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AMAZA! – Ocean Odyssey, to honour our oceans

Cape Town, 27 October 2016 – With its 2 500-kilometre-long coastline, South Africa has some of the most spectacular seashores in the world. No wonder, then, that next year’s theme for the Cape Town Carnival is AMAZA! – Ocean Odyssey.

On 18 March 2017, our country’s oceans and beaches will be celebrated in dance, performance and music, when over 2 000 dazzling costumed performers and musicians’ parade down the Green Point Fan Walk in the company of giant floats and puppets. The AMAZA! – Ocean Odyssey theme was chosen for the wide variety of creative choices it offers, from strange and astonishing sea creatures, to surfers and fishermen, dolphins and penguins, and perhaps even Atlantis. Brad Baard, Creative Director of the Cape Town Carnival, points out that the theme also brings the plight of our oceans to the attention of the public. “As well as exciting and delighting our audience, we hope to inspire people to look after this amazing, life-giving resource,” he says. The night will culminate in a kicking street party, with two of South Africa’s top DJs entertaining the crowds.The Cape Town Carnival, which attracts over 50 000 spectators from all over the world, is set to become one of the top seven jewel events in Cape Town. “Revellers and families from all walks of life start converging on the Fan Walk early in the afternoon to ensure they get a great view of the event, and also to grab a bite to eat from one of the vendors or restaurants in the area,” says Cape Town Carnival CEO Jay Douwes.

Sponsors of the event include the City of Cape Town, the National Department of Arts and Culture, M-Net, DStv, the Western Cape Government, Tsogo Sun, Media24 and Kfm.

M-Net CEO Yolisa Phahle says, “M-Net is delighted to once again be part of the Cape Town Carnival. As a group, we’re proud to see how our involvement has contributed to its growth over the past seven years. The carnival drives tourism, economic development and skills development for the city and its communities. It brings people together, which is vital for social cohesion.”

Over 50 community groups are involved in the carnival, as well as small businesses that are commissioned to handle elements of costume production, event services, and VIP and bar areas on the night. Vendors are selected to sell merchandise, food and beverages along the route. “Last year saw an estimated 86% of spectators purchasing items from vendors, and several vendors were sold out towards the end of the night,” says Langa Mancunga, Cape Town Carnival’s Event Logistics Manager.

“Besides the fun and creativity, the Cape Town Carnival has become an important job-creation platform,” says Councillor Eddie Andrews, the City of Cape Town’s newly elected Mayoral Committee Member for Tourism, Events and Economic Development. “It provides skills-training opportunities in the clothing, costume, set-building and other industries. Testimony to this is the number of individuals who get their big break after being involved with the carnival. We’re pleased to be associated with an event that works towards uplifting communities and also allows for skills development, as it gives many people a much-needed opportunity during these tough economic times.”

Douwes confirms this, saying, “Thanks to our sponsors, we’ve been able to grow the Cape Town Carnival into an extraordinary, impactful event, both economically and socially, generating over R40 million in economic activity for the city.”

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