Growing up in Wellington during the 90s, Capital E (or Capital Discovery as it was known back then) in Te Ngākau Civic Square is a place of fond memories for many children. The giant red vertical slide was a favourite!

Earlier this year Capital E put a call out seeking people who played, and learned at Capital E in their youth for our Capital E Nostalgia Project. We asked them to share their memories of school and whānau visits. Here are some of the highlights below with links to their individual interview videos:

Ashton HentyOne of Ashton’s first memories at Capital E was the giant red vertical slide. Ashton has done a bit of acting and theatre over the years which set him on the path of music management and he has since worked alongside well-known New Zealand musicians and icons. “Capital E was great for that free, open learning. The creativity was there” says Ashton.

Gemma Aitchison Capital E is a place that Gemma will never forget. In the 1990s, Gemma describes Capital E as a magical place, a thrilling and sensory experience that she remembers to this day. For Gemma Capital E is such an important resource for children, enabling them to dream, explore and create. Today she shares the magic at Capital E with her tamariki to help them express their creativity.

Riki GoochPōneke music legend Riki Gooch – drummer, composer and founding-member of Trinity Roots – talks about his memories of Capital E from 2012. Jamming out with tamariki during Orchestra of Spheres and Lord Echo – Riki values the importance of never losing sight of playfulness, or the imagination you have as a child. “There’s always that engagement of tapping into your inner child as than adult,” Riki says.

Bethany MillerBethany Miller is a producer, performer, actor and Capital E Alumni. Back in 2006 Bethany experienced ONTV and enjoyed working with the tele-prompter and map-screen in what felt like a professional setting. Her confidence grew and she loved seeing the final product. “It’s pretty cool to know that that exciting experience of presenting in the Capital E newsroom, has become somewhat of a reality with what I do now,” says Bethany.

Awa PunaFilmmaker and actress Awa shares with us how Capital E sparked her passion for filmmaking. As a young person Awa was involved in the Roxy 5 competition and wrote a play called Tui the Vampire in association with Capital E. Seeing her final film on the big screen made her ambitious to continue film making and connect with audiences on a deeper level with her creativity. 

It was heart-warming to see the positive influence Capital E has had on so many creative people. Capital E is still a place where tamariki are inspired and encouraged to be themselves.

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Photos: Giant red vertical slide