PCC re-opens Maori Village in special ceremony

The Polynesian Cultural Center re-opened its  Aotearoa (New Zealand) village on November 30, 2013, following a traditional Maori ceremony that featured the unveiling of new carvings recognizing the ancient Polynesian navigator, Hawaikiroa.

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PCC Aotearoa Islands Manager and Cultural Islands Director Seamus Fitzgerald (in bowler hat) and villagers begin the ceremony to welcome the carvers and guests to the re-opening of the Maori Village. (PCC photos by Mike Foley)

In a kawanga ceremony steeped in Maori tradition, villagers and guests gathered at 6:00 a.m. to re-open the village and view the carvings before sunrise. More than 150 people participated in the ceremony and the speakers included Alfred Grace, PCC’s President and CEO, and himself a native of Aotearoa. Ceremony highlights included: Continue reading

Two kamaaina holiday specials available at PCC

PoinsettiaThe PCC is decking the halls for kamaaina this holiday season with two special offers to save money while enjoying the captivating diversity of culture, arts, activities, and entertainment presented by the native people of Polynesia.

These two holiday special offers are available to Hawaii residents only and are not combinable with any other offers. A valid Hawaii ID is required to show proof of residency. Some restrictions may apply. For more information or to make reservations, please call the PCC’s ticket office at (808) 293-3333 or visit online at www.PCCKamaaina.com.

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PCC offers ‘Christmas Lagoon,’ starting Dec. 13

The Polynesian Cultural Center is presenting a fun and exciting winter wonderland celebration this holiday season that is being offered nowhere else in Hawaii – highlighted by a canoe ride on its beautiful lagoon.

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Called Christmas Lagoon: The Light Within, this annual holiday experience is a festival of musical performances, beautiful displays, and hands-on arts and crafts that takes place on nine days – December 13, 14, 16 through 21, and 23 – starting each evening at 6:30 p.m.

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PCC 50th, Day 4: Honoring ‘living treasures’

For approximately an hour before the Alumni Talent Show began, the Polynesian Cultural Center honored 18 alumni for their cultural contributions, remarkable service to the PCC and their lives of aloha by presenting each of them with the 50th Anniversary Lei Pūlama Aloha — Lei of a Living Treasure — Award, and in the case of the last recipient, a special service award.

With Cy Bridges acting as emcee, and PCC President & CEO Alfred Grace as well as Board Chairman Fraser Bullock presenting the actual awards, the Cultural Center recognized the following “Living Treasures” (please note, not all of them were able to attend the program, and may not be pictured; also, not all background information was available for this blog): Continue reading

PCC 50th, Day 4: Tons of talent

Immediately following the presentation of the Polynesian Cultural Center “Living Treasures” and President’s Awards, several dozen PCC alumni and friends proved once again that the talent of our people extends far beyond the beloved villages and stages at the Center…

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A teaser photo of the finalé: Keep reading for a full report

…only, all of the action this time was taking place before a packed house in the BYU-Hawaii Cannon Activities Center on Wednesday evening, September 4, 2013. For those who couldn’t be here, the event was live-streamed.

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PCC 50th, Day 1: Musical fireside brings a spectacular spirit

Oh my, we were all excited and expected big things in the Polynesian Cultural Center’s 50th Anniversary musical “fireside” in the BYU–Hawaii Cannon Activities Center — the first official activity scheduled during the September 1-8, 2013, eight-day alumni reunion — but we just didn’t realize at the start of the evening how absolutely spectacular the program would be, and the special spirit it would bring to mark the beginning of the PCC’s Golden Jubilee.

logo_apelu090113The crowd of community residents and PCC alumni who came from as far away as Australia, New Zealand, Samoa, the U.S. mainland and probably other distant places, filled every seat in the BYUH CAC that was not already occupied by the hundreds of members who comprised the 11 choirs. It was heart-warming to see the many people who met old friends and co-workers for the first time in many years.

A large Samoan choir drew the honors to sing the prelude song, then in his opening remarks, PCC Chief Operations Officer Leilua Logo Apelu [pictured at upper right] — who is also chairman of the PCC 50th Anniversary committee — welcomed everyone home, and said, “We are all gathered here this week for one reason, to express our gratitude and appreciation to the Lord for the Polynesian Cultural Center and the positive impact and the profound influence it has on each one of us and our families.”

“Wherever we served or worked at PCC, we as alumni have also impacted the lives of more than 37 million guests who have visited the sacred grounds of PCC since its opening in 1963.”

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PCC 50th, -1: Te Manahua 2013

A spirited day of Maori culture and performing arts at the Polynesian Cultural Center’s 13th annual Te Manahua Maori Cultural Arts Festival on August 31, 2013, marked the beginning of a special eight-day celebration for the Center’s 50th anniversary.

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Te Awhiorangi, a high school kapa haka group from Taupo, New Zealand, won first place in the PCC’s 13th annual Te Manahua Maori festival.

Groups from across the state and as far as New Zealand, Canada, Australia, and Utah captivated the enthusiastic crowd at PCC’s Pacific Theater with traditional Maori kapa haka (performing arts), featuring a large group competition and small group competitions in Haka Hard! and Poi-e.

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