Showquest and Toi were launched in 2018 by the team at Rockquest Promotions (RQP), who have been active supporters of creative ākonga (students) since founding Smokefreerockquest in 1988. This team is also behind Smokefreerockquest, Smokefree Tangata Beats, Rockshop Bandquest, OnScreen and Stills. Showquest & Toi are run from the RQP Auckland office, with RQP Co-Founders & Directors Pete Rainey & Glenn Common based in Nelson.
Showquest is a performing arts platform for schools produced by RQP with the support of the Ministry of Education, Rockshop & ZM. Showquest supports ākonga around Aotearoa from years 1 – 13 to showcase Art, Music, Dance, Drama, Culture & Technology.
Toi is run in collaboration with World of WearableArt (WOW) and is an opportunity for the next generation of textile artists and designers to get a taste for the WOW experience. Toi is te reo Māori for art, and our Toi programme challenges students to take art off the wall and put it on the human form.
At RQP we are committed to creating inclusive opportunities that offer ākonga creative leadership in performing, dancing, music, editing, filming, choreographing, storytelling, lighting design, wearable art design and more. We are passionate about recognising the needs of young people and creating events and opportunities tailored for their development.
The Showquest performance and Toi showcase events take place in professional theatre venues all across Aotearoa, from Whangārei down to Invercargill.
Check out the 2023 regional event dates here.
Partnerships & Projects Manager
RELATIONSHIP & EVENT Manager
YOUTH DEVELOPMENT MANAGER
Rockquest Promotions is the team behind Showquest, Toi, Smokefreerockquest, Rockshop Bandquest, Tangata Beats, OnScreen & Stills. Smokefreerockquest was the first programme launched and this is how it all came about!
In 1989 Glenn Common and Pete Rainey picked up a radio station school music contest in Christchurch – as music teachers they had seen its motivational effect on students. Rockquest went nationwide in 1990, and in ’91, Smokefree became the main sponsor. Glenn and Pete were honoured with the MNZM for Services to Music in 2013, and continue to lead the team that now runs this New Zealand institution from offices in Nelson and Auckland.
Smokefree Rockquest is New Zealand’s only nationwide, live, original music, youth event, staging over 30 events annually to give high school aged musicians the opportunity to perform live in a professional setting in venues from Whangarei to Invercargill. Musical successes from Smokefreerockquest over its 30-year history include Six60, Broods, Kimbra, Opshop, Evermore, Ladyhawke, Kids of 88, Joel Little, Marlon Williams, Brooke Fraser, Anika Moa, Steriogram, Phoenix Foundation, Devilskin, The Black Seeds, Bic Runga, and The Naked and Famous.
Alongside Smokefree Rockquest is Smokefree Tangata Beats. This event, again runs nationwide for school-age students, recognises and reflects the unique cultural identity of Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific. Participants must incorporate Te Reo Māori or a Polynesian language, instruments, dance or movement in their performance. The event motivates young musicians to express themselves with cultural relevance and to encourage their peers to support original Aotearoa Kiwi music. Smokefree Tangata Beats standout successes include Alien Weaponry, Strangely Arousing and Nesian Mystik - the only New Zealand band ever to have ten singles, all certified gold or platinum.
Rockshop Bandquest was founded in 2011, and the idea behind this platform is to encourage Primary and Intermediate aged students onto the stage, teaching them performance skills and the importance of teamwork. This sets them up nicely to go on to participate in Smokefreerockquest and/or Tangata Beats at High School!
OnScreen launched in 2020 and is a digital opportunity for high school students to create an original short film of up to 5 minutes. Films are inspired by film briefs designed by film industry stalwarts.
Stills is the newest platform launched by the team at Rockquest Promotions in 2021. Stills is designed to be a creative outlet for students across Aotearoa - whether passionate photographers, digital storytellers or creatives looking to try something new. Stills is the only nationwide youth photography competition for students of all ages.