Yesterday, Executive Mayor Mark Willemse and Wesgro CEO Tim Harris, officially opened the annual ‘Knysna Loving Local Collective Pop-Up Shop’.
Infamous as a creative hub along the Garden Route, the Pop-Up has been running for 9 years. Boasting arts, crafts, food and beverages made from locally sourced materials, all products on display are created by disadvantaged and differently abled individuals in the district.
Launched in time to capitalise on the many holiday makers exploring the route for the festive season, Harris commented: “We are thrilled to be partnering with the ‘Knysna Loving Local Craft Collective’ on this innovative initiative creating opportunities in the district. The annual Pop-Up is one of many ways that the Municipality is bringing locals into the tourism sector, creating a platform for creatives to showcase and sell their wares.”
To ensure the high standards of the market are upheld, the Cape Craft Institute issues an announcement calling on submissions from crafters in the greater Knysna area to take part in the Pop-Up market.
A Craft Selection Committee - consisting of a representative from Knysna Connect, African All Sorts and Knysna Visitor Information Centre - vet all submissions to ensure good quality and aesthetically pleasing products are showcased for the season. Together, the committee have more than 30 years experience with the production, procurement and merchandising of craft.
“This year we had 17 submissions, all of which met the high standards required to be a part of the Pop-Up,” says Glendyrr Fick who has served on the selection committee for the past 9 years.
Fick added, “Should we receive submissions that don’t meet the requirements, we advise crafters to take part in our Craft Developmental Programme which provides mentorship on how to refine their offering.”
Showcasing his wares at the 2018 Pop-Up is Paarl born Knysna raised Eugene Lewis. Lewis is the owner, artist and maker of Tribal Africa - a small local craft business specialising in the design and manufacturing of unique ceramic figurines. Joining Tribal Africa in 1997 as a young apprentice, three years later in 2010 Lewis brought the business through the assistance of Knysna Municipality’s SMME incubator programme, and with it the exclusive rights to manufacture Tribal Africa’s distinctively styled, design-patented figurines.
“Visit Knysna has played a strong role in helping me take my products to market historically - through displays in the information centre and facilitating participation in other events such as Design Indaba,” commented Lewis.
Relaunching Tribal Africa this year, Lewis added, " The opportunity to have my product on display and for sale in a formal, professional retail environment feels like a real privilege. Typically, most crafters have to rely on local markets and a handful of curio stores in the town to drive sales and it is very difficult to break into either of these as a new supplier. With my display and stock at Loving Local this year I am able to begin to see my dream for Tribal Africa unfold.”
Minister of Economic Opportunities, Beverly Schafer, commented: “SMMEs have the potential to help us solve the unemployment crisis in our country, and this initiative creates a supportive ecosystem in which these small businesses can display their work to visitors from around the world. I urge all visitors to Knysna this holiday season to buy local and help grow our creative economy and our small businesses.”
"I want to encourage our local community as well as all our much valued visitors to support this wonderful initiative and visit this Pop-Up store in support of our local businesses and entrepreneurs. It is a fantastic way to grow our local talent and support local economic development in Knysna," concluded Mark Willemse, Knysna’s Executive Mayor.
Media Relations Officer, Wesgro
Tel: 021 487 8700
Cell: 083 577 0327
Today, Wesgro exco members visited Knysna and Sedgefield to review the work done after the first month of the contracted relationship with local government to provide local tourism promotion for Knysna municipality.
The team was satisfied with the progress made in the month since the Service Level Agreement (SLA) was signed including:
• the appointment of an acting General Manager and three fixed term contract staff members running the operations in the Visit Knysna visitor centre;
• setting up of office backend and administration requirements including IT, HR and compliance;
• finalisation of the short list for candidates for the role of the General Manager of Visit Knysna and setting up of interviews;
• the printing of two format maps (fold up and tear off) for local businesses and visitors to use during season;
• meeting with various local tourism partners;
• planning the brand and marketing strategy consultations for week commencing 10 December 2018; and
• structures to join planning around the events for e.g. The Knysna Oyster Festival.
The SLA provides for a brand strategy to be tabled by 1 January 2019, so the next month will involve comprehensive consultation with the industry and stakeholders, starting with excellent previous tourism work tabled by Hunt Lascaris and the municipality.
As discussed with the tourism industry in Knysna and Sedgefield today, the working name for the operation promoting tourism in the town will be "Visit Knysna”.
As per the SLA, this operation will be a division of Wesgro run from Knysna by Marcia Holmes – who has been appointed as the acting General Manager while recruitment for a permanent appointment is under way.
Following today’s meetings with the Knysna Tourism Association and the Sedgefield Ratepayers Association, we are moving towards finalising one or more Memoranda of Understanding with tourism industry bodies to make sure that tourism promotion for the greater Knysna area is delivered in alignment with the tourism industry.
“With only one month since the signing of the SLA, we are pleased to report that the team at Visit Knysna have started to deliver on our commitment of promoting tourism in Knysna and Sedgefield. Our first order of business this past month was to ensure the tourism office at 40 Main Road is open and ready to sell the destination as part of a renewed effort by the tourism industry, the municipality and Wesgro to promote all the destination has to offer,” said Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris.
Following the meeting in Sedgefield, Harris - and Judy Lain, Wesgro’s Chief Marketing Officer for Tourism - officially launched the "Knysna Loving Local Craft Collective" Pop-Up Shop at the Tourism Office on 40 Main Road.
The Pop-Up boasts arts, crafts, food and beverages made from locally sourced materials with many products on display created by disadvantaged and differently abled individuals in the district.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with the "Knysna Loving Local Craft Collective" on this innovative initiative creating opportunities in the region. The annual Pop-Up is one of many ways that the municipality is bringing locals into the tourism sector, creating a platform for creatives to showcase and sell their wares,” added Harris.
Media Relations Officer, Wesgro
Tel: 021 487 8700
Cell: 083 577 0327
Organisers of the 2019 Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour and the Knysna Forest Marathon have confirmed that plans for next year’s events are on track. The Cycle Tour will take place on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 June, and the Forest Marathon will be on Saturday 29 June. as part of the annual Knysna Oyster Festival.
The events are the iconic sporting events of the festival and both have been running for over 30 years as part of the annual Knysna Oyster Festival.
Andrew Finn, marketing director for the Cycle Tour, said that the 2019 event will provide a stunning family cycling weekend. The main events, the MTB event, the Road Race and the Children’s fun ride will be back to thrill and challenge the thousands of participants who flock to Knysna every year for the tour.
Says Finn: We are looking at redesigning our 15km and 30km MTB events to make them more family friendly and adding more single track to our longer MTB courses. We’ll announce these changes in due course.”
Wayne Kidd, President of the Knysna Marathon Club and coordinator of next year’s Forest Marathon, said that online entries for the marathon will open for Loyalty Entrants (all 2018 participants) on 15 February 2019 and general online entries for the full and half marathons will go live on 4 March.
“We’re looking forward to another great event,” said Kidd. "This event is one of the most popular races on the national running calendar and there is nothing that beats the uniqueness of an early winter morning start in the middle of the Knysna forest. There is something very special about this race that keeps runners coming back every year. It’s one of those bucket list events that every runner wants to tick off and then, once they do it, they just want to come back and do it all over again.”
Both events are organised by local volunteers and raise substantial amounts of money for local charities every year.
For more information about the Knysna Cycle Tour, visit www.knysnacycle.co.za and follow their Facebook and Twitter pages. Follow the Knysna Forest Marathon on Facebook for regular updates or visit www.knysnamarathonclub.co.za.
The 4th edition of the Eden Kite Festival takes place over the weekend of 20/21 October. It has expanded to a two-day event. Day 1 will take place on Saturday 20th October next to the Sasol Highway Garage on the N2. Day 2 is in Sedgefield on Sunday 21st October, at the Mosaic Village & Outdoor Market.
The addition of George to the festival was the brainchild of Donald Goldfain of the George Rotary Club, and Rotary has undertaken to organise the extra day. The event also has the full support of George Tourism.
This year sees some favourites return such as the Kite Team Challenge, an aerial battle between teams of 3 using traditional Japanese-style fighting kites. Teams are given training and tips from pro kiters and are given kites to fly. For the past 3 years it’s been the highlight of the festival, with teams of friends and from companies really getting into the heat of the battle!
Challenge your competitors or friends right now while there are still places left! At a cost of R350 per team, you keep a learner in school for a month, and have 2 hours of amazing fun. You can also switch team members between heats so get a group together of 3, 4, 5 or even 10 and get down to the festival!
Any team entering at George on 20th October gets an automatic entry to the competition at the Sedgefield part of the festival on 21st October.
There is also a competition for kites made from upcycled materials. Great prizes are in store for the best creations. They will be judged by international kite-flyers on creativity of design, workmanship, and flying ability. For materials think bin bags or shopping bags, newspapers, dowel sticks, bamboo... your imagination is the limit – but everything must be upcycled, not bought for your kite. For plans go to www.kiteplans.org.
With over 20 stalls in George and 60 in Sedge, plus jumping castles, live music, raffles, competitions and shows, there will be plenty to do and see on these family fun-filled days!
On Saturday evening, 20 October, there is “Come Fly With Me” – a performance by international virtuoso Cat Simoni. It will take place in the Octopus Garden Under the Sea at Scarab Village, N2 Sedgefield. Tickets at Sedgefield Info or at the gate.
The Eden Kite Festival is being sponsored by Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty of Sedgefield for the 2nd time. The organisers are very grateful for the support, which enables proceeds to go to Masithandane and not to cover the costs of this big event.
8 October 2018
For immediate release
High resolution pics at: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/hwrp7767tlpwpxh/AACWSB9FJTjSygEm-R0YiQT4a?dl=0 (All pics by Keith Mould)
Thirteen deserving students from Plettenberg Bay, sponsored by Bitou Municipality, are joining Greenpop’s Eden Festival of Action.
In order to make the Eden Festival of Action as accessible and inclusive to the local community as possible, Greenpop provided a limited number of scholarships for enthusiastic, young, active citizens in the Garden Route to attend the event free of charge.
Of the spaces available, Bitou Municipality generously donated the funding for 13 successful applicants between the ages of 13 and 17, from Plettenberg Bay.
"I saw how animals and people suffered and felt terrible because there was nothing I could do about it. I want to give back to our world by reconnecting with nature and myself. I want to help where I can and rebuild what we have lost," explains one successful candidate, who will be joining Greenpop at Peace of Eden for their second Youth Week in July 2018.
The Bitou Municipality supports the upskilling of their local scholars especially in a year where the national prerogative is to develop matriculants with more than just a matric certificate. Teaching our young ones about our green heritage and preserving and enhancing the natural resources of our beautiful municipal area is key to grow the economy of Bitou. The partnership with Greeenpop provides the right vehicle to build such foundations. The municipality wants to enter into a multi-year agreement and add more students to this programme in years to come.
The students have received the opportunity to attend the seven-day residential programme which includes full board and lodging at Peace Of Eden, Rheenendal, in addition to the full schedule of activities, workshops, and activations - including tree-planting, natural building, eco-education, and beekeeping.
The Festival is spearheaded by Greenpop, an award-winning social and environmental NPO which have brought their 7th Festival of Action to the Garden Route to regenerate habitats and restore ecosystems, with the goal to create mass environmental impact.
For further information:
Phone: +27(0)21 461 9265
The Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival, taking place this year between Friday, 29 June and Sunday, 8 July, has long been an annual pilgrimage for marathon runners and road cyclists. Over the years the range of sporting events on offer at the Festival has grown significantly to include a swim across the lagoon, paddling, trail running, mountain biking, golf, as well as the Momentum Big5 Challenge and Momentum Big5 Lite for accomplished multisport athletes.
For cyclists particularly, the Festival has a lot to offer, with the long-standing favourites firmly in place to challenge some of the top riders in the country, as well as those seeking fun and a bit of adventure for the family.
The first weekend of the Festival sees the Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour MTB Events kick off festivities on Saturday, 30 June, with 80km, 50km, 30km, and 15km routes, in addition to the newer 30km E-bike race. The inaugural E-bike race was a great success last year and the event looks forward to a bigger field of entrants this year. The challenging trails of the MTB routes through the Garden Route’s forests and farmlands really cater for riders of all skills levels.
Pro cyclist Matt Beers, who is on top form after recently winning the KAP sani2c with experienced NAD Pro teammate Nico Bell, says the Knysna cycling events are ones he will keep coming back to. He will be competing in the 80km mountain bike and 115km road cycle events.
“I’ve been doing it since I started racing and I have come 3rd twice and 2nd once so I am looking to win it this year, and I will do the road race the next day as well, as that has become the tradition. We have to show the roadies how it’s done, despite the fact that us mountain bikers may be a bit fatigued from the day before, I like the challenge,” he says.
The Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour Road Race on Sunday, 1 July, features a 115km and a 50km route. In an exciting development this year, the Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour has confirmed that the 115km road race, along with the 80km and 50km mountain bike races will be seeding qualifying events for the 2019 Cape Town Cycle Tour.
The Forest Family Dam Ride on Sunday, 1 July is not a timed race, but a more relaxed scenic 30km or 20km route for mountain bikers, into the forests above Simola and past some of Knysna’s dams.
Also on Sunday, 1 July, the Spur Rotary Children’s Cycle Tour makes the cycling at the Festival a family affair, and parents of 2-10 year olds can watch their children take part in the 2-4, 5-7, and 8-10 year-old categories at the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival grounds at Waterfront Drive.
The Momentum Big5 Challenge and Big5 Lite is for athletes who choose to participate in five of the Festival’s sports events between Friday, 29 June and Saturday, 7 July. Ranked by their cumulative time, the athlete who completes all five events in the least amount of time will be the race winner. The Momentum BIG5 Challenge has become a bucket list item on the international endurance and adventure race calendar, mainly due to the challenging events, but also because of the unbelievable natural beauty experienced at all of the five races.
Enjoying the fun and entertainment on offer throughout the week of the Festival is a great way to relax after you have made your mark on the sports events, so sign up now and get your training on track to enjoy an action-packed holiday.
The full festival line-up, with links to enter all the sporting events, can be found on the website at: http://www.oysterfestival.co.za/programme-of-events/
Book your accommodation packages with us at www.oysterfestival.co.za/accommodation
Direct link to the cycling events: www.knysnacycle.co.za
Mountain biking events on Saturday 30 June, with 80km, 50km, 30km, and 15km routes, in addition to the newer 30km E-bike race. The Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour on Sunday 1 July, with a 115km and 50km route.
For news and updates follow us on Facebook @KnysnaOysterFestival, Twitter @oysterfestival or Instagram @knysnaoysterfestival
If you aren’t already planning to be at the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival from Friday, 29 June – Sunday, 8 July, here are a few ‘tasters’ to entice you to book your holiday now and join us for “the best 10 days of winter”.
Flavourful foodie fun
Among the more than 100 activities arranged over the 10-day period, a first this year is the fun
“Flavours of Knysna Tour”, a culinary journey to some of the best restaurants in and around Knysna. Taking place on Wednesday, 4 July, you’ll plan your own route using our hop-on-hop-off shuttles to visit some of the best eateries in the area and experience delicious tasters and signature dishes. An exciting competition will also run on the night, where you can cast your vote for your favourite restaurants in various categories.
Tickets can be purchased online via Webtickets or at the Money Counter at Pick n Pay stores in Knysna and George. Make sure you don’t miss – space is limited! Date: Wednesday, 4 July 2018, tickets cost R180, includes tasting voucher, free hop-on hop-off shuttles and area available at www.webtickets.co.zaor the Money Counter at Pick n Pay Knysna and George stores.
Old favourites, new venues
The Knysna Wine Festival presented by Pick n Pay may be an institution, but this year’s location on Thesen Island will be a first. Come and experience the best of South Africa’s wine farms on Monday, 2 and Tuesday, 3 July. Tickets cost R150 and including a tasting glass, available at www.webtickets.co.za or the Money Counter at Pick n Pay Knysna and George stores.
Loerie Park will this year play host to various kiddies’ entertainment options and sporting events such as the Athletics SWD, Oyster Festival rugby and soccer and netball tournaments.
The Comedy Festival is always an entertainment highlight and will take place at Mitchell’s Brewery.
Don’t miss the chance to see some of SA’s top comedians and other well-known comedy personalities in action.
In an exciting development this year, the Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour has confirmed that the 115km road race, along with the 80km and 50km mountain bike races will be seeding qualifying events for the 2019 Cape Town Cycle Tour.
An e-bike event was introduced last year and will again be on offer, in the form of the 30km Electric Bike MTB race.
The Momentum Big5 Challenge and Big5 Lite multisport events cater for the seriously adventurous.
Enter at www.knysnacycle.co.za
Get the T-shirt!
Look out for the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival pop-up shops and info desks located in Festival zones, where you’ll be able to be to purchase Festival-branded goodies and get any info you may need.
Make sure you book soon, June is just around the corner!
ALL THE DETAILS:
The BIG5 Challenge and BIG5 Lite multisport events. Enter here: www.big5challenge.com
Mountain biking events on Saturday 30 June, with 80km, 50km, 30km, and 15km routes, in addition to the newer 30km E-bike race. Enter here: www.knysnacycle.co.za
The Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour will take place on Sunday 1 July; and offers a 115km and 50km route. Enter here: www.knysnacycle.co.za
The Momentum Knysna Forest Marathon & Half Marathon are two of South Africa’s most-hotly contested running races and will take place on Saturday 7 July. Enter here: www.knysnamarathonclub.com/forest-marathon
For the full festival line-up:
For news and updates follow us on Facebook @KnysnaOysterFestival, Twitter @oysterfestival or Instagram @knysnaoysterfestival
Knysna Tourism’s new destination marketing campaign, #SpiritofKnysna, kicks off this week with the launch of our video on Thursday 7 June. The two-minute video was filmed in Knysna and Sedgefield and showcases the lagoon, forest and beaches. It was produced by local filmmaker Daron Chatz using local personalities and models from Ace Models. The original soundtrack was written and recorded by local musician Tigger Reunert.
The video was made possible with funds from Wesgro who gave Knysna Tourism R100,000 to market the town following the fires of June last year.
Chairperson of Knysna Tourism Elmay Bouwer says that the campaign is the next major step after the #KnysnaRises campaign. “For the purposes of marketing the Greater Knysna area, we need to begin to share the magic of Knysna again with the world. The message of our previous campaign was to show the world that we were still open for business, despite the fires of 7 June 2017. Now our message is, come and experience that unique spirit that Knysna has demonstrated in rising above the trauma of the past year; the unique spirit that you will find in our scenic beauty, our people, our sunsets.”
The video will be available on the Knysna Tourism website. Also look out for new billboards on the N2, a new sign outside Knysna Tourism and new social media covers.
The spectacular Goukamma Nature Reserve, a Cape Nature Reserve to the East of Sedgefield, is usually host to the tough yet popular annual Goukamma Traverse Trail Run. However due to the damage sustained to the reserve by the Knysna Fires in June 2017, organisers of the trail run felt that despite the green flush coming through, that the reserve is still ‘in recovery phase’ and would like to give it more time to bounce back to its usual beauty.
“Surrounded as we are by so much choice for special places to trail run,” said race director, Amanda Dixon, “we made the decision to move the trail run to the Cape Dune Molerat Trail, part of the Wilderness section of SANPark’s Garden Route National Park. The trail is situated in the hamlet of Rondevlei, 6kms west of Sedgefield and overlooks Rondevlei, one of a series of lakes between Swartvlei to the east and the Touw River to the west. A spectacular outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, it hosts a variety of aquatic, bird and plant species and has been proclaimed as a Ramsar site (a wetland of international importance).”
The trail run will take on the new name “Rondevlei Traverse” and distances will include the 16km Traverse and a 5km Family Fun Trail Run. “The 16km route is a tough and challenging run” said Dixon “and will traverse single track trails through fynbos biome on the Cape Dune Molerat Trail and into primary Afromontane forest trails on private farms to the north of the reserve. The 5km run is a perfect circular route for beginner trail runners and kids. Both distances will give runners spectacular panoramic views of some of the inland vleis and lakes to the east, south and north.”
With amazing sweeping views over Swartvlei, the start/ finish venue for the Rondevlei Traverse will be at the magnificent 5 star Lakeside Lodge. Karl Pietersen, General Manager of Lakeside Lodge said, “We’re very excited to be hosting the event at our lodge. It’s the perfect setting to host an outdoor event and we’ll be adding a few Easter trail running specials to our menu for the day for all who are hungry. We have also sponsored two lucky draw prizes; 2-night stays for 2 people sharing with a 2 course dinner and breakfast.”
“We have 3 great sponsors on board this year- Pick n Pay, Lakeside Lodge and Wimpy which means that we have both cash and great prizes up for grabs!” said organizer Amanda Dixon.
The event will take place on Sat 31st March 2018. Registration will be at Lakeside Lodge. Register for the 16km from 07h15-08h15, race starts at 08h30. Register for the 5km from 07h30-08h45, race starts at 09h00.
Do NOT miss the Rondevlei Traverse, it’s one of the most spectacular runs you’ll ever do!!
If the sights and sounds of exhilarating high-performance road and race cars gets your heart beating faster, then there’s one event you simply must add to your calendar – and that’s the 2018 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb in Knysna. The ninth edition of this award-winning event takes place from 3 to 6 May and promises to be bigger and better than ever!
“The response to this year’s Jaguar Simola Hillclimb has been exceptional, from competitors, corporates and spectators alike,” says Ian Shrosbree, the event’s director. “We received over 220 entry applications for Classic Car Friday and King of the Hill, and we’ve had an unprecedented number of pre-event hospitality, pit and general entry ticket sales.
“With several new elements being added for this year’s Hillclimb, fans will be treated to even more spectacular opportunities to be part of and witness the action,” Shrosbree adds.
One of the exciting new features being introduced for the 2018 edition is a specially built public grandstand that will be ideally positioned at Turn 2. From this unrivalled vantage point, spectators will have some of the best views of the Hillclimb, extending from the start line all the way up the fastest section of the course leading to the spectator bridge at Turn 3. The grandstand has easy access to the pits, food vendors and the popular Gasoline Alley.
The unreserved grandstand seating is limited to 400 people each day. It is available as an upgrade to both General Entry and Pit Access Tickets, at an additional cost of R200 per day.
To make things even more convenient for visitors to the event, the organisers have made a limited amount of parking available in a designated area behind the pits. Known as Pit Priority Parking, it is available to the public at R100 per car for each of the three days.
Hospitality tickets are selling like proverbial hot cakes, and spectators that want the VIP treatment are advised to purchase their tickets soon to avoid disappointment. The Le Mans VIP Lounge Package is open to 250 guests per day and provides access to the exclusive lounge positioned just after the start line. Tickets include VIP parking and shuttle service, pit access, and eats and drinks throughout the day.
The Piston Club, which is also new for 2018, caters for only 100 people per day, and is located near the top of the course overlooking the exciting twisty section known as the “Esses”. Prices include entrance tickets and pit access, priority parking near the venue, as well as a light lunch and beverages.
“Once again, we’re urging people planning to attend the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb this year to book their tickets and accommodation early. Many ticket categories, such as pit access, have limited numbers and sales are robust so to avoid disappointment we recommend buying tickets sooner rather than later,” Shrosbree says.
“On the accommodation side, we’ve secured as many accommodation partners as possible, but it’s essential that both competitors and spectators don’t delay in securing bookings if they want to stay within Knysna. There is obviously a reduction of rooms available in the town due to last year’s fires, however there is plenty availability further out of town and in neighbouring towns,” Shrosbree says.
Full details of ticket prices, hospitality packages and accommodation partners are available and online bookings can be actioned via: www.jaguarsimolahillclimb.com #JaguarSHC