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Wed 23 Jul 2014, 7:30pm–9:00pm

Where: Victoria University Memorial Theatre, Student Union Building, Kelburn Parade, Kelburn, Wellington

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Listed by: howora

Polish traces can be spotted even in the XVIII century in New Zealand. It is, however, the World War II that brought together both nations. On 31st of October year 1944 the group of 733 Polish children orphaned by the Siberian exiles was taken under protection by the New Zealand’s government, whom the campus in the Pahiatua city was created for. They formed Polish Diaspora together with ap. 2000 other Polish immigrants already settled in. Poland opened an Embassy in New Zealand in 1973, and 2013 marked 40 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The Embassy upgraded to full ambassador status in late 2004, at the same time as the first resident New Zealand ambassador presented credentials in Warsaw. The New Zealand Embassy in Warsaw opened its doors in January 2005 and was officially launched by Prime Minister Helen Clark during an official visit to Poland in April 2005.

Both celebrations – 70th Anniversary of the arrival of Polish children to Pahiatua and 40th Anniversary of bilateral relations – give the perfect opportunity to bring the Polish heritage closer to New Zealand society and to strengthen the Polish Diaspora relations with the country of origin.

The Oceania Artistic Tour is a give back project to the New Zealanders for a warm reception of Polish immigrants, as well as to Poles in New Zealand for cultivating Polish tradition and heritage abroad.

The project consists of workshops and performances of Folk Dance Ensemble Poligrodzianie and is held in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. As one of the greatest Polish cultural heritage ambassadors, the Ensemble visited 58 countries of the World and travelled over million kilometers during its over 110 foreign tours, performing in front of Jean Paul II twice, Mayor of New York, King of Kota Kinabalu Region, UNESCO four times, Presidents and Ministers of many countries like Israel, Malta, Malaysia, South Korea, China, Ireland or Mexico. Poligrodzianie were the first representative of Poland to participate in the Representations of the Regions of European Community held in Rennes. They paved the way for Polish artists in many parts of the World, being sometimes even the first Poles visiting those sides. The Group gave concerts on the prestigious stages of Milan and Nashville, for the prisoners in the USA, in the Disneyland or in the Tibetan prairie and for more than thirty-thousand audience in China. They represented Poland at the Theatre Olympiad in India, Christmas Fair in Hanover or EXPO in Gyeongju, winning number of international awards on five continents. The Ensemble received the honorary citizenship of the state of Tennessee, the keys to the city of Tullahoma and Ismailia. It has recorded radio and television programs for national media, among others, in Sweden, USA, Canada, Croatia, Italy and Spain. The Folk Dance Ensemble “Poligrodzianie” was awarded with “The Ambassador of Polish culture” by the Minister of Culture of Poland, honored for its service by the Marshal of the Wielkopolska Region and awarded with the medal “Poznan University of Technology Meritorious” as the first and the only unit of the University. The jubilee concert on the 40th anniversary of the Ensemble received the award “Best Creative And Artistic Folk Art Performance in Europe 2013” from the European Folk Culture Organisation. Since 2014 the Ensemble has become the “Ambassador of Wielkopolska Culture”.

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