Clutha Valley’s Kiribati group performed a colourful boys and girls buti te wa (a moving canoe) dance at the South Otago Combined Schools and Centres Cultural Festival last Wednesday. The 478-seat auditorium at Te Pou O Mata-Au was filled to capacity as 16 cultural ensembles from 13 educational organisations performed stirring traditional song and dance. Demonstrations flowed through the afternoon and again in the evening as senior and junior teams — including South Otago High School’s kapa haka and Pasifika groups, and Clutha Valley Filipino group — demonstrated what they had been practising to celebrate New Zealand’s multicultural heritage and future. REPORT & PHOTO: NICK BROOK