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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

ECR HOUSE & GARDEN SHOW (article first published : 2007-06-19)

Join the buzz! It’s the East Coast Radio House & Garden Show, from June 29 to July 8, 2007, at the Durban Exhibition Centre. This popular annual event showcases the latest hot trends on the home and lifestyle front.

‘alive with ideas’ is this year’s theme and more than 350 exhibitors will show you how to brighten and update your home, office or garden space, at this must-see event. Check out trendy décor styles, take tips from experts, explore the latest mod cons and sample great food while listening to good music and simply enjoy a great home shopping experience under one roof.

A live jazz festival is a welcome new addition to the show this year. Well-known music industry personality, Neil Comfort of Rainbow Restaurant and Jazz Club, in association with the Zulu Jazz Lounge, is presenting this festival which takes place on the grassed area over the first weekend of the show. This fest promises to showcase some of KZN’s finest talents.

Here’s a chance to relax and unwind over a delicious meal at Bean Bag Bohemia, the restaurant adjoining the fest area after an inspirational day of shopping.

The second weekend of the show sees another new addition to the show – Party PLAY Time. This is a special feature at the show presented by Wart & Fish Trading, a small business that specialises in ‘lifestyle for children’. They will demonstrate their innovative ideas for party concepts on the Saturday. On the Sunday a range of fun interactive and exciting children’s activities have been planned so that parents can safely leave their children and then explore the show at leisure.

Shave’s, the retail paint specialists, are presenting a Colour Carnival which offers visitors an opportunity to see ten different looks over ten days of the show. Called ‘The Changing Room’, you can expect to see interesting themes such as Ethno Bongo, Blingola, Zingy Zen and Frenchy-Fied amongst others. Shave’s will also offer paint technique demos and interactive presentations on creating “the look”.

There is also an opportunity for showgoers to win a trendy couch from Just Couches & Decor in the “Win a Couch a Day” competition at the show.

East Coast Radio will be there in full force with DJ’s broadcasting from the show and they have some fun activities planned for showgoers, too.

Artworks and paintings will feature this year, as Christie’s are bringing a painting expert from the London office to do valuations over the second weekend of the show. There will be on line crossings to Christie’s specialists in London as well as playbacks of auctions. The public will also be able to bring in other valuable items for assessing over the full ten days of the show.

In keeping with the art theme, renowned galleries - Crouse and Kizo promise an extensive range of locally inspired works. Kizo’s display will include the Wall of Light an inspirational work which uses electric lighting, created by the Umcebo Trust, under the direction of artistic director Robin Opperman. The ever-popular Bean Bag Bohemia will feature as one of the fine dining restaurants at the show and will exhibit some offbeat works by local artists.

Another new event for the show is chefs@home, an interactive cooking concept designed to showcase local outdoor cooking and entertainment as professional chefs cook in a relaxed environment. Here you will see chefs have loads of fun showing off a range of meals including Indian dishes, braais, sushi and a whole lot more. Buondi Beat Café offers a state of the art coffee experience with the latest music DVD’s giving visitors another opportunity to sit back and take a breather during the show.

As always the Ethekwini Parks Department will showcase their amazing skills as they set the show ablaze with colourful and creative ideas in plant designs. The Parks Department recently won the Silver Gilt Award at the Chelsea Flower Show in London.

Over 100,000 showgoers are expected and the shopping hours have been extended due to public demand. As a special treat for showgoers, stop off at the Mangwanani Private African Day Spa to get your feet or hands massaged after a hard day’s shopping!

The show runs from June 29 to July 8, Monday to Saturday from 10h00 to 22h00 (Sundays from 10h00 to 20h00. Admission R40 (R25: under 18; Senior Citizens over 60), Children under seven are free. For more information visit www.housegardenshow.co.za or call Kagiso Exhibitions & Events on 031 368 7630.




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