2006-2007 : Page 33
auckland war memorial museum 2006 |2007 Welcome Home: The Dome opening The Auckland War Memorial Museum hosted a huge party to celebrate the opening of the Dome on Saturday 9 December and more than 15,000 Aucklanders came along. The free party gave Aucklanders the chance to tour through the Museum's new spaces and enjoy a dazzling variety of cultural and family performances both inside and outside the Museum. It began at 6.00am at the New Zealand National Maritime Museum with a remarkable meeting of the Pacific and Maori peoples to celebrate the opening of Vaka Moana. Pacific leaders arrived on the voyaging waka, Te Aurere, and were met by Ngati Whatua. After a formal greeting and exchange of gifts, the party made their way to the Auckland Museum, where Vaka Moana was officially opened after a traditional kava ceremony in the new atrium foyer. The Dome was officially opened on the previous Friday evening by Prime Minister Helen Clark at a memorable black-tie function to thank the vast array of supporters and sponsors who made this achievement possible. Over the summer holidays, another 25,000 Aucklanders made the most of the opportunity to take a Dome tour of the new Event Centre. The universal reaction of visitors on stepping out of the lift wow! Theatre at Auckland Museum This year saw Auckland Museum integrate theatre even more into its programme of activities to enhance our visitors engagement with the collections and exhibitions. Solo performances, storytellers and our popular life-size dinosaur puppets have performed throughout the Museum in areas as diverse as Scars on the Heart, Origins, Encounter and Landmark decorative arts galleries, the Cheeseman gallery and at the special exhibitions Vikings and Egypt: Beyond the Tomb. All shows are fully researched and factually based, and enable visitors to gain different perspectives from those presented in exhibition text panels. The opening of the auditorium has offered even greater opportunity to use performance in our programmes. Highlights include the sold-out season of Strange Resting Places during the Auckland Festival and the family-focused Mummy Show during the Stevenson Winter Family Festival.