurant, whose offer of $2 bao buns kicks off day one of this year’s Wellington Advent Calendar, says the calendar is great for getting people excited about Christmas in the capital.

“We opened in August, so this is our first year taking part. All the retailers, hospo people and, most importantly, our customers that I've let slip to what we’re offering, think it's a great promotion, and of course we all look forward to grabbing all the other offers as well.”

All proceeds from The Old Quarter’s Wellington Advent Calendar bao bun sales will go to Blind Foundation guide dogs.

In 2016, over the 24 days of the promotion more than 94,000 deal vouchers were claimed by locals and visitors via the website.

Vouchers for the 2017 Wellington Advent Calendar are redeemable until 31 January 2018.


How the Wellington Advent Calendar works:

Based on a traditional advent calendar, each day between 1-24 December a new offer voucher becomes accessible somewhere on one of the digital artworks at

Once revealed, all offers remain accessible until 25 December 2017.

Vouchers are redeemable at the associated Wellington retailers and hospitality businesses until 31 January 2018.





Gina Kiel


Xoë Hall



Courtenay Place

Mica Still

Cuba Street

Sean Duffell

Lambton Quay Area


Wellington Advent Calendar statistics

Since 2010, the Wellington Advent Calendar promotions have involved:

  • 1.4 million website visits
  • 192 different special offers
  • 104 Wellington businesses
  • Nearly half a million vouchers
  • 12 Wellington artists/designers

Read more about the Wellington artists.