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Western Cape Government (South Africa): Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS), in South Africa’s Western Cape province, strives to encourage excellence and inclusiveness in sport and culture through the effective, efficient and sustainable use of provincial resources, and through creative partnerships. In moving to excellence and making the Western Cape the sports and cultural center of South Africa, DCAS hopes to create the conditions for access and mass participation, talent identification and skills development.

The department remains committed to supporting the performing arts, especially while physical performances remain limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Music and the arts play an important part in uniting people and giving them hope during times when pressures and stresses are high.

While countries around the world continue fighting the pandemic, the department also remains committed to ensuring that artists in the Western Cape are given the opportunity to showcase their work on digital platforms. DCAS seeks to continue giving artists necessary support so that they can continue to shine their lights at times when the darkness feels overwhelming to many.

The department has long supported jazz festivals hosted in Cape Town, and has provided mentoring opportunities to young musicians through workshops during the International Jazz Festival, which was held annually in Cape Town prior to the pandemic. It has also ensured that emerging jazz musicians have access to platforms to showcase their talent at these festivals.

The virtual programme offered by DCAS in 2021 is in lieu of the International Jazz Day celebrations which would have taken place for the first time on the African continent in April 2020, with Cape Town’s designation as that year’s Global Host City. The planned programme aimed to celebrate and showcase South African jazz in all its various formations. In collaboration with the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz, various workshops were going to be held to capacitate emerging jazz artists by the jazz legends and mentors from the Western Cape province. This year’s programme is a showcase of some of the community music programmes in the Western Cape and at the same affording them an opportunity to earn an income during this difficult time of the pandemic. DCAS thanks the various stakeholders that worked together with the department to make the programme a success, including SPIN foundation, IMAD, SAJE, Artscape Theatre, Jazz in the Native Yards, UCT, and Cape town big band jazz festival.