There is excitement in the air as the Harbour Art Walk returns to Hout Bay this weekend.
The initiative is a collaboration among businesses and organisations within the harbour precinct.
Part of the planning committee is Jen McKay who explained that the aim of the Harbour Art Walk was to “unify the efforts of the stakeholders and to pool resources towards highlighting the incredible range of art, craft, culture, creativity and community development”.
“Several successful art walks were hosted before the pandemic hit in 2020, bringing tourism to its knees and putting a temporary end to events such as this,” she said.
The Harbour Art Walk was originally initiated in 2019 as a collaboration between businesses and non-profit organisations.
This year’s art walk will take the form of a three-day event, starting today, Friday March 26, and running until Sunday March 28. There will be food, local tours, as well as art and entertainment on display.
Ms McKay, who is also the director of Intle Art, said they hoped to host the art walk monthly or quarterly.
“This event focuses on local Hout Bay and greater Cape Town residents and aims to start developing an ecosystem of enduring connection, collaboration and support as well as nurturing local tourism,” Ms McKay said.
Highlighting the importance of the event, a year into lockdown, she said: “The events of the past 12 months have decimated businesses and communities. More than ever, it’s necessary to join forces toward promoting Hout Bay as a destination to be explored from top to bottom.”
Director of Hout Bay Tourism Connect, Pamela Mudley, said many of the businesses running from 31 Harbour Road would have direct community benefits by “virtue of local employment as well as entrepreneurial development and collaboration opportunities”.
“For example, the guided walking tours through Hangberg on Sunday not only fosters collaboration between Hout Bay-centric organisations, but also enables locals, who may never otherwise have found the opportunity, to be able to stroll the streets of the harbour, immerse themselves in the culture and spirit of the vibrant community, sample local cuisine, view street art and even watch local graffiti artist work live,” Ms Mudley said.
Helena Fagan, managing director of the Harvest Centre, said events such as these stand to benefit the whole of Hout Bay.
“Five different Hout Bay NPOs have come together to co-ordinate our first Harbour Precinct community clean-up day. We are working together for a cleaner, safer Hout Bay and we want to teach the children how important it is to look after the environment so that they can become the leaders of tomorrow and pave the way for future generations,” Ms Fagan said.
Hout Bay artist, Matthew Johansen, said art walks and initiatives such as the Harbour Art Walk were a great opportunity for up-and-coming artists to showcase their work.
“I am originally from Stellenbosch, where you see these initiatives all the time and you see what kind of difference it brings to the area itself. Hout Bay, especially the harbour, is a beautiful place and it deserves to be placed on the map,” he said.
The Harbour Art Walk kicks off this afternoon with various arts, music and food tasting.
For the full programme, keep an eye out for @31HarbourRd for social media updates or simply WhatsApp 083 391 3475.