International artists join line-up for Ramp Festival launch

The Design Industry Breakfast will be a highlight during Ramp Festival week
Four international artists will join an inspiring line-up of creatives at the four-day Ramp Festival of music, media, arts and design next month at Wintec in Hamilton.


Four international artists will join an inspiring line-up of creatives at the four-day Ramp Festival of music, media, arts and design next month at Wintec in Hamilton.

Canadian based actor and singer Nic Kyle, along with sought-after bass player Mat Fieldes, artist Jill Slayer and composer Ned Ginsburg, all from New York are just some of the speakers who will be at Ramp Festival from 23-26 July.

The festival is free for students, alumni and the public to engage with and experience the creative arts.

Ramp Festival is the new name for the former Spark International Festival of Music, Media, Arts and Design.

Ramp Festival Director, Megan Lyon says this innovative, annual event curated by Wintec’s School of Media Arts has been stimulating curiosity for 21 years.

“We have speakers with careers in music performance, communication, design and contemporary art arriving to our city campus from New Zealand and all around the world.

“Being in the same room with inspiring creatives really does make a difference,” says Megan.

The festival’s new name ensures a closer connection to the School of Media Arts’ well-established art gallery, Ramp Gallery, which has been operating at Wintec for more than 20 years.

“We saw an opportunity to bring these well-known Hamilton city arts spaces and activities under the same banner,” says Ramp Gallery Curator, Wendy Richdale. 

“As educators on a central city campus, we have a really close connection to the city and the arts community here. It’s an exciting time for Hamilton as we grow and mature into our own as a city.”

Ramp now combines all the events, workshops, performances and exhibitions offered at Wintec’s School of Media Arts under one umbrella. 

In addition to Ramp Festival and Ramp Gallery, regular events throughout the year will include Ramp Talks, Ramp Workshops and Ramp Live (a live music series).

“These joint creative experiences are important learning tools and real opportunities,” says Wendy.

“It’s like we can pull back the curtain and provide real understanding of what is going on in the sector currently – as well as giving invaluable opportunities to connect directly with world-class creatives.”

Speaker Snapshot

Nic Kyle performed in New Zealand, Australia, England, Canada and featured as a solo artist in several Christchurch Symphony Orchestra concerts. He returns to New Zealand as the role of Jesus in The Court Theatre’s sell-out season of Jesus Christ Superstar. Nic talks through his journey in the performing arts industry.

Mat Fieldes has been based in New York for the past 25 years and has toured the world with artists such as Ornette Coleman and Joe Zawinul. He is also a member of the Auckland-based jazz collective, The Committee. Matt’s workshop will take a look at the life and times of Miles Davis, who was continually influenced by popular musical trends.

Jill Slayer started her career in Texas and freelanced as an artist in New York City since 1982. The painter and text/collage artist has exhibited in The Philippines, London, New York, New Jersey and Barcelona. Jill’s workshop will discuss the skills necessary for a young artist, giving them opportunities to present their own artwork.

Ned Ginsburg composer and arranger born in New York returns to Ramp Festival. His career experience includes Liza Minnelli (Broadway), Aladdin (Broadway in London) and Wonder Pets (Nickelodeon). In his workshop, he’ll present 'before and after' scores that an orchestrator can bring to a songwriter or scoring composer’s work and discuss his experience of entering the profession.

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Ramp Festival is free and open to all. 

Keep up to date with Ramp events on The School of Media Arts social media pages, on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.  

This story was written by Wintec Bachelor of Media Arts, Communication student, Hollie Blanchard.

Contact details: 
For more information or interviews contact Wintec Communications Manager Louise Belay 027 210 4574 or