Turning Mother City into top spot

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cape carnival

INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

Big city events, such as the street carnival, attract tourists and create jobs. Picture: neil baynes

The City of Cape Town will spend over R4-million on music festivals and arts and culture programmes as part of a plan to make the city the most desirable destination in South Africa.

Grant Pascoe, mayoral committee member for tourism, events and marketing, said the funding was part of marketing the city as “the place to be”.

“With all the various sectors within arts and culture, the benefits are uniting people,” Pascoe said. “It’s to stimulate the industry… there is a broad spectrum of programmes such as the philharmonic orchestra and Cape Town City Ballet that will benefit.”

During this financial year, the city allocated R4.4m to expand events it believed could reach “iconic status” with the right support.

This is contained in the city’s Arts and Culture programme, which was approved during a full council meeting earlier this month.

The funds will be allocated to the Africa Centre (R110 000), Artscape Theatre (R250 000), Cape Philharmonic Orchestra (R170 000), Cape Town Carnival Trust (R1m), Cape Town City Ballet (R250 000), Cape Town Opera (R100 000), Suidoosterfees (R480 000), Baxter Theatre (R100 000) and Voice of the Cape (R100 000).

“It’s a good investment and the aim is to bring back the heritage and tradition we have in the city,” Pascoe said.

“The arts and culture programme is to grow the event for something bigger and better. We have also dedicated an expert in the field to head up the department in building solid relationship with visual arts.”

Big city events bring thousands of people into Cape Town, including tourists, boosting the tourism industry while also creating jobs for residents.

One of the big events, the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, is already a fixture on the international music scene. This year’s festival attracted more than 30 000 local and international guests.

The best South African and overseas artists are traditionally on the bill for the festival, which takes place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

It’s been running for 13 years and during the most recent festival, more than 2 000 jobs were created. - Cape Argus

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