Inaugural KI wildlife carnival a big success | PHOTOS

The inaugural Kangaroo Island Wildlife Carnival was a big success with a sell-out capacity crowd at The Islander Estate cellar door on the evening of Wednesday, January 9.

Timed to coincide with peak tourism season, the event aims to raise awareness around what Islanders can do to protect KI’s wildlife, and to raise funds for the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Network (KIWN).

Sarah Kemp from Smart Future Creative organised the event in partnership with KIWN.

 More than $5,000 was raised for the charity on the night.

KIWN chairperson Kate Welz spoke passionately to open the event, noting that everyone on Kangaroo Island was part of the Island’s nature and everyone had a responsibility to protect and care for KI’s wildlife.  

Sarah Kemp meanwhile hopes to make the wildlife carnival annual event. She also organised the film festival at Parndana last year and now has two more events planned.

“The next two are Restore (our land and spirit) and Dark Skies,” she said. “The aim is to have a celebration each season that not only brings the community together, but that can become a platform for producing creative content on the Island that attracts tourists here that share values and that want to engage deeply with the place in in an authentic way.”

Performing at the carnival on Wednesday evening were Kangaroo Island singer-songwriters Patti Blucher, Richard Glatz and Boone Law, as well as resident master African drummer Sam Oshodi.

Also performing was Nancy Bates, a proud and strong Barkindji Woman from New South Wales. 

The evening concluded with filmmaker Samuel Chen presenting his multi-award-winning documentary “Kangaroo Island: Life on the Edge”. 

Sarah Kemp thanked the generous support of the sponsors Smart Future Creative, Cygnet River Farm and The Islander Estate Vineyards, as well as large number of supporters, individuals and organizations that donated to the charity auction, artists who donated their time and volunteers who helped run the event.

Katie Welz, KIWN chairperson said; “I am so overwhelmed from all the support from the community, it is great to have wonderful events like this to bring the community together. Preventing wildlife from coming into care is our ultimate goal, the money raised at the Wildlife Carnival will allow us to continue running education programs through out the year, thanks to the generosity of the community”.

KIWN have developed a road safety brochure that is distributed Island wide, which highlights how to reduce the risk of hitting an animal as well as what to do if you do hit or find an injured animal.

This brochure has been translated into six languages by volunteers and the money raised at the Wildlife Carnival will also be put towards doing multiple print runs and distribution them to the public.

Sarah Kemp, Smart Future Creative, said; “We are very sorry to anyone that got turned away at the gate however it highlights how important it is for people to pre- purchase tickets. There is a large amount of risk involved in putting together an event such as the Wildlife Carnival and when people pre-purchase tickets and make a commitment to supporting the event it means we can ensure everybody is looked after properly and there is more likelihood the event will have a longer term future’.

Smart Future Creative, which aims to build community through creativity, is currently developing a program of four annual events for the Island, one for each season, that will each bring the community together in celebration of our interconnectedness. To date this has included:

• From The Heart - a film festival that connects the audience with inspiring, uplifting and moving human stories, and

• Wildlife Carnival – a celebration which will showcase our beautiful fauna and help teach us all what we can do to respect, honor and protect it.

The next two events in development include:

• Restore – this event will aim to leave the land on which it is held in better condition then before it started, restoring our land and in the process our spirit. A celebration of music, thought and nature, we will be doing all we can to make it a zero-waste event that will include activities such as tree-planting, weeding and workshops, all whilst enjoying live music and the best produce our Island has to offer.

• Dark Sky – Will examine our relationship with the night sky. Natural night skies are important to animals and plants who need a regular interval of light and dark to know when to eat, sleep, hunt, migrate and reproduce. Gazing at the stars and our galaxy is a view that has fired the imagination of generations of people, and in the process inspired countless artists, poets, musicians, mathematicians, scientists and philosophers. Without the night sky acting as a source of creativity and questioning, some of the most important scientific discoveries may not have been made nor works of art produced. Kangaroo Island currently remains relatively free of light pollution and the perfect location to celebrate our connection with the universe.

“The four events will not only bring the community together, but become platforms for producing creative content here on the Island that attracts tourists here that share values and who want to engage deeply with the place in an authentic way,” Sarah Kemp said.