Show Options

Thursday, 05 October 2017 07:21

Knysna Timber Festival: the Phoenix soars

From total destruction in the fires of 7 June, to “most successful festival ever” in just three months: the 2017 Knysna Timber Festival (29 September – 1 October) has been hailed as both a triumph, and a cathartic, life-affirming experience.

“The Knysna Timber Initiative decided at its very first meeting after the fires that the Festival would go ahead by hook or by crook – despite the fact that both the venue, Timber Village, and my home and office – with all the Festival documents and records - were completely burned to the ground,” said Festival manager, Picca de Bruin.

“It was a massive effort, but the spirit of cooperation and the incredible support we received from everyone paid off on the day.

“Our visitor numbers were up (more than 2,000 people came into the festival grounds on Saturday alone); a number of visitors – including bowl-turners from Pretoria - flew in specifically for the event; the Fechters/Woodoc Food for Wood/Ezigro Karata Nurseries children’s programme was sold out; Chef Melven Mene of Usatsho Tshisanyama & Catering ran out of supplies on at least one occasion and had to go into town to get more to feed the amazing crowd of people who seemed to kuier and kuier; and the number of out-of-town exhibitors grew from about 5% of the total on show last year to 25% this year,” she said.

Ms. de Bruin said that media coverage generated by the Festival for Knysna as a timber destination exceeded all expectations.

“SABC sent a reporter and cameraman who put together a 2-minute, 11-second slot that was screened on prime-time TV news, and Derrich Gardner interviewed me on his RSG programme, Brêkfis met Derrich, on Saturday morning – and, together with exposure in Timber IQ and SA Forestry magazines, as well as in our local Knysna-Plett Herald and the many on-line publications that supported us, this year’s festival drew more media attention than any we’ve done in the past.

“In terms of the #KnysnaRises campaign, this was invaluable coverage, and we’re sure that we can directly attribute it to the goodwill that surrounded the Festival from the day we decided that it had to go ahead,” she said.

Exhibitor Cheryl Liepner of Country Ways – a Knysna-based business that restores furniture, and makes new furniture from old wood – wasn’t ready to exhibit at first. She and her husband, Nick, lost their house on the family farm near Karatara, outside Knysna, and their shop on Old Cape Road, and their son, Zak, lost his home next door to Timber Village in the fires.

“I couldn’t face it,” she said. “My biggest fear was that everyone would be talking about the fires, and we’re still trying to come to terms with losing everything – including all the stock from our 28-year-old business.

“But Daniel (Hennessy, one of the owners of Timber Village) called and offered us a sponsored stall, and persuaded us to come – and I’m so pleased we did.

“It was ten times better than last year, even though we had very little on show. It was just fantastic.

“We saw a very different crowd of people this year, and we did have to speak about the fire, but everyone was genuinely interested in our work, and how we’re rebuilding, so it was good to talk about it after all.

“And that genuine interest means so more than when people say things like ‘I’m sorry.’

“We were also positioned next to Barry Foulkes of Ciranova floor coatings from Cape Town, and it was fantastic to see and share his enthusiasm for wood and timber products.

“Losing everything in a fire teaches you not to become too comfortable. If I’d watched the farm animals, I would probably have known that it was coming our way, and made different arrangements – but now I know I must never get comfortable again.

“Nevertheless, the Knysna Timber Festival was a wonderful experience that’s helped us all enormously,” she said. (All Ms. Liepner’s farm animals – horses, pigs, turkeys, and even a chicken with a damaged leg – fled the fires, but returned to the farm two days later.)

For his part, Barry Foulkes of Ciranova High Quality Woodcare Products – which exhibited for the first time at the Knysna Timber Festival this year – was “hugely impressed with the show.

“Whenever we exhibit in the big cities, everyone’s only interested in price – but here, we found that the people we met wanted to understand our products, and they were genuinely curious about what they can do.

“There was a such a great community spirit, too, and it was a rare opportunity to meet the local trade, and to speak directly to the people who make the decisions,” he said.

“We’ll definitely be back next year.”

And that, said Ms. de Bruin, was exactly why the Knysna Timber Initiative went to such extraordinary lengths to present the 2017 Knysna Timber Festival with the help of the Knysna Municipality and Wesgro.

“The festival’s slogan is ‘Our heritage rooted in wood,’ and its job is to remind us that we grow together when we work together,” she said.




Media release for the Knysna Timber Festival by
Martin Hatchuel CPRP
084 951 0574
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Published in Festivals & events

The Southern Cape economy has, over the past two decades, absorbed a number of major challenges and changes, as well as number of sectorial implosions.

Primary examples to sectors which came under pressure is the vegetable (McCains/ agricultural) implosion, and the contraction of the forestry industry.

Right now, slow (national) economic growth, with talk of Mossgas permanently closing its doors post 2017, the regional economic outlook is bleak.

Fortunately, to a degree the emergence and development of the service (focussed) industry, as well as a blooming tourism industry, under- scored these traditional, but declining sectors.

Nevertheless, with a steady growth in population, the Southern Cape economy can ill afford a further decline in the formal forestry sector.

At stake is not only the re- replanting and management of the aging plantations, but the entire (regional) socio- economic value chain, dependent on a sustained supply of timber.

Perhaps of a bigger concern is a lack of government policy on the way land will be managed in the Southern Cape, given the exit of forestry in large areas, post 2020. Already, the management of large tracts of state land is "falling through the cracks". Land not managed by a specific responsible statutory entity, is quickly transformed into waste-land, prone to be overrun by invasive alien plants, erosion and soil degradation.

In an attempt to get a handle on the socio- economic/ environmental scenario, the Southern Cape Landowners Initiative (SCLI), initiated a consultative process to engage with all relevant stake holders on the matter.

As a result of the consultative process, a workshop on the matter was hosted in Knysna on Friday 11 November, by Knysna Municipality as well as Knysna & Partners, to coincide with the Knysna Timber Festival.

It is envisaged that a much more representative grouping will be formed to look at scenario options within the 2017/ 18 time frame.

Says Cobus Meiring from SCLI, "it seems that the authorities, as well as most effected stake holders, are waking up to the reality that the region can no longer ignore the fact that, if there is no collective action, there will be several unintended (detrimental) social, environmental and economic consequences.

The Southern Cape Landowners Initiative (SCLI), is a public platform for landowners and land managers with a stake in the control and eradication of invasive alien plants - visit our webpage: www.scli.org


Published in Festivals & events

Wood workers, artisans, members of the timber industry, and local and national businesses agree: the third Knysna Timber Festival, which took place from 11-13 November, was an unqualified success.

The event was created by the Knysna Timber Initiative to revive interest in the timber economy of the Garden Route, which has suffered the closure of numerous saw mills, plantations, and factories - and the resultant loss of thousands of jobs - over the last two decades.

“There was an incredible atmosphere throughout the event - and it’s clear that everyone’s willing to work together to preserve our timber heritage, and to grow the industry in the future,” said the Knysna Timber Initiative’s Jock McConnachie.

A project by the hackers at the Kluyts MakerSpace to build a wooden bicycle and to assemble it in front of Festival-goers in the exhibition tent attracted particular attention.

“None of us had any experience of building bikes, but we did it to highlight the depth of the skills and the talent available here in Knysna,” said project leader John Noble. “And it turned out to be a great a draw-card for the Festival.”

The Festival also included an up-skilling workshop for local woodworkers. Conducted by master furniture-maker Richard Henley, and presented with the support of Rotary, Kluyts, and the Knysna Municipality, the 7-day course was timed to end on the last day of the Festival.

“Properly used at the right times, hand tools are often more flexible and faster than machine tools, and this course was designed to show that the use of hand tools isn’t just a romantic idea,” said Mr. Henley.

“The guys saw the course as an opportunity, and they threw themselves into it. One of them was promoted by the factory where he works - from packing recycling materials the previous week, to a semi-skilled position this week.

“And two of them were talking about becoming self-employed in the near future.”

Chloe Bunnett of Tool & Trade, Knysna, was equally up-beat.

Tool & Trade demonstrated the latest thinking in tools and techniques in conjunction with Vermont Sales, which supplies Tork Craft tools and accessories for hobbyists, and the Bexey and Kreg ranges for professionals.

“This is a brilliant way of promoting woodworking and timber, and of showing people what we do - and we’ve had very positive feedback, both during the show and afterwards.

“It’s a great initiative, and we look forward growing with it.”

The Festival was sponsored by Woodoc Food for Wood and Saplings Timber Trading, and was presented with the assistance of G&K Quality Timber Mouldings, Tradelink Wood Products, Knysna & Partners, and the Knysna Municipality.

In an email addressed to Festival coordinator Picca de Bruin, Woodoc’s marketing coordinator, Delray Turner, congratulated the Festival committee on “your fine work, excellent planning and realistic scheduling,” which “resulted in an informative and smooth-running festival.”

“A special thank you to Jock for his wonderful dedication to this event. His enthusiasm, encouragement and vision for reviving and restoring a love for wood is inspiring.”

Knysna & Partners CEO, Greg Vogt, congratulated all participants on the results of the Festival.

“It marked the beginning of a new era for timber, plantation forestry, and conservation forestry in the Southern Cape.

“It showed that there’s enormous goodwill, and a common desire to ensure a prosperous future for the region.

“And since many aspects of the timber economy - from the Garden Route National Park to our fine furniture factories - are also integral to our success as a tourism destination, it bodes well for a sustainable future for our hospitality sector and for our attractions,” he said.


Saplings Timber Trading: www.saplings.co.za
Woodoc: www.woodoc.com
G&K Quality Timber Mouldings www.gandkmouldings.co.za
Tradelink Wood Products www.tradelink-group.com
Knysna: www.visitknysna.co.za
Knysna Timber Festival: www.timberfestival.co.za


Media release for Knysna & Partners by
Martin Hatchuel of www.thistourismweek.co.za
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
084 951 0574

Published in Festivals & events

 The Knysna Timber Initiative has announced the final programme line-up for the Knysna Timber Festival, which starts this Friday (11 November).


Under the theme ‘Wood is in our nature,’ the Festival - sponsored by Woodoc Food for Wood and Saplings Timber Trading, and presented with the assistance of G&K Quality Timber Mouldings, Tradelink Wood Products, Knysna & Partners, and the Knysna Municipality - aims to highlight both the heritage of timber in the Garden Route, and the talent and resources still present in the region.

“With the closure of so many furniture factories and sawmills, we’ve lost thousands of jobs in the timber economy in the Southern Cape over the last twenty years or so, and we can’t afford to lose any more,” said Jock McConnachie, of the Knysna Timber Initiative.

“This is why launched the Festival: as a varied and vibrant showcase of furniture and woodcraft - and all things good in wood - and with both a high-level workshop, and popular attractions like talks and product demonstrations on the programme.”

The workshop will seek to find solutions to the challenges facing the timber economy in the Southern Cape, and will include delegates from government, the Knysna Timber Buyers Association, the Knysna Timber Initiative, the George Millers Forum, the Southern Cape Landowners Initiative, and SANParks, and with Knysna & Partners as the local destination management and marketing organisation.

While the timber economy workshop will take place at Knysna Hollow, the bulk of the action will take place at the festival grounds at Timber Village in Welbedacht Lane.

The weekend will include ongoing demonstrations of outdoor power products by Turf & Trees, and of various clamping and joining tools and techniques by Tool & Trade in association with Vermont Sales.

Thanks to sponsorship from the Rotary Club of Knysna and the Knysna Municipality’s local economic development department, four young men are currently attending a course on working with hand tools presented by master furniture maker Richard Henley. The students will complete tool cabinets during the course, and will present them at the Festival. Mr. Henley will also be on hand to discuss traditional joining techniques, and the use and maintenance of hand tools with festival-goers.

Members of the public are invited to donate old woodworking hand tools for the participants’ use.

“One of the highlights of the Festival will be the final assembly of the wooden Outeniqua FatStix mountain bike, which is currently being built by hackers at the Kluyts MakerSpace out of laminated assegai, hard pear and stinkwood, and which will take place in the exhibition pavilion at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday ” said festival Organiser Picca de Bruin.

The bike is being built to showcase local talent and craftsmanship, and to demonstrate the possibilities for high-tech applications for timber in the future.

Ms. de Bruin said that the museum at Timber Village will be the venue for a series of talks and videos.

“Dalena Stander - who comes from an old Knysna timber family, and who has a deep knowledge of and passion for our timber heritage - will talk on Friday at 3:00 p.m. about how the various species of trees support the timber economy, and how they’re intertwined with the various sectors of the economy.

“Richard Müller, the Wood Technology Program manager at the Saasveld Campus of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, will explain colour and figure variation in wood on Saturday at 10:00, and will follow this up with a talk on timber shrinkage how this relates to distortion in timber at 12:00.

“And Ronell Grobler, the technical director at Rekara Mills will discuss the latest technology in Woodoc’s new range of Totim Exterior Wood Sealers on Saturday at 2:00, while on Sunday at 12:00, a speaker from Knysna’s T&B Log Homes will explain how they go about building with wood in the Maldives.”

“Food and entertainment at the Festival will all be home-grown, with catering by Whitewashed, beer by Mitchell’s, and blues, rock and folk music by the Southern Sons and local DJ Mr. G.

“And there’ll be plenty for the kids, too, with opportunities to build your own candy dispensers, picture frames or tool boxes, and to explore Kidbuddie’s playground equipment,” said Ms. De Bruain.

Knysna & Partners CEO, Greg Vogt, said that he hopes everyone will come to the Festival during the weekend.

“And if you can’t be there, please follow and share the hash tag #WoodIsInOurNature and the accounts @KnysnaTimber and @FatStixMTB - and let’s get Knysna’s timber economy back on course,” he said.


Knysna Timber Festival: www.timberfestival.co.za
Saplings Timber Trading: www.saplings.co.za
Woodoc: www.woodoc.com
G&K Quality Timber Mouldings www.gandkmouldings.co.za
Tradelink Wood Products www.tradelink-group.com
Knysna: www.visitknysna.co.za


Media release for Knysna & Partners by
Martin Hatchuel of www.thistourismweek.co.za
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
084 951 0574

Published in Festivals & events
Wednesday, 02 November 2016 09:55

Knysna races to complete its first wooden bicycle

A group of volunteers keen to ensure that Knysna’s timber heritage flourishes well into the future is racing against time to complete South Africa’s first wooden fat bike by the end of this week.

The 7-speed bike is expected to go on show to the public at the Knysna Timber Festival (11-13 November, 2016).

“Knysna’s economy was founded on timber, and timber was still its backbone until about a decade ago,” said John Noble, a businessperson and one of the originators of the idea for the wooden bicycle.

“Policy decisions and other factors have devastated the local timber industry over the last 20 years, with the loss of 7,000 jobs in the Southern Cape from plantations, sawmills, shops and factories that’ve been forced to close.

“But Knysna still has a core of experienced and talented people who’re determined to reverse the situation - and we felt that one way of highlighting their work would be to harness Knysna’s heritage of timber to build a product for the future, and to use funds raised for the project to provide technical skills training for three young people who want to pursue timber-related careers” he said.

Under Mr. Noble’s leadership, the team - all hackers at the Kluyt’s MakerSpace - gave itself six weeks to complete the task. Members include technical draftsperson Roy Weatherstone, CNC expert Clifford Coetzer and CNC technicians Matthew Bisset and Mario Barnard, frame maker Jaco Delport, master woodworker Richard Henley, bike shop and children’s cycling academy owner, Jacques Brink, fundraiser Rod Ward-Able, and project manager Francois Geldenhuys.

The bike will be called the Outeniqua Fatstix in honour of the indigenous timber (sticks) that grows in the Garden Route, on the southern slopes of the Outeniqua Mountains.

“None of us has ever built a bike before, but we decided to put our heads together and to use a process of rapid prototyping to get this project out,” said Mr. Brink.

The CAD design and the CNC of the front triangle were completed during the first week of operations, while the initial lamination of the frame began on Monday, 31 October - which was also when the team met to consider how to integrate the components with the frame, and to begin working on the hand-shaped rear triangle.

“The frame will be made of stinkwood, candlewood, and hard-pear*, and the components will include a Shimano drive train, a 1x7-speed component set, hydraulic brakes, and standard issue, steel fat bike forks and 26-inch fat bike wheels - although we’ll work on wooden wheels at a later stage,” said Mr. Brink.

Greg Vogt of Knysna & Partners - the town’s destination management and marketing organisation - said that the Harkerville Red Route near Knysna was the first declared mountain bike trail in South Africa.

“The terrain and the indigenous forests and plantations of the Southern Cape make the Garden Route the perfect playground for the sport of mountain biking, and the area now boasts some of the finest trails in the country thanks to cooperation between private landowners and state-run enterprises like MTO Forestry and the Garden Route National Park - which is why Knysna can now lay claim to being #TrailTownSA. (www.twitter.com/hashtag/trailtownsa)

“So when the Outeniqua Fatstix makes its appearance at the 2016 Knysna Timber Festival, it’ll reaffirm the theme of the festival - ‘Timber is in our nature’ - while opening a new, exciting chapter in the history and heritage of both timber and cycling in the region.”

Businesses and members of the the public are invited to sponsor the project at R 1,000.00 a spoke. The funds will be used to help with the development of the bike, and to pay for skills development training, which will be conducted by Richard Henley.

For more information, please visit www.facebook.com/OuteniquaFatstix or the Outeniqua Fatstix stand at the Knysna Timber Festival (www.timberfestival.co.za)

* Timbers used in construction of the frame:
Stinkwood (stinkhout, umHlungulu): Ocotea bullata http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantnop/ocoteabull.htm
Candlewood: (kersiehout, uTwina): Pterocelastrus tricuspidatus http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantnop/pterocelastri.htm
Hard-pear Olinia ventosa (hardepeer, umNonono): http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantnop/oliniavent.htm


Media release for Knysna & Partners by
Martin Hatchuel of www.thistourismweek.co.za
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
084 951 0574

Published in Festivals & events

Knysna’s annual timber festival - from 11 to 13 November, 2016 - will take place at a crossroads moment for the economy of the Garden Route.

That’s the message from the Knysna Timber Initiative (the organisers of the event), the Southern Cape Landowner’s Initiative, Knysna & Partners (the town’s destination management and destination marketing organisation), and others who’ve committed themselves to halting job losses and preventing a possible disaster that could happen if the timber industry in the region collapses altogether.

“The Knysna Timber Festival focuses on the experience - what forestry and woodworking have to offer in terms of skills, jobs, and tourism, and how massively they impact on the local economy,” said the vice-chairperson of the Knysna Timber Initiative, Jock McConnachie.

But, he said, “the supply of both indigenous timber and timber from plantations has become a critical constraint for the normal operation of the industry, and we’re going to use the opportunity that the Festival will present - since we’ll have most of the role players together in Knysna at one time - to hold a workshop to develop a vision and plan for the future.”

Cobus Meiring, manager of stakeholder engagement for the Southern Cape Landowners Initiative (SCLI), said that the Garden Route has lost as many as 7,000 jobs over the last decade, “as a direct result of policy decisions.”

He said that the SCLI has approached the issue from an environmental perspective from the start.

The organisation exists to promote environmental awareness and best land management practice among its members; its chief operational function lies in rehabilitating degraded areas and ecosystems overcome by invasive alien plants.

“We’re concerned that forested land that’s not properly managed becomes a major threat to the environment and thus to our fresh water supply.

“But the rehabilitation of forests promotes job opportunities and creates opportunities for the development of new tourism products,” he said.

Retired forest officer Theo Stehle - who worked in the indigenous and plantation forests of the Southern Cape for more than 30 years - said that, “In the 1970s and 80s, everything in Knysna was all about timber.

“It was the engine of the entire economy, and it attracted first-rate researchers who were considered world leaders in their fields.

“Given the political will - and the buy-in of the local businesses - the foundations could be there for successfully reviving our timber heritage.”

Greg Vogt, CEO of Knysna & Partners, said that the Provincial Minister of Economic Opportunities in the Ministry of Agriculture, Economic Development and Tourism, Alan Winde, will attend the workshop, which is scheduled for 11 November.

“Our role as a destination management organisation includes finding connections across sectors that can unlock the potential in our destination, and the Knysna Timber Festival is the perfect opportunity for that kind of discussion.

“We’re committed to helping wherever we can because, like our partners in this event, we understand that it’s now or never for timber in the Garden Route.”

Festival organiser Picca de Bruin said that Knysna Timber Festival will be sponsored by Woodoc Food for Wood and Saplings Timber Trading, and is presented with the assistance of Knysna & Partners and the Knysna Municipality.

It will be run under the theme, ‘Wood is in our nature.’

“Our exhibitions, demonstrations, and talks will take place at Timber Village in Welbedacht Lane, while the workshop on the future of timber in the Garden Route will happen at Knysna Hollow.

“We do still have some exhibition spaces available, and there’s more information at www.timberfestival.co.za,” she said.


Knysna Timber Festival: www.timberfestival.co.za
Saplings Timber Trading: www.saplings.co.za
Woodoc: www.woodoc.com
Knysna: www.visitknysna.co.za
Southern Cape Landowners Initiative: www.scli.org.za


Media release for Knysna & Partners by
Martin Hatchuel of www.thistourismweek.co.za
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
084 951 0574

Published in Festivals & events
Knysna will celebrate its timber heritage - and consider how to ensure its future as a timber destination - during this year’s Knysna Timber Festival.
The event, which is arranged by the Knysna Timber Initiative, is scheduled for the 11th to the 13th of November under the sponsorship of Woodoc Food for Wood and Saplings Timber Trading, and with the assistance of Knysna & Partners and the Knysna Municipality. 
Festival coordinator Picca de Bruin said that the festival hub will return this year to the rural environment of Timber Village in the quiet of Welbedacht Lane.
“Attractions will include exhibitions, workshops and presentations, and the all-important food and beer garden and Kid’s Zone.
“Our speaker program will feature Richard Müller, the programme manager for Wood Technology at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s Saasveld Campus, who will speak on ‘Timber shrinkage and the related distortion of timber’,”
Ms. de Bruin said that exhibition space is still available for businesses that want to showcase their timber-related products or services.
“This is an excellent opportunity for both local and national brands. 
“The Festival has begun to mature into a regional event for woodworkers and hobbyists, plantation foresters, conservationists, wood millers, timber merchants, and in fact anyone who’s involved in the timber industry - and a survey conducted during last year’s event showed that 48% percent of visitors came from the Garden Route and Klein Karoo, while 44% came from the rest of the Western Cape and even the Eastern and Northern Cape provinces,” she said.
Knysna may be the woodworking capital of South Africa but, said Knysna & Partners’ CEO Greg Vogt, a number of local interest groups are currently seriously concerned about the sustainability of forestry in the region.
He said that the Knysna Timber Buyers Association, the Knysna Timber Initiative, the George Millers Forum, the Southern Cape Landowners Initiative (SCLI), and Knysna & Partners came together during September to discuss their concerns. This followed an earlier meeting called by Knysna & Partners at which members of the industry presented their dilemma to the Western Cape’s MEC for Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde.
“This has led to the involvement of the Provincial Government, and further high-level discussions will take place during this year’s Timber Festival.
“Knysna’s economy was founded on timber, and as recently as the 1980s, forestry accounted for something like 80% of the economic activity in the region. 
“But the industry in the Garden Route has shrunk as a result of both policy decisions and market forces - and as a result it’s suffered the loss of at least a thousand jobs. 
“Clearly we have to address this situation as a matter of urgency.”
Mr. Vogt said that the meeting with Minister Winde will focus on sharing insights into factors inhibiting the industry, and on creating a platform for communication and interaction between government and stakeholders in order to develop a way forward.
“It makes sense to have this meeting during the Timber Festival because it’s the one time in the year when local talent, businesses, hobbyists and experts get together to celebrate our forest heritage,” he said.
Please visit www.timberfestival.co.za for information about exhibiting at the Knysna Timber Festival. 
The Festival’s programme of talks and demonstrations will be posted on the site in due course. 
More information
Knysna Timber Festival: www.timberfestival.co.za 
Saplings Timber Trading: www.saplings.co.za 
Woodoc: www.woodoc.com 
Timber Village: www.timbervillage.co.za 
Knysna: www.visitknysna.co.za 
Media release for Knysna & Partners by 
Martin Hatchuel of www.thistourismweek.co.za 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
084 951 0574
Published in Festivals & events
Friday, 12 August 2016 02:52

Get into the Festival Spirit this Spring!

We are edging our way towards the end of winter and have much to look forward to over the warmer months ahead - with not one, but three popular festivals scheduled to take place in Knysna over the next few months. Not only are festivals important local economic drivers but they also play an important role in strengthening community spirit. Most of these festivals also have fund raising initiatives in place which benefit countless local charities. So be sure to mark your calendars for these fantastic events!!

Knysna Arts Festival
Knysna has long been known as a town with a thriving creative community – boasting incredible talent across multiple artistic genres. This 9-day arty affair takes place from the 1-9 October 2016, and is once again being hosted by Sotheby’s International Realty. This festival serves not only as a fantastic platform for local artists to showcase their talents but is also a way for funds to be generated in support of several worthy beneficiaries.

“We have appointed a larger team of organisers for the 2016 event to ensure that we can seamlessly grow the Knysna Arts Festival into a major destination event without it losing its Knysna flavour or independence” commented Sotheby’s International Realty principal, Peter Mare. “The underlying philosophy of this event is to stimulate locally produced art whilst also supporting the greater Knysna community”, he concluded.

The 2016 festival will be concentrated around a central 'Art Hub' at the Woodmill Walk which will be the dynamic centre of activity, with workshops, art exhibitions and several performance arts offerings including theatre, cabaret, dance and live music.


Leisure Island Festival
The Leisure Isle Festival is a feel-good annual event organised by the community – for the community. It takes place in Kingsway Park, Leisure Island on the 5 & 6 November 2016. It aims to provide local crafters and businesses a unique opportunity to showcase and sell their products, promote community spirit, and provide a venue for approved charities to raise funds.
A wide number of local businesses, organisations and individuals support this much loved local initiative. “It truly is a case of locals supporting the needs of the local community”, states the official website.
This festival is an ideal family event, with a host of activities geared towards children.

The Knysna Timber Festival
Our town is deeply rooted in timber and the Knysna Timber Festival, which takes place at the Timber Village on Welbedacht Lane from the 11 - 13 November 2016, is a fitting celebration of our heritage and is paving the way for the reawakening of Knysna's multifaceted timber culture.
The festival presents local wood crafters and master cabinet-makers with an opportunity to showcase their expertise, while also serving as an ideal platform for various businesses and brands to market their products and services. The festival is geared towards professionals in the field as well as hobbyists, DIY enthusiasts and the general public. It even caters for the little ones.
Day One: A workshop event with interesting presentations by industry professionals.
Day Two: Will feature TV personalities, DIY workshops, Timber Games, a Timber Trail Run and Kids Zone.
Day Three: Focuses on the outdoors, exquisite kitchens and timber related literature.

Published in Festivals & events