June update

Winter Festival 2015 is Catalyst’s first anniversary of beginning our quest to bring some sparkle to Queenstown’s collective grey matter. We are celebrating with a calendar of events raising vital public issues – affordable housing and New Zealand’s approach to refugees – ethical drama, illuminating art, high school debate and a Nepal fundraiser.

Make sure you keep up with these and other opportunities through liking our Facebook page and enrolling on our Early Warning System database (go to our “get involved” page). And please get in touch if you, a friend, a colleague or visitor could give our community an opportunity for a brain boost – we would love to give you an audience!

There’s more information on each event on the upcoming events page;

IDEATION BY AARON LOEB – 24th to 29th June. Queenstown’s own ‘guerrilla-style’ Storming Theatre present the first performance outside the US of Aaron Loeb’s intelligent, thought-provoking and darkly comic 2014 thriller about a group of consultants engaged on an ethically dubious project.

LUMA – 24th to 27th June.  Showcasing a group of New Zealand light sculptors in a number of downtown locations, this is Queenstown’s celebration of the International Year of Light.

WAKATIPU HIGH SCHOOL DEBATING WORKSHOP – Saturday, 27 June. Otago University Debating Society holds a Catalyst interactive workshop for our local high school students.

NEPAL TALK AND FUNDRAISER – Wednesday, July 1.  Hear from Wanaka climber Guy Cotter, who was at Camp Two when the earthquake hit, and Queenstown helicopter pilot Jason Laing, who was one of the first on the scene at Everest and rescued more than 100 people off the mountain. Followed by charity auction.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING – THE IM/POSSIBLE DREAM? – Wednesday, July 22.  Catalyst forum presenting four expert speakers on this vital community issue from economic and policy through urban planning, sustainability, alternative model and developer’s perspectives before the floor opens to discussion.  Both community and expert input input to be forwarded to QLDC, the government and local Housing Trust.

STEPPING UP: NZ’S RESPONSE TO THE REFUGEE CRISIS – Saturday, August 1.
NZ takes in 750 refugees a year and this figure hasn’t changed in 25 years. How many refugees should NZ take in? And how does NZ’s resettlement programme stand up to scrutiny? Abridged showing of locally produced documentary plus talks from a refugee and a refugee advocate.

FAITH AND WISDOM IN SCIENCE – Saturday, September 19. Durham University physics professor   Dr Tom McLeish delivers a picture of science as a questioning discipline nested within a much older, wider set of questions about the world.

May update

An interactive poetry workshop and a look at the secrets revealed by ancient DNA are this month’s opportunities offered by Catalyst Trust. Make sure you keep up with these and other opportunities through enrolling on our Early Warning System database (go to our “get involved” page) or like our Facebook page if you want a handy reminder.

CATALYST is all about bringing intellectual stimulation to the Wakatipu – providing locals and visitors with the opportunity for mental as well as adrenal challenge. We collaborate with learning institutes and anyone else who can provide such opportunities to do so. We would love to hear from you if you or your visitors would be happy to share expertise and knowledge about a topic that others might find fascinating, challenging, mind opening… all those good things. Any time you have an idea or opportunity, please get in touch with us.

Meanwhile, the happenings ahead…

Sound and Sense: What Makes a Poem?
Catalyst Trust workshop, Queenstown Library 6.30 – 9.00pm Thursday, May 7th 2015, with Hannah Mettner and Jo Morris. Free. Numbers are limited so register to secure your place at connect@catalystnz.org Calling all budding poets and poetry aficionados! This workshop will focus on the joys of reading and writing poetry. See the event page here for more info.

Upfront Session #10
Thursday May 21, 7 p.m., Fluid’s Front Room Gallery, Memorial Street.

Ancient DNA: Secrets From the Past. Dr Craig Millar, of the Allan Wilson Centre.
Wednesday, May 27, 5:30 p.m. The Rees Queenstown Conference Room. Free but please register at connect@catalystnz.org
This Allan Wilson Centre for Ecology And Evolution talk, hosted by Catalyst Trust, will reveal how ever-advancing DNA research has allowed us to unlock some of the best kept secrets of New Zealand’s past.

Michael Hill International Violin Competition
Queen’s Birthday weekend,  Friday 5th to Monday, June 8th. Queenstown Memorial Centre.
This weekend celebration of international violinists kicks off with two talks about violins and their makers – are 300 year old violins from Cremona really better than the best modern instruments? – on Friday night, with “insider guides” to the music the world’s top violin competitors will be playing each of the three following mornings. More information at http://www.violincompetition.co.nz/2015-competition/competition-calendar

Professor Meliha Altunisik, Dean of the Graduate School of Social Sciences at Middle East Technical University in Ankara (Turkey’s top-ranked university) will speak for a Catalyst Trust event in mid to late August, date TBC

Professor Tom McLeish of the University of Durham Physics Department, September 19, 5.30 to 7 p.m., at the Rees Hotel Queenstown Conference room will talk about “Faith and Wisdom in Science”, $5 at door. Register your seat through connect@catalystnz.org

April update

We have a good range of intellectual and cultural offerings in the Wakatipu over the next two months. We list below events both organised by Catalyst Trust and offered by others in the community – with more details on the upcoming events page. Remember to enrol on our Early Warning System database or like our Facebook page if you want a handy reminder.

Moa Skull - Ancient DNA: Secrets From the Past. Dr Craig Millar, of the Allan Wilson Centre. Wednesday, May 27
Moa Skull – Ancient DNA: Secrets From the Past. Dr Craig Millar, of the Allan Wilson Centre. Wednesday, May 27

CATALYST is all about bringing intellectual stimulation to the Wakatipu – providing locals and visitors with the opportunity for mental as well as adrenal challenge. We collaborate with learning institutes and anyone else who can provide such opportunities to do so. We would love to hear from you if you or your visitors would be happy to share expertise and knowledge about a topic that others might find fascinating, challenging, mind opening… all those good things. Any time you have an idea or opportunity, please go to our Get Involved page and get in touch with us.

Meanwhile, the happenings ahead…

TEDx Queenstown – April 19, Queenstown Memorial Centre, for a day of intriguing and innovative TED talks based on the theme of illumination. Tickets and more information at www.tedxqueenstown.com

Festival of Colour, Wanaka-based but with events in Queenstown and elsewhere in the Upper Clutha, April 21-27. Tickets and more information at www.festivalofcolour.co.nz

Queenstown Filmmakers’ Experiences Living in the Middle East, Monday, April 27, 5:30 p.m, The Rees Queenstown conference room. Free, but please register at connect@catalystnz.org See upcoming events page for this Catalyst Trust event featuring local film makers and journalists Holly and Josh Wallace, who spent two years living in Doha, Qatar – Josh as an Al Jazeera editor and cameraman and Holly as a journalist, women’s rights conference organiser and filmmaker.

Sound and Sense: What Makes a Poem? Catalyst Trust workshop, Queenstown Library 6.30 – 9.00pm Thursday, May 7th 2015, with Hannah Mettner and Jo Morris. Free. Numbers are limited so register to secure your place at connect@catalystnz.org Calling all budding poets and poetry aficionados! This workshop will focus on the joys of reading and writing poetry. See the event page here for more info

Upfront Session #10, Thursday May 21, 7 p.m., Fluid’s Front Room Gallery, Memorial Street.

Ancient DNA: Secrets From the Past. Dr Craig Millar, of the Allan Wilson Centre. Wednesday, May 27, 5:30 p.m. The Rees Queenstown conference room. Free but please register at connect@catalystnz.org This Allan Wilson Centre for Ecology And Evolution talk, hosted by Catalyst Trust, will reveal how ever-advancing DNA research has allowed us to unlock some of the best kept secrets of New Zealand’s past.

Michael Hill International Violin Competition, Queen’s Birthday weekend, Friday 5th to Monday, June 8th. Queenstown Memorial Centre. This weekend celebration of international violinists kicks off with two talks about violins and their makers – are 300 year old violins from Cremona really better than the best modern instruments? – on Friday night, with “insider guides” to the music the world’s top violin competitors will be playing each of the three following mornings. More information at http://www.violincompetition.co.nz/2015-competition/competition-calendar

March update

CATALYST is looking forward to a year full of rich discussion and interesting learning – there’s certainly no shortage of big issues! Our first event on February 9 was a packed and fascinating presentation by Professor Bill Harris, bringing his professional and personal perspective on Syria and Islamic State to the Wakatipu. You can see and read more about his presentation on the Reviews page.

CATALYST is all about bringing intellectual stimulation to the Wakatipu – providing locals and visitors with the opportunity for mental as well as adrenal challenge. We collaborate with learning institutes and anyone else who can provide such opportunities to do so. We believe a lot of this could come from people who already live here and their visitors.

SO – we would love to hear from you if you or your visitors would be happy to share expertise and knowledge about a topic that others might find fascinating, challenging, mind opening… all those good things. It will only take an hour or two …and provides the chance to meet and talk with other interesting and interested people! Any time you have an idea or opportunity, please go to our Get Involved page and get in touch with us.

During March and April, we have two International Brain Week events, TEDx Queenstown and a couple of Up Front forums. Wanaka has the Outspoken Festival (all about the performing word) and Festival of Colour. And Glenorchy’s Cozy Talks series continues.  Take a look at our coming events page for more details.

We are also organising a poetry workshop and an evening featuring two local filmmakers and their experiences in the Middle East – details TBC…

So make sure you sign up to our ‘Early Warning System’ database so that you get alerted when such opportunities arise.

Here’s to thinking…

The Catalyst team

February update

CATALYST is looking forward to a year full of rich discussion and interesting learning – there’s certainly no shortage of big issues! Our first event on February 9 was a packed and fascinating presentation by Professor Bill Harris, bringing his professional and personal perspective on Syria and Islamic State to the Wakatipu.

The University of Otago Middle East specialist spent the end of 2014 studying ISIS and the ramifications thereof, both in the Middle East and at the German Institute for Global and Area Studies in Hamburg. You can see and read more about his presentation on the Reviews page.

CATALYST is all about bringing intellectual stimulation to the Wakatipu – providing locals and visitors with the opportunity for mental as well as adrenal challenge. We collaborate with learning institutes and anyone else who can provide such opportunities to do so. We believe a lot of this could come from people who already live here and their visitors.

SO – we would love to hear from you if you or your visitors would be happy to share expertise and knowledge about a topic that others might find fascinating, challenging, mind opening… all those good things. It will only take an hour or two …and provides the chance to meet and talk with other interesting and interested people! Any time you have an idea or opportunity, please go to our Get Involved page and get in touch with us.
Over the next month there is the Outspoken Festival in Wanaka – including a fantastic evening of the spoken word in Queenstown – and two Queenstown talks on the power of the brain. Take a look at our coming events page for more details.

And make sure you sign up to our ‘Early Warning System’ database so that you get alerted when such opportunities arise.

Here’s to thinking…
The Catalyst team

Welcome to 2015!

CATALYST hopes it is full of rich discussion and interesting learning – there’s certainly no shortage of big issues! Our first event planned for the year will be on February 9, when Professor Bill Harris brings his professional and personal perspective on the Middle East to the Wakatipu.

The University of Otago’s political studies department head spent several months at the end of 2014 studying ISIS and the ramifications thereof, both in the Middle East and at the German Institute for Global and Area Studies in Hamburg.

He even visited the front line, courtesy of the Kurdish Pershmerga. See the upcoming events page for more details.

CATALYST is all about bringing intellectual stimulation to the Wakatipu – providing locals and visitors with the opportunity for mental as well as adrenal challenge. We believe a lot of this could come from people who already live here and their visitors.

SO – we would love to hear from you if you or your visitors would be happy to share expertise and knowledge about a topic that others might find fascinating, challenging, mind opening… all those good things. It will only take an hour or two …and provides the chance to meet and talk with other interesting and interested people! Any time you have an idea or opportunity, please go to our Get Involved page and get in touch with us.

And make sure you sign up to our ‘early warning system’ email so that you get alerted when such opportunities arise.

Here’s to thinking…

Rounding off 2014…

startup-photo
Queenstown’s Inaugural Start-Up Weekend
CATALYST is bowing to the reality of Queenstown’s busy summer season by postponing its planned Middle East update until early February.

So, unless we have the opportunity to present a riveting topic and speaker at the last minute, through our Early Warning System database, our November 25 talk with renowned New Zealand weather expert Dr Jim Salinger will be our last event for 2014.

But this need not be the case….

CATALYST is all about bringing intellectual stimulation to the Wakatipu – providing locals and visitors with the opportunity for mental as well as adrenal challenge. We believe a lot of this could come from people who already live here and their visitors. Dr Salinger talk on climate change and vintage wine was a case in point – he was visiting Catalyst trustee Blair Fitzharris and we grabbed the opportunity to share his knowledge gleaned through 25 years studying climate change and seven months this year studying the effects of climate on Italian vintage wine in particular.

SO – we would love to hear from you if you or your visitors would be happy to share expertise and knowledge about a topic that others might find fascinating, challenging, mind opening… all those good things. It will only take an hour or two …and provides the chance to meet and talk with other interesting and interested people! Any time you have an idea or opportunity, please go to our Get Involved page and get in touch with us.

And make sure you are on our ‘early warning system’ database so that you get alerted when such opportunities arise.

Here’s to thinking…

The CATALYST team

November update

CATALYST…

darwin-photohas two talks lined up so far for November and December – one on wine and weather, with renowned New Zealand weather expert Dr Jim Salinger (25 November), and the other an update on all that is happening in the Middle East with Otago University Professor Bill Harris in early December.

After that, CATALYST’s offerings are likely to thin as our volunteers, tertiary institutes and the government’s Centres of Research Excellence take some time off over summer. But this need not be the case….
CATALYST is all about bringing intellectual stimulation to the Wakatipu – providing locals and visitors with the opportunity for mental as well as adrenal challenge. We believe a lot of this could come from people who already live here and their visitors. Dr Salinger’s coming talk on climate change and vintage wine is a case in point.

SO – we would love to hear from you if you or your visitors would be happy to share expertise and knowledge about a topic that others might find fascinating, challenging, mind opening… all those good things. It will only take an hour or two …and provides the chance to meet and talk with other interesting and interested people! Any time you have an idea or opportunity, please go to our Get Involved page and get in touch with us.

And make sure you are on our ‘early warning system’ database so that you get alerted when such opportunities arise.

Here’s to thinking…

The CATALYST team

Sight and Sound

Multi Media Music
June 29, 2014

University of Otago Mozart Fellow Jeremy Mayall, presented his multimedia music to a fascinated audience of 30, spanning 8 to 80 years, and explained his process of composition, how he began his career in music and the extensive collaborations he makes with a variety of artists from dancers and designers to acrobats and other musicians.