Five years after having to make the painful decision to move the Pride In Print Awards night from Christchurch to Wellington in 2011, following the devastation of the February 22 earthquake and aftermath, Pride in Print organisers have placed their faith in the garden city for next year’s event.

The print industry’s night of nights will take place at the Air Force Museum of New Zealand in Wigram on Friday May 12.

Pride In Print Awards manager Sue Archibald expressed personal delight at sharing the news with her Christchurch industry colleagues. She says, “We have all been affected by the so many heart-wrenching stories about what the people of Canterbury had to go through — with many still facing significant challenges to return their lives to normal.

“There have also been many touching stories of courage, determination and unbridled generosity — with members of our industry featuring in many of these. Now we have a chance to let those colleagues, their families and their customers take centre stage in our industry’s special celebration.”

Jonathan Flett, company director and operations manager at Pakworld, describes the announcement as great news. He says, “Not only will it mean we will be having a party, it will also mean that economic impact benefits will now be spread to Christchurch which is long overdue.

“We as a city are well advanced now in terms of rebuild and we have the capabilities to handle events such as Pride In Pride. The timing is now right — and we need to do this to show the rest of our industry that we are ok.”

He believes next year’s Pride In Print Awards will provide an ideal promotional opportunity for companies to collectively display their wares to the marketplace. He says, “It’s important to come to grips with the reality that our industry, whilst shrinking in some sectors and growing in others, is still a very important industry in terms of what we do and who we do it for — from a brochure to promote other people’s businesses, to a medical label on bottles that provides vital information, to a carton that holds and promotes products.”

Nigel Harrison, operations manager at Orora Cartons, expressed delight that Christchurch will host its first Awards Night since 2011. He says, “Personally I am delighted to see Pride In Print return and I am sure I talk for all South Island printers — one more step in the healing of our wonderful City.

“Everyone who has lived in Christchurch is passionate about seeing life and normality return to the city. I hope all South Island printers jump onboard and support this iconic event making it the success I am sure it will be.”

Sue Archibald says organisers will arrange accommodation offers and transportation from city hotels to the Awards Night venue, located at 45 Harvard Avenue. She adds, “It’s exciting and we are so glad to bring Pride In Print back to Christchurch”

For further information, please contact Pride In Print Awards manager, Sue Archibald (021) 663-881.

At the venue, Darren Burden, general manager at Vbase, says his team got a thrill knowing it could add Pride In Print to the growing list of large post-earthquake events the company has hosted, adding that guests will find the venue and rebuilt city an attractive proposition. He says, “The fact Pride In Print is coming back to Christchurch shows their faith in Christchurch, the venue and Vbase.

“Air Force Museum of New Zealand is set on 37 hectares, has lots of free parking and its location is appealing and easy to get to (between the airport and town). The historical setting of the museum provides a point of interest to the guests.

“Christchurch has also had a raft of iconic, different venues open up in the last few years with more opening each year. With certain aspects of the hospitality industry, for example bars and restaurants, more are open now than there were before the earthquakes.

“Things are well and truly headed in the right direction — well, better in fact, as Christchurch will be a wonderfully-planned city when it’s finished!”

Opened as an extension in 2013, the Conference & Events Hall was designed to feature many of the collection’s large objects, according to the Air Force Museum’s Website.

“Due to the pressing need for suitable venues for corporate activity in Christchurch after the 2010/2011 earthquakes, the Air Force Museum Trust Board partnered with Vbase to help market the city, using our new building to meet the demand,” it states.

“The 1500-square-metre conference and events hall offers a blank canvas for trade exhibitions, conferences, gala dinners and functions and can be configured to meet your event requirements.”

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