Oysterfest up for SA tourism award

AWARD NOMINATION: Oysterfest co-ordinator Annette Plane and Tunarama Festival co-ordinator Sally Neville at this year's Oysterfest dinner.

AWARD NOMINATION: Oysterfest co-ordinator Annette Plane and Tunarama Festival co-ordinator Sally Neville at this year's Oysterfest dinner.

OYSTERFEST may have succumbed to the wild weather earlier this month, but it has received statewide recognition.

Ceduna’s annual festival is a finalist at the South Australian Tourism Industry Council (SATIC) awards in the Festivals and Events category.

The nomination for the awards night, which will be in Adelaide on November 4, is a first for Oysterfest.

District Council of Ceduna’s tourism and events officer Annette Plane submitted the proposal, but did not expect anything to come of it.

“It’s pretty exciting for us,” she said.

“I put together a 30-page proposal and had an interview, but didn’t expect to be a finalist.

“Oysterfest has been recognised in other awards, but those were more regional.

“This is state level, which goes on to the national awards.”

Ms Plane believes the nomination signifies the continual growth of Oysterfest since its inception in 1991 as an event which both brings together and promotes the West Coast and the burgeoning local oyster industry. 

“Being nominated is a huge boost,” she said.

“Not a lot of people have heard about it, even in Adelaide.

“It’s not just a Ceduna event, but region-wide.

“It is a fun event, but it has more regional benefits than people realise and it showcases the region.

“The SA Tourism Commission have put effort into Oysterfest to see how they can assist us, help us grow and how we can get it recognised throughout the state.”

The timing of the nomination is bittersweet, with Oysterfest a victim of the recent storms which lashed much of South Australia.

While the main activities of the 2016 event were cancelled, Ms Plane said the weekend-long festivities would be back with a bang in 12 months time.

“The award nomination will help us get the name out even further,” she said.

“There is extra time to plan what we want to do for next year.

“We hope to bring back the artists and plans from this year to the 2017 event.”

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