Celebrating the arts at the Ramsgate Book & Art Festival

Celebrating the arts at the Ramsgate Book & Art Festival

The Ramsgate Book & Art Festival, to be held 10-12 November and organised by the Ramsgate Conservancy and Ugu South Coast Tourism’s Ramsgate Area Committee, has announced key events as well as authors and artists, who will form part of this year’s festive line-up.

In the heart of the coastal and decidedly artistic village of Ramsgate on the KZN South Coast, festivalgoers will be welcomed by a community street festival atmosphere with book and market stalls, special events ranging from author’s talks to art exhibitions, workshops, storytelling, poetry readings and entertainment. Best explored on foot, families and art lovers will receive a festival programme at registration on Saturday, 11 November at the Artists’ Gallery as well as a map. Entry fee is a book to donate to schools to be distributed by Rotary post the event. Most events are free, except for a few workshop and entertainment events and some donation-based events. Food and drink is generally for the visitor’s own pocket. Each time a festivalgoer visits a participating venue, a sticker will be put on the festival map, which later becomes a personal competition entry to win a holiday for 6 people in 2018, sponsored by Club Leisure Group. Visitors will also have many opportunities to relax and enjoy some of the best food and wine available on the South Coast at top restaurants or pop-up stalls around the festival.

The festival officially opens on Friday, 10th November at 6pm at the Artists’ Gallery in the company of the organisers, sponsors, participating authors and artists as a new art exhibition will be opened at the venue featuring painter Claudia Plunkett and the Elaine Goodman Collection. From 8pm till late, enjoy open mike poetry by candlelight in the magical garden of Burlesque Café.


Here are some of the festival highlights to look forward to:


Authors’ Talks

  • The Road to Success by Ester Lesuthu, sharing highlights and challenges re. her new book entitled Diphateng Tsa Bosiu focusing on ancient, traditional and current folktales and fairy stories.
  • The Genius Programme by Graeme Butchart, a talk on how to move from habit thinking to genius living.
  • Meeting Carl Roberts by Carl Roberts, giving vivid insights into the world and work of one of South Africa’s best-known sculptors.
  • Sentenced to Die, Choosing to Live, by Shani Krebs on his book Dragons and Butterflies, a journey beyond human comprehension after being sentenced to die for drug trafficking.
  • A Life in Writing by Arja Salafranca on writing as a way of life, where she gets inspiration from and where aspiring writers can get it too.
  • This Bleeding Generation by Irene Myingwa, find out why young and old are bleeding.
  • The Black Sheep… the book (and a tragic bloke in another book) by Todd Collins, about the construction of the comical and wry short stories and its link to the tragedy of a forgotten Himalayan drama.
  • Beat Literature & Me by Gari M. Joubert on his favourite writing in this specific era.
  • Curing Cancer and Our Inheritance by Marius Joubert will discuss the economic collapse, WW3, the Philippine Treasure and forbidden cancer cures.
  • Valerie Payn on how to create a garden with healthy eco systems and sustainable gardening.


Storytelling for young and old

Hear more of authors John Costello, Gari Joubert and Annete Brink as they tell Stoep Stories at various venues over a drink. Children are not to be forgotten and will have fun listening to Kay Federl, Barbie Meyer and Natasha Muller during the Children’s programme at the Whale Deck on Saturday at 10h45. Facepainting, colouring in and play dough as well as children reciting their favourite or own poems and getting constructive feedback from Speech & Drama stalwart Kay Federl, will keep young minds entertained.


Artists’ Exhibitions

  • Meet artists Izzy, Everett and Francis Duarte and learn about their unique painting techniques over a glass of wine at The Gaze Gallery, next to the famous Waffle House in Marine Drive, Ramsgate.
  • A range of artists and wines in the cellar at Riverbend Art Gallery
  • Keith Erasmus, the artist who designed the original Ramsgate Book & Art Festival logo will also exhibit and there will be a silent auction for this distinctive and beautiful piece of art at Artists’ Gallery.
  • Bronze works by Marke Mayer, Nic Grobler at Lobster Pot
  • Paintings by Di Erasmus, Fred Brear, Celeste van der Merwe, Anton Benzon, Claudia Plunkett, Rob Wareing, Michael Carnadas, Elaine Goodman Collection at Artists’ Gallery
  • Sbonelo Chiliza, acclaimed artist and author
  • Mnqobi Sengane, visual artist
  • Mondli Skhakhane, visual artist
  • Visual presentation of “Sealife & Small Creatures” by Taryn Burns at Crayfish Inn
  • Reclaimed metal artwork by Florian Junger at the Fair Vintage Lifestyle
  • Paintings by the Art by the Sea at Roadside



Workshops & Demonstrations

  • Recycled art workshop with Taryn and Savannah at the Whale Deck, explore the creative side of rubbish and learn how to turn trash into treasure, examples will be available plus resources to try your hand at it yourself
  • Oil painting demonstration by Claudia Plunkett, join well-known painter as she shares some old Masters and new techniques in oil painting. Feel free to bring along your own pieces to ask questions and get guidance
  • The Genius Programme by Graeme Butchart teaches practical tools to embrace continuous change, adjust and competitively innovate in an ever-changing world.


Panel Discussion

“Reading Changes Lives” will be hosted as a panel discussion by Dawn Broadberry and includes publishers, editors, authors and literacy trust at The Crayfish Inn on 11 November at 11h45.


Supper Theatre

“Bosman, Curry & Cabaret”, a supper theatre event at The Lobster Pot will feature well-known actress Barbie Meyer who will perform one of her hilarious, one-woman shows, shedding some light on writer Herman Charles Bosman’s controversial life.  Natascha Muller will entertain with her special brand of electro swing, jazz and cabaret. Entry is R200 for a three-course meal, booking is essential at Artists’ Gallery.


Nature’s Inspiration

On Sunday morning, be sure to get up bright and early to connect with nature during a morning meditation facilitated by Bernie Vorster at The Whale Deck. Afterwards join WIN – Walking in Nature, for an easy 4km beach walk for a R20 donation to the Ramsgate Conservancy. Dogs on leads are welcome. Refresh at the Lifestyle Centre before strolling back on the Wetland Forest Walk. Then join Breakfast with a View for grilled chicken breakfast rolls with tea or coffee at the Whale Deck for R30.


Food & Wine

Fuel your passion for the arts with the best food and wine in Ramsgate. Participating restaurants include The Crayfish Inn, The Lobster Pot and Burlesque Café. Enjoy wine and art in the cellar at Riverbend Crocodile Farm. At Popeyes Pub, there will be a Pub Quiz on the 11th at 18h00, T-shirst and pewter jewellery, as well as genuine African handmade crafts. Likka Sella will have a wine tasting and lucky draws for conservation, proceeds going to Ramsgate Conservancy. At the end of the festival, make sure you Wine Down with an early evening wine-pairing get-together for R80 at The Lobster Pot as you say farewell to authors, poets and artists and find out if you won any of the Lucky Draws and Silent Auction items. For wors rolls and cooldrinks, visit the BP Garage.


Book & Market Stalls

Festival specials will be available at all venues. Buy visiting authors’ books at the Crayfish Inn and get them signed by attending authors’ talks and support the SPCA by buying second-hand books at The Lobster Pot. Find old and interesting books at Ramsgate Relics and The Fair Vintage Lifestyle Shop. Market stalls will be at Crayfish Inn, Burlesque Café (find festival T-shirts here), Popeyes and The Fair Vintage Lifestyle. Have fun at Froggies and don’t leave without taking a vintage selfie at the photo booth at Designer Boutique.


Event details are subject to change. Please contact the event organisers for finalised arrangements.


For more information:


Peter Kilian – Ramsgate Area Committee Chairperson phkilian@netactive.co.za

Pauline Lee – Ramsgate Area Committee member pauline@wafflehouse.co.za

Barbie Meyer – Ramsgate Area Committee member barbie.meyer68@gmail.com



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