CWA event coup for Ky

By Holly Tregenza

Kyabram will host hundreds of Victoria’s best bakers and crafters as the CWA Creative Arts Exhibition rolls into town in a few weeks.

And it is quite the coup.

Ky is one of only a handful of small towns to ever host the event, with bigger regional centres, such as Warnambool or Yarrawonga, usually nabbing the crowds.

But CWA Creative Arts Committee chair Heather Scott said Kyabram was the natural choice for organisers.

‘‘Kyabram is perfect for this event and meets all the prerequisites,’’ Ms Scott said.

‘‘The town hall gives us 600 square metres of floor space, we’ve got great security, excellent heating and plenty of accessible and free parking here.

‘‘We like to come to a medium-sized town where the community can get involved and get into the event and experience a real economic benefit.’’

Last year, more than 1000 people flocked to Leongatha for the event.

‘‘It’s mind boggling, the magnitude of it,’’ Kyabram CWA organiser Doreen Napier said.

‘‘We’re bringing in 1500 pieces from all across the state, some that we’ve had to truck up from Melbourne.

‘‘It’ll be all hands on deck on the Monday as everything arrives.’’

And it’s likely to bring an economic windfall for local businesses, particularly those along Allan St.

‘‘Most of the accommodation in town is already booked out for the week and we expect the restaurants and shops to be busy,’’ Ms Scott said.

‘‘A lot of people also have caravans that the make the trip here with, so the caravan parks will get a boost, too.

‘‘It’ll be a significant boost to local industry, particularly given the quiet winter period.’’

The annual exhibition showcases the skills of CWA members across more than 270 categories encompassing handcrafts, cookery and preserves.

The Goulburn Valley West CWA group is the official host of the event, and hope the exhibition will lead a few people to join.

While the junior arm of the branch is thriving, numbers of adult membership of CWA in the region is falling.

‘‘The initiative to host the State Exhibition in Kyabram should provide a boost to membership in the area, with the opportunity to inform local people about CWA and invite them to come along and learn about our activities,’’ Ms Scott said.

And while Ms Napier would be happy to sit and have a cup of tea after the event was over, she said it was all worth it.

‘‘It’s such a huge job, but so worth doing. So many people come to help just for the love of it, and I’m the same,’’ she said.

The event has been supported by Campaspe Shire Council.

■The exhibition will be held at the Kyabram Town Hall on August 2 and 3. Doors are open from 9am to 5pm on Friday and 9am to 4pm on Saturday. Entry is $10.