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Creative spaces directory: Canterbury region

Kate Hiatt

Creative spaces are community-based arts organisations and groups where people, often with limited access, can go to make art, participate in theatre, dance, music, film and creative writing. Find a creative space in Canterbury. If you would rather look at a national directory, visit the national creative spaces directory

Email Kate Hiatt, Creative Spaces Advisor, Arts Access Aotearoa to update your entry or to include your creative space in this directory.

AMPSS101 - Addiction Mental Health Activity Centre 

Address: 24a Church Street, Timaru
AMPSS101 is a community drop-in centre for people who experience addiction and/or mental health issues, no referrals necessary.  It aims to empower clients to build their own self-determined recovery by assisting them through peer support activities such as sculpting, visual arts, connecting with the environment, and so much more. We are open 10.00am - 4.00pm Monday - Friday.  
Contact: Amanda McNoe, Manager | 03 688 9454 | 

A Different Light Theatre Trust

Address: 130 Madras Street, Christchurch
A Different Light Theatre Trust explores the possibilities of performance. This includes innovative performance practice and the possibilities of performance with people categorised as having a disability.
Contact: 03 940 8000  


Address: 116 Shortland Street, Aranui, Christchurch
A place for creative connection … Art-East was set up to provide a safe place of support for people who have or are struggling with a range of issues, including alcohol or drug, mental health, social stigma and physical disabilities. Arts-based activities are run within group settings and one-to-one programmes. It connects members with established artists and has regular outings in the Christchurch art community. Visit the website
Contact: Lis Rate-Smith, Art-East Co-ordinator | 027 436 9922 |

Art for Life Trust

Address: 190 Worcester Boulevard, Christchurch
Since 2014, Art for Life Trust has provided drawing and painting tuition to adults living with intellectual or neurological disability and/or neurodiversities. Morning and afternoon sessions are offered four days a week at their central Christchurch studio. The focus is on developing skills and confidence, expressing ideas and feelings through art, and social connection. The Art for Life annual exhibition held in November is a highlight, where all artists are invited to sell their work in the community.  Visit the website or Facebook page
Contact: Anh Que Chu | 

Arts Integrated

Address: Northcity Church, 95a Sawyers Arms Rd, Northcote, Christchurch
Arts Integrated has a performing arts programme for young adults, enabling people living with disability to explore and extend their creativity through the performing arts. Classes are held Wednesday and Thursday mornings over four eight-week terms per year. Activities range from creating and exploring dance and music to writing stories, culminating in a theatrical production at the end of terms 2 and 4. Visit the website
Contact: Adam Hayward, General Manager| 021 230 9029 | 

Cantabrainers Choir

Address: Christchurch
Cantabrainers Choir is a choir for people with neurological conditions to improve their voice and communication, health and well-being through singing and socialising. It’s led by a registered music therapist and a registered speech-language therapist. All welcome. See the choir’s Facebook page and website
Contact: Coordinator 

Dance & Arts Therapy NZ 

Address: Auckland-wide with two programmes in Christchurch
This is a charitable trust dedicated to empowering and supporting individuals and groups from vulnerable communities. It offers arts therapy drop-in programmes for at-risk children from low-income backgrounds, dance movement therapy programmes for adults and young adults with special needs and disabilities, and smaller clinical sessions to support and empower children with special needs and disabilities. Most of the programmes are free. Visit the website
Contact: | 09 636 3029 

Handmade Studio

Address: 14b Leslie Hills Drive, Riccarton 8011

The Handmade Studio is a co-operative weavery where people with disabilities (co-operative members) are assisted to perfect their skills as proficient weavers of handwoven fabric.  Proceeds of the sale of the range of garments and items produced are returned to the members, developing independence and self-esteem in supportive creative community. The studio is open Monday to Friday, 9am – 3.30pm.  Visit the Handmade Studio website for more information
Contact: Victoria (Tori) Peden or Toni Parker-Adams 03 341 0030 |  

Hohepa Canterbury

Address: 23 Barrington Street, Christchurch
At Hohepa Canterbury, approximately 70 residents and numerous day attendees participate in a wide range of educational, sporting, cultural and community participation activities. It offers art, arts therapy, speech and drama, and singing. Singing is very popular and a choir provides performances for special occasions. 
Contact: Mark Unwin | 03) 390 0153 | 

Inclusive Performance Academy

Address: Hohepa Hall, 23 Barrington Street, Christchurch

The Inclusive Performance Academy is an outcome-focused initiative that promotes connection, creativity, collaboration, confidence and friendship. Based in the beautiful Hohepa Hall, it runs classes, workshops and programmes in a variety of performance arts for young people living with disability. Its focus is firmly on devising, developing and delivering awesome shows to audiences, with regular live theatrical shows, public performances at events and filmed projects for sharing online. Anyone into music, dance and drama welcome. Check out its Facebook page
Contact: Fiona McKenzie | 021 314 303 |


Address: 50 Baker St, North New Brighton, Christchurch
Jolt's vision is to celebrate difference and challenge perspectives about dance and disability. It was established in 2001 and offers ongoing dance training and performance opportunities for all ages and abilities. In 2012, Jolt established Move, NZ's first tutor training scheme for disabled people to train as dance teachers, and Jolt Interactive, New Zealand's first performance company creating works for diverse audiences. Visit the Jolt Dance website  
Contact: Alex Kerr, Administrator | 03 388 2807 | 

Linwood Community Arts Centre

Address: 388 Worcester St, Linwood, Christchurch
The Linwood Community Arts Centre, a project of Te Whare Roimata Trust, provides a varied, affordable, arts-related programme to people from the least advantaged eastern inner-city neighbourhoods of Christchurch, enabling access to art-making and the creative arts. The building of community via inclusion, connectedness, individual- and community wellbeing lies at the heart of their work. Follow them on Facebook and visit their website. 
Contact: Dr Liz Boldt -

Many Hats Theatre Co.

Address: 344 Manchester St, Christchurch
Many Hats was established in 2013 and its mission is to provide access for people with disabilities and high needs to have opportunities for creative expression through the creation and presentation of drama performances.  It has its own YouTube channel with material that is created, written, and performed by the Many Hats actors. Many Hats YouTube
Contact: Victoria Ross -

Ōtautahi Creative Spaces Trust

Address: Room 5, Phillipstown Community Hub, 39 Nursery Road, Phillipstown, Christchurch
This is a Christchurch-wide venture that hosts creative spaces and does collaborative creative projects to strengthen communities and boost wellbeing. Its focus is on inclusion of people who have experience of mental illness and distress, earthquake trauma, and people who live in social isolation. There’s a Māori arts programme Te Ara Toi, and a mentoring programme for artists with experience of mental illness. It works on a project and collaborative basis with groups in the areas where the creative spaces are located: e.g. a photography project, Our Place Phillipstown. Visit its Facebook page and website. 
Contact: Kim Morton, Project Manager | 022 064 7963 | 

The White Room Creative Space

Address: 344 Manchester St, Christchurch
The White Room is an inclusive art space that brings disabled and non-disabled artists together as a creative community, united by a shared passion for art. It provides a space to learn new techniques in visual art and opportunities to share ideas through interaction with visiting artists and tutors. It is a space that fosters creativity, skill-sharing, new ideas and ways of expression. Visit its Facebook page. and website 
Contact: Simon Gray, Arts Tutor | 03 382 0350 |



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