About WORD

We boldly deliver high-quality festivals and events, bringing communities together through a love of words whether they read, listen or experience them on screen or stage. In 2023 we’re bringing the thrill of the live shared experience to over 10,000 people this 23 -27 August. We are bold in our actions, and make the city buzz.

We give Christchurch audiences direct access to the best in New Zealand and the world, ground-breaking ideas, Ngāi Tahu stories, and opportunities for local writers & artists to create new work. With an audience satisfaction rating of 96.5% in our 2022 festival survey, we know we have a dedicated bunch of people out there who love what we do. A typical programme comprises 75+ events featuring over 150 writers, artists and thinkers. For five days we flood the CBD with a buzz of excited people and conversations, filling not just our venues, but the whole neighbourhood. Our primary venues are The Piano, Tūranga, Christchurch Art Gallery and Little Andromeda, plus smaller venues around the city. Since the pandemic began we have introduced live-streaming for those who prefer to watch from the comfort of their own homes.

As we emerge from a decade of rebuilding, and look towards urban revitalisation and recovery from COVID-19, we’re in amongst it and playing an important role in the return of life to the city’s heart.
We know that words are powerful, emotive and sometimes a little bit dangerous right now so WORD is more relevant than ever.

WORD Christchurch is accessible no matter how much is in your wallet. In the 2023 festival over 20% of our events are free.

We love young readers and we help them flourish. Our  free and low cost schools events expose students to writers that entertain and increase literacy levels while reducing barriers to participation. 

WORD employs three permanent staff:

Steph Walker – Executive Director

Kiran Dass – Programme Lead

Magda Lorenzo – Administration & Operations Manager / Volunteer Co-ordinator

For each festival, we employ contract workers to assist in the planning and presentation of the festival itself, and have a team of phenomenal volunteers who help make our events hum. If you’re interested in volunteering, email admin@wordchristchurch.co.nz.

Our mission: to bring the community together through its love of words in all their forms.

Contact us

Word Christchurch Festival 2023

PO Box 29 270
Christchurch 8440

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