International Museum Day was launched a few decades ago with the main aim of raising awareness of the importance of museums and the huge role it plays in our communities and our lives.
This year, 18 May 2012 marks the 35th anniversary of International Museum Day and Cape Town will be celebrating this day with the rest of the world.
This year’s theme is Museums in a Changing World. New challenges, new inspirations.
There are several unique museums in Cape Town filled with rich heritage, history and culture. Many of them offer free entry and have a number of activities available in celebration of International Museum Day…
Chavonnes Battery Museum
The Chavonnes Battery Museum in the V&A Waterfront offers free entry in Celebration of International Museum Day on Friday 18th May 2012. A trip to Chavonnes Battery is like a blast from the past. Here you can get the feel of what Cape Town was like 300 years ago. Information boards are presented in English, Afrikaans and Xhosa. The museum is situated in the Nedbank/BOE Building, Clock Tower in the V&A Waterfront.
South African Museum
The South African Museum located in the Company Gardens in Cape Town is one of the oldest, most beautiful museums in the City. The museum offers a distinct range of collections that are thousands of years old. From fossils, to stone aged tools to extinct wild life, the South Africa Museum has it all. On International Museum Day the CEO of Iziko Museums will present a public discussion regarding the role of relevance of museums in the digital age. Entry to the Museum is free. This is one discussion you do not want to miss.
The Iziko Museums of Cape Town are an amalgamation of national museums located in and near the CBD, along what has been dubbed the “Museum Mile”. These museums aim to inspire, inform and encourage all people to celebrate and respect our diverse heritage and culture.
In celebration of International Museum Day the Iziko Museums has a variety of activities in line for the entire day that include book sales, film screenings and presentations at the Planetarium. A detailed programme can be found on their website.
Cape Town is home to many other great museums:
With the picnic basket and cooler box packed, the That’s Cape Town team embarked on a trip to explore one of the most beautiful and fascinating parks in Cape Town over the weekend — the Green Point Park and Biodiversity Gardens which is situated in Green Point next to the Cape Town stadium.
Upon arrival, while taking a long slow walk through the park we noticed all the amazing facilities available. These include an outdoor gym, a section perfect for cyclists, a learning park for functions (business or pleasure), clean toilets, drinking fountains and a cordoned off play park for the little ones which is completely safe. Not only is the Green Point Park a beautiful setting for people of all ages, it is very educational as well.
Educational boards can be found clearly marked throughout the garden. These boards provide useful information about the wildlife and vegetation found in the garden.
The lovely picnic tables, benches and green grass are perfect spots to enjoy breakfast, brunch, lunch, picnics and even birthday parties.
Entrance to the park is free and open to everyone, however there are a few rules (by the City of Cape Town) which should be adhered to at all times:
The Green Point Park is open every day from 07:00 until 19:00.
Picnics are permitted
Swimming, skateboarding, fires, braais, camping, loud music, flower picking and alcohol are not permitted
Dogs are welcome in the park, provided that they are on a lead and owners pick up and dispose of their excrement. Dogs are not allowed in the biodiversity garden
Parking is available near the entrances on the corner of Beach/Vlei Roads; on Bill Peters Drive (near the entrance to the Virgin Active gym); and on Bay Road (near the Mouille Point lighthouse).
There are also numerous pedestrian links to surrounding areas
The park has an outdoor gym and play park
Every inch of this magnificent landscape should be explored and absorbed, so be sure to spend an entire day there when visiting. Your children will love it.
Cape Town has officially been recognised as a city that is dedicated to using design for social, economic and cultural development. That is what winning the World Design Capital for 2014 means, according to the bid’s official website.
But how did Cape Town win the award? And why is everyone so excited about it? And what does it mean for us as a City? Beyond the excitement, That’s Cape Town decided to answer some of the questions most people are (secretly) asking.
Awarded by the International Council for Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID), previous recipients of World Design Capital include Torino, Seoul, and Helsinki. This year, Cape Town was short-listed with Dublin and Bilbao for the award, and was announced the winner at a prestigious ceremony in Taipei earlier today. For the greater part of this year, a bid team has been working hard to ensure that Cape Town was announced the winner today.
The City has just more than a year to plan and organise how it will best highlight and showcase its design throughout the year of 2014.
2014 will mark 20 years since South Africa became a democratic nation and part of the aim of the bid was to reveal how far we’ve come. In many ways, before 1994, the design of the city was used to keep us all apart. Twenty years on, part of what we will be celebrating and recognising is how design, creativity and innovation helps bring us together. The bid shows how design in Cape Town is being used to accelerate three unifying notions: the rebuilding of communities; the reconnecting of the city with itself after a divisive past and the repositioning of the city for the future.
But how does Cape Town benefit from being awarded?
The most obvious benefit will be a boost in Cape Town’s economy. The government will be preparing the city for our 2014 WDC status by working on developing infrastructure (perhaps World Cup road-works will finally be completed?); accessibility; and ‘green’ spaces. And of course our tourism industry should feel the positive effects of this accolade.
Cape Town will capture greater attention on a global scale, too. Firstly, by being declared a leader in design, the city will be seen as a hub of creativity and innovation. Creatives will come here to be inspired, and the world will look at how design is bettering the lives of those living on every level of society in the city.
Lastly, the honour will help Cape Town grow towards becoming a leading global city. And, if you look at the stiff-competition that we were up against to win the award to begin with, I don’t think we’re far off from being classed along with the big boys (or is it ‘big apples’?).
Read more about Cape Town’s World Design Capital 2014 bid on the capetown2014 website.