Arts Gold Awards 2021 Cancellation

It is with much regret and sadness that this prestigious nationwide arts competition has had to be cancelled for 2021.  We fully expect that it will be rescheduled to 2022.  This decision was made by the Alexandra District Museum Board (ADMI) which oversees the running of Central Stories Museum and Art Gallery.

The Arts Gold Award, based in Central Otago, is a nationwide fine arts award, held every two years and it has previously attracted around 300 entries.  Entries for this year were to close on 31st July.

It has proven extremely challenging and difficult to procure sponsorship and naming rights for Arts Gold 2021.  This is due in no small part to the follow-on effects, insecurities and unreliability posed by the ongoing Covid19 restrictions.  There is perceived to be a lack of business confidence in our small communities which has led to fewer funding avenues.  Funders are reluctant to commit in this climate of uncertainty.  In addition, ADMI has recently been advised by the Central Otago District Council that there will be reduction in the level of its annual grant income of $49,000, which necessitates a review of the Museums and Art Gallery operation.

As this decision was reluctantly being made, Covid restrictions were in place in Wellington and across the Tasman – there is no doubt that these random restrictions have an implicit impact on the amount of disposable finance available in communities.

Central Stories Manager, Brian Budd said “It is very disappointing to have to postpone Arts Gold, a national event that has run successfully over a number of years.  The decision by the Board was not taken lightly but was necessary due to the level of funding still to be secured.  The Board remains mindful of how disappointed artists from throughout New Zealand would be.  Especially, I want to thank all the artists who have so far submitted entries for this year’s competition.  I extend my heartfelt thanks and sincere appreciation to all local supporters and funders who had committed to funding Arts Gold 2021 to date.”

Central Stories will continue its search to secure the necessary sponsors and funding to enable them to mount a successful 2022 event.

To find out more, please contact

Brian Budd, Manager, Central Stories Museum and Art Gallery 027 6769546,