Open Studios: time to show your creative talent

We’re pleased to announce the launch of Open Studios, an opportunity for artists, craftspeople and collectors to show and sell their works to the public from their homes in the Marina.

However, many creatives who would like to participate in the initiative advise us that they will be away over Easter weekend. To make sure no-one misses out, we are now holding Open Studios a week later, on Saturday and Sunday 23-24 April. Participants will be invited to open their homes and studios in the Marina between 12.00 noon to 6.00pm.

We plan to include people working in the following disciplines: painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, jewellery, ceramics/pottery, glassware, sculpture, textiles, metalwork, woodwork/woodturning, mosaics, interiors, furniture (hard and soft), tableware, accessories, lighting. We would also be interested in hearing from writers and poets who might wish to hold readings or workshops in their homes.

And if you are a collector who would like to share your works with the public, please get in touch.

Open Studios will be organised by Dominique Erasmus, who heads up the MDGA ExCom’s Events portfolio. Commenting on the initiative, Dominique says: “We are aware that the Marina is a hotbed of creative talent. But many artists and craftspeople are producing fantastic work without the chance to show it off to their neighbours. The same applies to the wonderful art collections in our area.

“Building on the success of the highly popular Open Gardens initiative, Open Studios will give people a great opportunity to see and buy artworks and artefacts where they are they are created while offering the creators a chance to raise their profiles and sell their work. In other words: it will give us all the chance to celebrate the Marina’s amazing creative talent.”

 Interested in taking part? Here are the next steps

  • If you are interested in taking part as an exhibitor in Open Studios, please indicate your interest by sending an email to the MDGA office ( by Friday 18 March.
  • Once you have notified us of your interest, we will send you a registration form. The deadline for returning your completed registration forms is Friday 25 March.
  • We will start publicising our inaugural Open Studios weekend towards the end of March and publish a full list of participants in early April, in good time for the event.
  • Open Studios will take place on 23 – 24 April, 2022 between 12.00 noon to 6.00pm.

Creative evenings at Frank’s get off to a brilliant start

Thanks to Dominique Erasmus for her report-back on the first creative evening at Frank’s in Eastlake Shopping Centre.

What fun was had during our first creative night at Frank’s. To put to bed any confusion, these evenings are aimed at those who wish to re-ignite their creativity. We are exploring different mediums whilst playing and having fun. Last week, we did ‘blind drawing’, something I have never tried before – and I was over the moon with the results.

Looking ahead, we will follow some structure and build on projects from the week before. For those who are looking for rigid and structured art lessons, you won’t find them here. These evenings are based around letting go and enjoying new animated creations, good conversation, and some great wine and food. 

Another memorable Marina Christmas

On the weekend of 18-19 December, residents from around the Marina put aside the stresses of a challenging year to play their part in making our traditional festive events another memorable success. As well as our children’s Christmas party and carols, this year’s community celebrations also featured The Bridge Fair, which proved very popular.


This year’s programme was the result of a true team effort between members of the MDGA’s ExCom, notably, our Events portfolio holder Dominique Erasmus, and other residents, particularly Valerie Benson. A special thanks!

Lakeside-based magician Michael Barta kicked off the children’s Christmas party with a spellbinding opening act that left his young audience enthralled and totally engaged.

The closure of the waterways meant Santa Claus, aka David Muller, was unable to arrive at the party by pedalo. Undaunted, he made a dramatic entrance in Janine and Ryan Avery’s shiny red Mustang after driving around the Marina, ringing his bell and inviting youngsters to join the fun.

The celebrations continued on Sunday, starting with The Bridge Fair followed by the Christmas carols.


This year’s Christmas carols band comprised Mike English on acoustic guitar and MC duties; Mike Peters on acoustic guitar; Bryan Jacobs on acoustic guitar; Fanie Zondagh on keyboards; Alicia Thornton on lead female vocals; Dawne Haddad on saxophone; and Jerome Swartz on bass guitar. The event was opened by Lauren Warner, a Marina resident
and professional singer, who blew her audience away with a rendition of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

Lauren was joined by so many children, who came up to the stage to sing Away In a Manger, Jingle Bells and Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer. Bagpiper, James Mitchell, ended off the evening in traditional Marina style.

Roll of honour

A big thanks on behalf of the community to the people behind the scenes. Among many others, our roll of honour includes – in no particular order – the MDGA ExCom’s Nick Bode and members of the TechX sound team; Robbie Johnston from the MDGA office; all The Bridge Fair vendors; Shellan Jeffries, Andy Rumbelow and Seef, which kindly matched all donations from The Bridge Fair and put them towards upgrading Uitsig Park.

Thanks also to the musicians and singers. Here, we’d like to make pay a special tribute to long-time Marina resident, Mike English. Mike has lived in the Marina for 34 years, participated in the carols for eight years and led the carols band for the last five years. Sadly, Mike and his wife, May, are moving to St Helena Bay shortly. We wish them both much love and happiness in their new home.

Finally, we’d like to pay tribute to all the Marina residents, who wholeheartedly embraced this year’s slightly different carols format. A big thanks to you all for such a fantastic turnout!

Post your letters to Santa Claus this Christmas

Santa Claus is coming to Marina da Gama very soon, so please be sure to post him your letters by 10 December 2021 using our dedicated Santa Claus post-box.

Parents, here’s how it works:


All letters must include each child’s full name and your return address so Santa Claus can send a reply. Unfortunately, he won’t be able to reply to letters that do not arrive with a return address. You can use this opportunity to send your requested gift to Santa Claus so that he can hand it out it at the Marina Children’s Christmas Party on Saturday 18 December 2021. (Please save the date!) Take note: parents must supply all gifts.

You will find the Santa Claus post-box at the Kid-Trepreneurial Market, which will take place at the San Marina Clubhouse, 8 Cormorant Avenue, Uitsig Peninsula, Marina da Gama, on Saturday 20 November 2021 from 9am to 1pm. From Sunday 21 November 2021 until deadline day on Friday 10 December 2021, the Santa Claus post-box will be at the Deep Blue Security guard hut in Oudevlei Road, Uitsig Peninsula, Marina da Gama.

All letters will be answered by 15 December 2021. To help Santa Claus meet this deadline, and to ensure he doesn’t leave too much of a carbon footprint on his visit, we regret that this initiative is limited to Marina da Gama residents for now. 

We’ve included some photos of Santa’s post-box just to make sure you don’t miss it. If you have any questions, please call Valerie Benson on 082 475 6187.

A chilly night for a hotly contested quiz at Jamie’s

After a break of several months due to the pandemic, the Marina Pub & Bistro in Eastlake Shopping Centre hosted another memorable Quiz Night.

It was a freezing, windy evening but 12 determined teams competed furiously against each other while quiz masters Andy and Jill Rumbelow held sway. Previous three-time winners, The Usual Suspects (Edi Niederlander, Landy Wright, Sue Custers and Pam Hicks, with Liz de Wet, Karen Rutter and Ingrid Andrews alternating) finally relinquished the quiz trophy to Team Oarsome Rinderpest (Mike Ryder, Jonno Lodge, and Helen Brain and Tom Faulkner).

Guide dog puppies Yale and Yasmin also helped keep up the morale. Through their entry fees and donations, participants raised R530 for the South African Guide-Dogs Association for the Blind.

Tables reported great pizzas, delicious nachos, yummy crumbed chicken and moreish crumbed mushrooms plus excellent service from the venue’s staff. A big thanks to Jamie and the team.

The next quiz will take place at the Marina Pub & Bistro on Monday 1 November. Please save the date.

Open Gardens cultivates community spirit

This year’s Marina Open Gardens was so popular that the hosts lost count of the number of people visiting their homes. Seven gardens featured in the event ‒ two in Uitsig, four in Park Island and one in Eastlake Island. On their travels, visitors also took in the community garden on the corner of Eastlake Drive and Baalen Close in Uitsig Peninsula. The gardens were open between 10am and 12.30pm and 2pm to 5pm. Each host reported at least 30 visitors in the morning with more arriving in the afternoon.

In addition, the organisers raised R480 by selling 48 maps at R10 each. With two people sharing a single map, we reckon the final attendance figure must have been around 100. The money raised will go towards the South African Guide-Dogs Association for the Blind.

According to Valerie Benson, who organised the event with support from the MDGA: “While it is so lovely to see everyone else’s garden and collect ideas for your own space, the real beauty of Open Gardens is that it connects neighbours with one another and enhances our sense of community. We now know that our neighbour in Park Island has designed an amazing outside area with a sunken fire pit and a vegetable garden at the back, while our neighbour in Uitsig lovingly nurtures seedlings and sells amazing plants. Until now, not even the people living right next door knew that! It was a very successful day and we plan to continue the tradition in 2022.”

If you’d like to be part of next year’s Open Gardens, please contact Valerie on 082 475 6187.

Meanwhile, we’d like to say a big thanks you to everyone involved.