New Ocean Life Festival set to kick off in Cape Town's Waterfront

2017-11-10 10:34 - Unathi Nkanjeni
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Cape Town - The V&A Waterfront has announced the launch of its annual Ocean Life Festival, a new endeavour which focuses on fostering an appreciation and understanding of South Africa's ocean assets.

In association with the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the festival will see a curated programme of events and activations spread across the property between Monday, 27 November and Friday, 8 December.

According to the festival organisers, the intention behind each of the Festival’s events will be to engage and delight visitors’ interest in ocean life, ocean sustainability, and the potential of maritime assets such as South Africa’s vast oceans.

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“The V&A Waterfront’s Ocean Life Festival will be held on the property every year as one of the ways in which we are looking to celebrate all that is related to the ocean,” says David Green, CEO of the V&A Waterfront.

“Volvo Ocean Race itself has been a catalyst for the evolution of the thinking around the potential of what the oceans economy can look like for the Western Cape, and South Africa. Supporting and developing South Africa’s oceans economy is a significant focus area for the V&A Waterfront, and the annual Oceans Life Festival will be but one of the ways we look to do this.”

Plastics pollution

With intentions of delivering a strong sustainability message, this year, the festival will mainly focus on the harm that plastics and other foreign materials do to the world’s maritime assets. 

The educational programmes that form part of the Festival are also said to highlight the deteriorating state of the world’s oceans and explore innovative solutions to protect the future of our waters.

SEE: UPDATE: Source of toxic nurdles posing risk to SA's marine food chain found as mass beach clean-up continues

Partnered with the V&A Waterfront to create the festival is the Dutch Consulate, which has taken a keen interest in working with South African entities to create sustainable solutions to ocean pollution.

“We are honoured to have partnered with the V&A Waterfront’s Ocean Life Festival. Through #cocreateSA, the Dutch Consulate General aims to co-create sustainable solutions. The #cocreateDESIGN activation promotes collaboration between designers from the Netherlands and South Africa.

"Together, they will creatively engage on solutions to the rapidly growing and critical problem of plastic polluting the ocean. I believe that by working together we will create awareness, change behaviour and leave behind a lasting legacy,” says Bonnie Horbach, Netherlands consul general.

“As custodians of one of the most recognised waterfronts in the world, the V&A Waterfront, we are keenly aware of our responsibility to protect this natural resource, and we’d like to encourage Capetonians to come to the Festival and to enjoy themselves,” concludes Green. 

WATCH: WATCH: How you can rid SA beaches of nurdles

Event info 

Volvo Ocean Race Arrivals

Date: ETA between Friday, 24 and Tuesday, 28 November

Time: N/A

Venue: Quay 6, V&A Waterfront

Contact: V&A Info Centre on or 021 408 7600

Innovation Station: Ocean Plastics

Date: Tuesday, 28 November to Sunday, 3 December

Time: 10:00 to 18:00

Venue: Centre Court, Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre

Cost: Free

Contact: V&A Info Centre on or 021 408 7600

Bring young and old alike down to the Victoria Wharf Centre Court between Tuesday, 28 November, and Sunday, 3 December for some creative fun turning recyclable plastics into new keep-sakes.

An educational activation designed to increase awareness about the hazards of excessive plastic pollution, Ocean Plastics will run daily from 10:00 to 16:00 in this timeframe, with no cost to participate. Each participant will be exposed to three elements:

Information: infographics highlighting the damage caused by plastic and benefits of recycling.
Demonstration: of the recycling process using plastic waste collected from Cape Town beaches to produce beautiful objects.
Participation: a craft area where participants can explore and create products with ocean waste plastic.

V&A Ocean Film Festival, curated by Wavescape

Date: Wednesday, 29 November to Friday, 1 December

Time: 20:00

Venue: Ster Kinekor Nouveau Cinemas, Victoria Wharf


Standard ticket: R55.00

2D block booking: R45.50

2D kids ticket: R44.00

2D pensioners ticket (60+):  R44.00

2D Discovery Vitality ticket: R28.00

2D Edgars ticket: R28.00

Contact: Ster Kinekor at

Merging art with a cause, the V&A Waterfront has partnered with Wavescape to use cinema to drive awareness of the sustainability challenges facing the world’s oceans.

Kicking off at Ster Kinekor Nouveau on Wednesday, 29 November, the inaugural V&A Ocean Film Festival will show four poignant films centred on addressing ocean conservation issues with tactile solutions. Tickets start from R55.00 per person and available through Ster Kinekor.

Night 1:

A Plastic Ocean (1 hour, 42 minutes)

A Plastic Ocean is an adventure documentary shot on more than 20 locations over the past four years. Explorers Craig Leeson and Tanya Streeter and a team of international scientists reveal the causes and consequences of plastic pollution and share solutions.

Night 2:

Chasing the Coral (1 hour, 33 minutes)

Around the world, coral reefs are feeling the heat — literally. Persistently rising ocean temperatures have triggered coral bleaching events on a scale never seen before. This new documentary tells a grim story of reefs in trouble and warns about what we could lose when they die.

Night 3:

First screening: Blue (1 hour, 10 minutes)

Blue is a powerful film about our oceans. It charts the challenges we face and the opportunities for positive change. Filmed in Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, the South Pacific and the United States, this stunning cinematic documentary comes at a time when we are making critical decisions that will decide the legacy we leave for generations to come.

Second screening: The Smog of the Sea (28 minutes)

The Smog of the Sea chronicles a one-week journey through the remote waters of the Sargasso Sea. Marine scientist Marcus Eriksen invited on board an unusual crew to help him study the sea: renowned surfers Keith and Dan Malloy, musician Jack Johnson, spearfisher woman Kimi Werner, and bodysurfer Mark Cunningham become citizen scientists on a mission to assess the fate of plastics in the world’s oceans.

TEDxCapeTown Salon | Oceans

Date: Wednesday, 6 to Friday, 8 December

Time: 18:30 to 19:30

Venue: Volvo Ocean Race Village, VOR Dome, Jetty 2, V&A Waterfront

Ticket for one day: R80

Ticket for two days: R120

Ticket for all three days: R140

Contact: V&A Info Centre on or 021 408 7600

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx brings you TEDxCapeTown Salon, where TEDTalk videos and live speakers will combine to spark meaningful discussion around the challenges posed by ocean pollution.

Kicking off at 18:30 at the VOR Dome on Jetty 2 each day, TEDxCapeTown Salon will run from Wednesday, 6 to Friday, 8 December, with tickets available via Quicket at a cost of between R80 and R140 per person.

Alex in Waterland, a V&A Waterfront’s Ocean Life Festival Theatre Show

Date: Saturday, 2 to Sunday, 3 December

Time: 12:00, 14:00 and 16:00 (each performance is 45 minutes)

Venue: V&A Amphitheatre

Cost: Free

Contact: V&A Info Centre on or 021 408 7600

Alex’s dream is to be the greatest hero that ever lived. His mission is to save the planet from the forces of pollution! To do this, Alex must travel deep into the ocean to help animals defeat the bad guys, but he can’t do this without a little help from his friends.

On Saturday, 2 and Sunday, 3 December make your way to the V&A Amphitheatre to see Alex tackle the evils of pollution, in a production created by the V&A Waterfront Theatre School. With three free shows a day at 12:00, 14:00 and 16: 00, children can learn more about the dangers that pollution poses to our oceans around the world.

CoCreateDESIGN – Making Waves for Change

Date: Monday, 27 November to Friday, 1 December

Time: 11:00 to 15:00

Venue: Quay 6, Volvo Ocean Race Village

Cost: Free

Contact: or 021 461 1448

Witness the extraordinary creativity of a circular economy in action during the V&A Waterfront’s Ocean Life Festival, as Dutch designers are paired with their South African counterparts in a unique design challenge: CoCreateDESIGN.

Using plastic and other discarded waste, designers will be challenged to create a durable piece of street furniture in just one week, with the final installations going on display at the Waterfront thereafter. 

Sponsored by the Dutch Consulate, the public is encouraged to stop by to see these imaginative designers in action between 11:00 and 15:00 at Quay 6 in the Volvo Ocean Race Village, from Monday, 27 November to Friday, 1 December.

V&A Ocean Life Festival Beach Cleanup

Date: Saturday, 2 December

Time: 10:00 to 12:00

Venue: Sea Point Beach

Cost: Free

Contact: V&A Info Centre on or 021 408 7600

Put on your takkies and head down to the Sea Point Beach on Saturday, 2 December to partake in the first V&A Ocean Life Festival Beach Cleanup. Organised in association with the Two Oceans Aquarium and open to the public, plastic warriors can meet at the Sea Point Beach at 10:00 to receive their cleanup bags and do their bit to help clean up our coastline.

Plastic pollution is one of the biggest problems facing the ocean today, and more than 8 million tons of plastic land up in the ocean every year. In fact, it is estimated that there will be more plastic than fish, by weight by 2050.

NOTE: Please bring sunscreen, a hat and water in a reusable water bottle.

Volvo Ocean Race Cape Town – Pro-Am Race

Date: Thursday, 7 December

Time: 16:45 – 17:25

Venue: Sailors Terrace, Jetty 2, V&A Waterfront

Contact: V&A Info Centre on or 021 408 7600

Volvo Ocean Race Cape Town – In-port Race

Date: Friday, 8 December

Time: 11:20

Venue: Sailors Terrace, Jetty 2, V&A Waterfront

Contact: V&A Info Centre on or 021 408 7600

Volvo Ocean Race Cape Town – Race Restart / Closing Ceremony 

Date: Sunday, 10 December

Time:  11:20

Venue: Sailors Terrace, Jetty 2, V&A Waterfront

Contact:  V&A Info Centre on or 021 408 7600

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