The Parkview Charity Christmas market, hosted at the George Hay Park in Parkview, Johannesburg, recently offered Joburg residents the perfect opportunity to get some Christmas shopping done while supporting local entrepreneurs and uplifting the lives of those less fortunate in the process. Over the nine years since inception, event coordinator Nicarela Charity has raised more than five million rands through the charity market, which offers more than 90 arts and crafts stalls, great food and drink ( including particularly enjoyable oysters and champagne) and a variety of family-friendly entertainment.

The Nicarela charity, founded in 2007, supports a number of outreach projects aimed at improving the lives of the most vulnerable in our society, including children in need; the disabled; those affected and infected by HIV/AIDS; and victims of domestic violence, to name a few. This outstanding achievement would not have been possible without the support of the community, volunteers and most importantly the sponsors who make the Parkview Charity Market possible. Speaking on behalf of Nicarela Charity, Bridget von Holdt states that: “It’s amazing to see how people from different backgrounds come together for the greater good of those less fortunate. The support we have received every year has been amazing.’

One of the key partners in this project is Gearhouse Group South Africa, which has provided sound and staging equipment and technical support for the event over the past six years. The Gearhouse team have ensured that the on-stage entertainment runs smoothly and continues to draw the community to the event with a team of 15 learners who are pursuing their Live Event Technical Production Certificate: SAQA ID 48669, overseen by a project manager and two full-time technicians. The event, therefore, not only offers the opportunity to raise funds for a very worthy cause but also to launch the careers of young technicians in the live events market. Training manager at Gearhouse’s Kentse Mpahlwa Academy, Josef van Schalkwyk says, “Many of our staff members look forward to attending every year not only to support the Nicarela charity initiative but also to see our upcoming “newbie’ technicians showing off their new-found skills.’

National marketing manager for the Gearhouse Group South Africa, Robyn D’Alessandro, states that: “The Gearhouse Group remains committed to supporting the Parkview Charity Market to teach our students the value of giving back to the community, and most importantly give them an opportunity to operate their own show and hone their live event technical skills. While the Gearhouse Group commits to a portfolio of CSI projects annually, this one seems to be something that the staff really cherish, not only because it provides such a valuable platform for the company’s learners– but also because it is enormous fun for the whole family.’

This year’s event was bigger and better than ever before, and the Gearhouse Group really came to the party, delivering a stunning stage, professional light show and great sound. While the high production quality adds a level of professionalism that makes this community event particularly enjoyable, the PA system is also used to announce important information – such as safety warnings and reuniting little ones with misplaced their parents – and is, therefore, a cornerstone of ensuring that the event goes off without incidents.

Gearhouse’s Mxolisi “Frikkie’ Souls project managed though-out the five-day event, ensuring that the array of performers, including bands, solo artists, dance acts and children’s performances enjoyed the best that one of the country’s leading live events companies has to offer. “This year’s event has been fantastic,’ Frikkie told Pro-Systems News, “the performances have been great, and the young technical team have done us proud,’ he concludes.