An Australian Government Initiative

Regional Development Australia

RDA Barossa's 'Extraordinary Everyday Barossa' and the Shop Front Challenge at the 2017 Barossa Vintage Festival

04 July 2017

RDA Barossa has successfully implemented two key projects to assist outsiders when considering the Barossa and its surrounding regions as a place to visit, live, set up business and/or invest. It can be difficult, however, for outsiders to place a finger on what makes the Barossa "tick" and why it has been so successful as a community. The answer begins with people, their place, and their traditions.

The ‘Extraordinary Everyday Barossa’ project tells a series of personal stories about the everyday people of the Barossa, welcoming newcomers and building trust with new investors in the region. Developed in conjunction with Chris Sands, these stories are a brief collection of video and audio miniatures that give a unique insight into the people and traditions of the Barossa.

Connecting these stories as an exhibition at the region's largest community festival, the Barossa Vintage Festival held 19 to 23 April 2017, was an obvious way for the RDA to maximise the reach and impact of these stories. The Extraordinary Everyday Barossa Vintage Festival Exhibition gave residents and visitors a chance to understand more about their own place attachment, enduring traditions and the values that shape their sense of community and place identity.

Sands explains: “Of all the places I've been, the connection between the people, the land, the community, weather, food and wine in the Barossa is astonishing. It seeps through everything. It makes for a unique way of life, one that seems very special to an outsider like me.”

RDA Barossa also used the opportunity of the Vintage Festival to showcase local business, arts and produce. With so many visitors and locals ‘out to play’ RDA's Arts and Cultural Facilitator, Leah Blankendaal managed RDA's second ‘Shop Front Challenge’. Shop owners from around the region were challenged to decorate their windows, embrace the arts, and create a sense of the festival on their doorsteps. Participation in this year's competition was extremely competitive, with 52 entries in the individual business category and five entries from local town groups.

By going the extra mile and decorating for the Vintage Festival, these businesses were able to generate interest and foot traffic in their shops. Said one shopper, "The Lami Saru display drew me into the shop with its eye catching design and beautiful decoration. I went in to tell them how much I liked it and I instantly bought two dresses!"

For more information about the Shop Front Challenge visit artmusicdesignbarossa.

Information about Extraordinary Everyday Barossa can be found at extraordinaryeverydaybarossa or contact RDA Barossa.

Photo caption: Chris Sands, third from the left, with locals at the opening of the 'Extraordinary Everyday Barossa’ Exhibition.

Photo caption: Chris Sands, third from the left, with locals at the opening of the 'Extraordinary Everyday Barossa’ Exhibition.