The Isaac Theatre Royal wins at the Champion Canterbury Awards

Champion Canterbury Business Awards winners announced

The restoration of the Isaac Theatre Royal has proved a winner for the popular performance venue.

Heritage and technology have taken top honours in this year’s Champion Canterbury Business Awards

The Isaac Theatre Royal and ARANZ Medical received The Press supreme awards announced at a gala dinner at the Horncastle Arena on Wednesday evening.

More than 1100 people attended the event, where 15 awards were presented and a special commendation was given to ANZCO chairman Sir Graeme Harrison for his contribution to agribusiness.

The Isaac Theatre Royal won the retail/hospitality small enterprise award, and received The Press champion supreme small enterprise award.

Champion Canterbury director Leeann Watson said the judges were impressed with the passion and business acumen behind the theatre.

It attracted 100,000 patrons in the 12 months following its reopening and hosts 300 performance days annually.


Champion Canterbury chairman Peter Townsend said the 145 entries in the 14th awards showcased the region’s incredible talent and presented a real challenge for the expert panel of 35 judges.



Supreme small enterprise – Isaac Theatre Royal
Supreme medium/large enterprise – ARANZ Medical Ltd

Champion producer/manufacturer
Small enterprise – Invert Robotics
Medium/large enterprise – ARANZ Medical Ltd

Champion infrastructure/trades
Small enterprise – Red Electrical
Medium/large enterprise – SCIRT

Champion professional service
Small enterprise – Mint Design Ltd
Medium/large enterprise – Computer Concepts Ltd

Champion tourism
Small enterprise – Canterbury Guiding Co
Medium/large – Haka Tours

Champion retail/hospitality
Small enterprise – Isaac Theatre Royal
Medium/large enterprise – EBOS Group

Champion global operator
Small enterprise – Infratec Ltd
Medium/large enterprise – Foot Science international Ltd

Champion charity
Small enterprise – Catapult Employment Services
Medium/large enterprise – YMCA Christchurch

ACC workplace safety
Mach3 Industries Ltd

Francesca’s Italian Kitchen

Isaac Theatre Royal – 2016 Winners of the Public Realm – Saved and Restored Award

The Isaac Theatre Royal in Christchurch has been awarded a prestigious prize at the Canterbury Heritage Awards.

Theatre Royal 21.12.15-010 copyThe 2016 Awards Ceremony was held on Thursday 9 June in the newly restored Great Hall at Christchurch’s Arts Centre, and was attended by a sold-out crowd of heritage enthusiasts. The awards recognise excellence in heritage retention and conservation, heritage tourism and heritage education within the public and private sector and promote the values of best practice heritage retention and conservation to the wider community.

The restoration of the Isaac Theatre Royal was “testament to the combined skills and dedication of architects and engineers, conservators and craftspeople”, the judges said.  Voted as joint winner in the category, the Isaac Theatre Royal reopened in November 2014 after a 3-year rebuild and restoration programme following the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes.

The ‘new’ theatre has been breaking audience records in its first year of operation staging musicals “Phantom of the Opera” and ‘Mamma Mia”, three magnificent Royal New Zealand Ballet sold out seasons and the first sold out Opera in Christchurch in 28 years with NZ Opera’s “Madama Butterfly” last July. The ITR also brought cinema back to the venue for the first time in 35 years in partnership with the NZ International Film Festival.

Occupancy days since reopening have increased on pre-quake years by as much as 40% and 2017 and 2018 seasons are set to increase those numbers once again with the theatre’s event management system filling up and taking bookings as far out as 2021.