Beam of Hope to be switched on at midnight on 31 December
This year the V&A Waterfront will again celebrate the New Year by shining a beam of light into the sky that will be visible for some distance across Cape Town.
Traditionally the New Year was ushered in with a fireworks celebration at midnight, but in 2020 the Waterfront looked for a new way to celebrate the milestone and chose a beam of light as their new symbol to welcome in the New Year.
This year the violinist and DJ duo DeVille, will lead the celebration with house remixes infused with hypnotic electric violin. Halfway through their 20-minute performance they will pause for the traditional New Year countdown. The performance and switching on of the lights will be streamed live via social media for all to see.
For the next six nights the beam will be lit from 21h00 giving people multiple chances to see it.
The beam, which consists of 36 vertical searchlights, is symbolic of the lives that were lost during the Covid-19 pandemic, the jobs that were affected and the coming together of a nation in solidarity and hope for 2022.
“Our beam of light is a moment for celebration as well as for reflection. Just as its light cuts through the darkness it is our hope is that everyone who sees will takes the time to contemplate the compassion, solidarity, connection, inspiration, and collaborations that humanity has had to embrace over the past two years,” says David Green, CEO of the V&A Waterfront.
Notable examples of V&A Waterfront initiatives that expand on the themes and focus on social and economic issues and causes include:
Joy and creativity in the Waterfront’s Joy from Africa to the World festive décor. Local communities have again commissioned local communities to create contemporary African works. This year the festive decorations include 100 Beautiful Baskets, an exhibition of intricately woven baskets from across the African continent, as well as a series of giant totems created by crafters in local communities, all using recycled materials. In October this year, the Joy from Africa to the World campaign clinched the coveted Gold and Grand Prix Loerie awards. The creative recognition was an acknowledgement that working with creative communities can unleash incredible creativity while also bringing about benefits for those communities.
Creativity was also at the forefront of the V&A Waterfront’s decision to launch its Artist Alliance creative incubation programme for young and emerging artists in August this year. In November the first 12 young creatives graduated with essential business skills training and they will be able to showcase their talent to the broader Waterfront business community by being on the V&A’s database.
Harmony and community are reflected in the Waterfront’s dealing with business partners, communities it works with and partnerships formed with people and groups who come together to feed, clothe, uplift and empower adults and children in the city. In November this year, the V&A Waterfront clinched an award at the highly contested World Responsible Tourism awards in London, becoming one of only a handful of winners of the overall Global Award and the only African destination to win the award this year. The Award was given in recognition of the Waterfront’s efforts to sustain employees and communities throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
Love is visible in all the work that is done on the property, but it is also the crucial ingredient in food. Nowhere is this more keenly experienced that in the many dishes created by aspiring young food entrepreneurs at Makers Landing. On 10 December the V&A’s Food Incubation Hub celebrated its first birthday and the graduation of its second group of food entrepreneurs. Many of the graduates have gone on to set up their own food pods at Makers Landing, to run their new food businesses ventures from there.
V&A Waterfront restaurants celebrating New Year’s Eve events will host their events in line with Covid-19 regulation.