Over the last weeks we have had lots of visits from the cool crew down at Skillwise. They support people with disabilities into employment. We are happy to support the group and offer opportunities to their members and are extra happy when they come and get happy on the video games!

In talking with them, we have found them in the midst of fundraising for a theater for their clients. We are donating to the cause and are putting the information out there should any of you who love ARCADIA have anything to offer this fine group towards achieving the goals they have for their clients.

Check out the information below :)

Then come play video games, your support of ARCADIA allows us to support community initiatives COOL HUH !

By the way. i got 25 million on TRON. its my all time high score but still not like the real pinballers !


Who are we?

SkillWise has been operating in Christchurch as a not-for-profit charitable trust since 1991. It was established by a group of parents to ensure there were meaningful opportunities for their intellectually disabled children when they left school.

With a permanent staff of 19, plus a casual staff of 9 contractors, we currently support over 190 adults in a variety of opportunities to help ensure people can “live the life they want”! Many of these activities most non-disabled people would take for granted. These include education, sports and recreational activities, paid work and volunteering. Some activities are held at SkillWise’s premises, but the majority of people are involved in many and varied opportunities in the community

The Evolution of our Drama Group

Drama and performing arts are important to many people within the SkillWise community and we have had a drama group since 2006. Then in 2013 we established a more formalised drama group called Many Hats, which has evolved over the last five years into a fledgling theatre company. They have performed at The Court Theatre (2014); collaborated with the St. Andrews College drama group (2015); and created a feature-length film that had sell-out screenings at the Academy Gold Cinema (2016). Last year they created a website,, as well as a YouTube channel, which have enabled Many Hats to reach a much wider audience and its reputation has steadily grown.

The Many Hats method has been crafted over time by our talented Theatre Company Director who has exposed the actors to a wide range of performance styles and techniques, including video, sound, narration, improvisation, subjective performance, poetry and written stories.

Our Big Idea!

For 2018 we plan to develop our auditorium into a community performance and theatre space, that will be fully inclusive and accessible for people with disabilities. This will be a professional working theatre with up to date lighting and sound systems and will be multi-functional. The project will involve collaborations with Christchurch businesses as well as a variety of community groups. The theatre will have tiered seating for up to 100 people, with a flat, floor-level performance area and a back-stage, making it suitable for those in wheelchairs and other disabilities, whether they are members of the audience or one of the actors. It will be available for use by community organisations within the performing arts sector, plus groups from the wider community for other purposes such as meetings or conferences.


This project involves significant fundraising. With this in mind, SkillWise will be holding its third art auction on Friday 23rd November. It will include 20 - 25 pieces of art from both SkillWise artists as well as artists from the wider community. In conjunction with the live auction, there will also be a silent auction of specially selected items. We will also be holding a raffle during the event.

Another key component of our fundraising strategy will be a crowd funding campaign. This will be launched very soon. We also intend to apply for grants and will be seeking sponsorship from businesses across the community.

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