on September 19, 2008
The Arts Centre is based in the old buildings of the University of Canterbury, which are in revival Gothic in style. The university moved out due to lack of space in the 1970s leaving behind these buildings. This a lovely and interesting place to visit with lots of nooks and crannies to explore with quadrangles and different entrances. It houses a two-screen cinema which show arty-cultural films - both are small theatres and so feel quite intimate. I enjoyed a showing of a New Zealand film here one cold damp Saturday morning before wandering around the market. The centre is also a home to several performance spaces and galleries. The current events and shows can be found on the events calender on the website of the arts Centre at www.artscentre.org.nz. However, the big draw to most tourist is the Galleria and the Weekend Market which is run in the grounds. The Galleria is made up of shops and a few workshops of artists who then sell their work - work includes pottery, jade and paintings. Some of the shops are more commercial though do sell New zealand products. The Weekend Market is a bustling collection of stalls that run on Saturdays and Sundays selling locally produced items with quite a range available - there are paintings, craft work, jewellery, candles, sweets, knitwear... It is worth a walk around and enjoy seeing the weird and bizarre items available - I liked the candlesticks made out of cutlery. I also tried on several lovely warm cosy hats in such a wide range of colours. The market also tends to have several different buskers and performers to keep people entertained, and give the market some atmosphere.There is also an International Food Market made up of various stalls serving up meals - Thai, Chinese, Lebanese, Turkish among many others. Each stall has a small selection of meals to choose from, and are served up in takeaway boxs. I enjoyed some tasty stirfried noodles which I took over to the nearby Botanic Gardens to eat, and it was a good price for the meal. The Arts Centre also has several cafes scattered throughout. I enjoyed a morning cuppa at one of them sitting in the outside seating area, which gives the chance to admire the architecture and to watch the Christchurch tram rumble past. I enjoyed strolling through the Arts Centre, and as its right in the centre of the city it is worth a visit.
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