Bake or make, Ky’s got it covered for the CWA

By Holly Tregenza

KYABRAM has risen to the occasion and now expects to see hundreds of the best bakers of bread roll into town in a few weeks.

But don’t be hanging out for a hot loaf or two; this time around the bakers will be focused on cakes.

And they will be joined by many of the state’s best crafters, as the CWA Creative Arts Exhibition caravan pulls into town in a few weeks.

And it’s quite the coup – or icing on the cake if you prefer.

Ky is one of only a handful of small towns to ever host the event, with bigger regional centres such as Warrnambool or Yarrawonga usually nabbing the crowds.

But CWA creative arts committee chair Heather Scott said Kyabram was such a natural choice for organisers.

“Kyabram is perfect for this event and meets all the prerequisites,” she said.

“The town hall gives us 600 square metres of floor space, we’ve got great security and plenty of accessible and free parking here.

‘‘We like to come to a medium-sized town where the community can get involved and get into the event and experience a real economic benefit.”

Last year, more than 1200 people flocked to Leongatha for the event.

“It’s mind boggling, the magnitude of it,” Kyabram CWA organiser Doreen Napier said.

“We’re bringing in 1500 pieces from across the state, some that we’ve had to truck up from Melbourne.

“It’ll be all hands on deck as everything arrives and we will have volunteers there en masse.”

And it’s likely to bring an economic windfall for local businesses, particularly those along Allan Street.

“Most of the accommodation in town is already booked out for the week and we expect the restaurants and shops to be busy,” Ms Scott said.

“A lot of people also have caravans that they make the trip here with, so the caravan parks will get a boost too.

“It’ll be a significant boost to local industry, particularly given the quiet winter period.”

The annual exhibition showcases the skills of CWA members across more than 270 categories encompassing handcrafts, cookery and preserves.

The Goulburn Valley West CWA group is the official host of the event and is hoping the exhibition will lead a few people to join them.

While the junior arm of the branch is thriving, numbers of adult memberships of CWA in the region are in decline.

“The initiative to host the state exhibition in Kyabram should provide a boost to membership in the area, with the opportunity to inform local people about CWA and invite them to come along and learn about our activities,” Ms Scott said.

And while Ky’s Doreen Napier will be happy to sit down for a well-deserved cuppa when the exhibition is over, she said it’s all worth it.

“It’s such a huge job but so worth doing. So many people come to help just for the love of it, and I’m the same,” she said.

The event has been supported by Campaspe Shire.

Head to the Kyabram Town Hall on August 2 and 3 to check out the exhibition. Doors open from 9am to 5pm on Friday and 9am to 4pm on Saturday. Entry is $10.