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CDI and the V&A win prestigious Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) Award

Wednesday, 30 October 2019  
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From left: Erica Elk, CDI Executive Director; Charmaine Subramani, Board Chairperson of Business and Arts South Africa; Heidi Brauer, Chief Marketing Officer of Hollard; Vusumusi Mkhize, Director General of the Department of Arts and Culture; Henry Mathys, V&A Programme Manager for Social Inclusion and Placemaking

Making the creative circle bigger


The CDI and V&A Waterfront Holdings walked away with the prestigious Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) Long Term Partnership Award this month for “Building Inclusive Markets for Creatives”. 


The annual BASA Awards is the only awards ceremony that acknowledges business support of – and partnerships with – the arts in South Africa, honouring enterprises who encourage excellence and innovation in this area. 


 “The BASA Awards recognise the impact of creativity powered by collaboration between the right partners,” said Ashraf Johaardien, CEO of Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) at the ceremony for 22nd Annual BASA Awards held at Beechwood Gardens in Hyde Park.


The Long Term Partnership Award


The V&A and the CDI have had a long relationship in that, as a premier market and destination, the V&A has always placed important value on the CDI as it sought to expand market access opportunities. 


In the lead up to Cape Town’s designation as a World Design Capital in 2014, strategic talks took place to jointly re-position craft and design with regards to quality, innovation and being authentically South African. Following conversations, the V&A instituted a visioning process which resulted in the establishment of The Watershed in 2014. In the first 18 months of trading, the Watershed generated an astonishing R139m in turnover, a 300% increase in the turnover previously generated. 


The CDI also has its own collective store at The Watershed, trading since 2014; through which it provides market access support to producers around the country. In the course of last year, 61 small creative businesses showcased their products through the CDI Shop.

In 2018 we established the Silo Market – a market in which craft and design small businesses were able to sell their products and receive an income. In addition, the V&A paid for other creatives to help activate the location in which the Silo Market was held; thereby providing work to other artists. The Silo Market hosted on average 28 craft producers at each of the six markets.


In 2019, we have hosted two significant design events, namely the #cocreate Design Festival and the NEXT19 Trade Show. And, we will soon be running a new market based at Battery Park, which has become a popular hotspot for locals and tourists alike since opening in the V&A precinct. It is a 12 000 square metre park which forms part of the V&A's Canal District.


A Shared Value Business Partnership


The project is a shared value business partnership based on long-term and future-based thinking. It is a partnership in which both parties are able to make valuable contributions to the development pathways and strategic objectives of each entity. The CDI has also been a tenant at the V&A’s West Quay offices since 2018. 


Says Erica Elk of CDI, “We are very proud of our long partnership with the V&A – it is a very rich partnership that rests on shared values, and, shared value. It has unquestionably repositioned craft and design in the retail and tourism space; unlocked great and sustainable market opportunities for small creative businesses; and shows how corporate investment in the creative sectors can make a profound difference. Through this we are not only building more sustainable creative businesses which contribute tangibly to job creation and sustainable livelihoods, but also contributing intangibly and intrinsically to the fabric and texture of Cape Town as a place to live in and to visit.”


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