Article written by: Martin Hatchuel CPRP

Knysna timber festival media release

The Knysna Timber Festival 2017 will go ahead as planned from 29 September to 1 October - and it’ll take place as usual at its traditional venue at Timber Village, despite the fact that Timber Village was burned to the ground during the town’s recent devastating fires.

The Knysna Timber Initiative - the organisers of the event - see this year’s Festival as an important milestone during which members of the industry can meet and help one another in restarting and re-growing the Garden Route’s hard-hit timber economy.

“Everyone was affected by the fires, and everyone’s rebuilding with a strong spirit of community,” said the Initiative’s chairperson, Morné Smith.

“The timber industry provides jobs and incomes for thousands of people in the region, and the Festival is an opportunity to showcase the deep level of skills - and the high quality of the products - for which Knysna has become famous,” he said.


The exhibitors at this year’s festival have been drawn from a broad spectrum of the timber economy - furniture manufacturers, timber growers, wood millers, timber buyers, members of the timber construction industry, etc. - while indoor and outdoor exhibitions and demonstrations areas will provide spaces for conversations, talks, presentations, and films about wood and working with wood.

And with activities for children and adults alike (and an exciting entertainment area, with live music, a beer tent, and children’s play space), this year’s Knysna Timber Festival has been designed with families in mind.


“One of the most important aspects of the Festival is the fact that it’s a platform for training and skills transfer, and we’re proud to announce that Woodoc Food for Wood will be sponsoring our training programme this year,” said Ms. De Bruin.

“And Woodoc will also be there with their Woodoc Owl Box Project, too - which is particularly appropriate this year as people around the Garden Route do whatever they can for the birds, bees, and wild animals that were also severely affected by the fires,” she said.


Mr. Smith said that Wood-Mizer - the global leader in stationary and portable sawmills - has donated a brand new Wood-Mizer LT20B Diesel sawmill to the Knysna Timber Initiative, which will be used for at least six months to provide processed timber for the reconstruction of homes in some of the underprivileged areas that were affected by the fires.

“As a long-term project, the mill will be made available to community projects that require timber to be milled, and also as a facility for training operators in the use of a bandsaw mill,” said Jean-Jacques Oelofse, Wood-Mizer’s Corporate Director – Emerging Markets.

“We’re very grateful for the cooperation and support of all our sponsors, exhibitors, and festival goers - both during previous Festivals, and in the rather challenging run-up to this year’s event - and we’re looking forward to an even better and more enjoyable Festival than ever,” said Mr. Smith.

“It’s going to be an awesome opportunity both for the industry to regroup - and for our guests and visitors to see how #KnysnaRises as we work together to everyone’s benefit,” he said.


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The Knysna Timber Festival is proud to be associated with the following supportive organisations.


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Knysna Tourism
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