It was already certain that Studio Kontrabas would return this year. The location had been kept quite secret in recent weeks, but on Thursday evening the organizers announced that from December 15 to 18 radio will be made in the factory buildings of the former Weverij Schotte. The West Flemish Food Bank and the Children’s Cancer Foundation are the two charities. And there was still news to be had.
The Schotte weaving factory, specializing in upholstery fabrics, ceased production in the late 1950s. Later, the buildings were partly used as storage space for a furniture factory. Part of it is currently let out and the large warehouse of approximately 2,000 square meters is available for rent.
“Owner Victor Schotte knew what we were doing with Studio Kontrabas and had already mentioned that a collaboration was possible”, said the organizers during the kick-off in a room above Maisons de Julie’s real estate office. “We spoke to him and visited the buildings. From the start we saw great potential in the place. It is also a gigantic building with a certain history, and a place in the middle of the center where few people have been before.”
“One of the advantages is that we are less dependent on the weather. But an empty, unfurnished warehouse also brings with it many challenges. In any case, the covered space offers plenty of opportunities to make it a unique and magnificent event again.”
The organizers of Radio Kontrabas had more news to report. Take the Christmas market for example. Ingelmunsterse Bouwvrienden, a group of independent entrepreneurs, took over the torch from Team Christmas Tree last year. But then they had to cancel the Christmas market at the last minute due to corona.
“There had already been some discussions about a possible collaboration. But the fact that we had our eye on a place other than the marketplace changed things. We sat around the table, looked at the possibilities and visited the former weaving mill with De Bouwvrienden. They also saw the benefits of the building. So this year there will be another collaboration between the two organisations, which also means that the Christmas market will be housed in the factory buildings. The associations that want to stand on 17 December will soon be able to visit an information session. There, De Bouwvrienden will tell you more about how to register, the conditions and the agreements.”
Walks and art
This year too, there will be plenty to do on and around the place where Studio Kontrabas takes place. “The city run, an action of the sports department, is organizing its run on Friday evening, December 16. The participants will be able to choose between different distances, on an original route through the municipality”, explains Studio Kontrabas.
“Art for Life is also coming back. In 2018, an artist collective organized a surprising exhibition at Kapelhof in Kortrijkstraat. This year they are bringing another edition. The location will probably be the old building of Fami.”
The hottest week
Studio Contrabass takes place during De Warmste Week. This year he wants to make the problem of the underprivileged visible and open for discussion. One in eight Flemings is born into poverty, and that problem only seems to be getting worse.
“Just before the summer, VRT announced the theme. We had been toying with the idea of doing something for the food banks for some time. We contacted the West Flanders Food Bank and paid a visit to the province’s pick-up center in Kuurne. We got an interesting tour and learned what food banks mean to people in need and what role the West Flemish Food Bank plays in this.”
“There is also a local side to the story. 82 cities and municipalities are associated with the West Flemish food bank, of which Ingelmunster with De Cirkel is one. Around 60 percent of the products that are distributed to families in Ingelmunster come from the West Flanders Food Bank. Twice a month De Cirkel collects dry food, vegetables, fruit and dairy and meat products. This year, 77 families have already been helped in Ingelmunster.”
“We know that these are difficult times for everyone, and our main goal is not to collect as much money as possible. We want to make the issue of deprivation a topic for discussion and, above all, ensure that Ingelmunster becomes a very warm municipality again during the holiday season.”
The other charity during De Warmste Week, Studio Kontrabas reported, is the Children’s Cancer Foundation. And immediately followed a warm call: “Not only schools, companies or associations, but really everyone can organize an action for De Warmste Week. Everything is possible: from baking cookies to organizing a party or cycling for a good cause. The only condition is that the profit is donated to Studio Kontraba’s charitable purpose. Do you have a good idea? Register your campaign on Studio Kontraba’s website and receive campaign material to advertise as much as possible. Actions that are registered may also call for logistical support.”
Studio Double Bass, 15.-18. December, formerly Weverij Schotte, Nieuwstraat. Organise, sponsor or collaborate? http://www.studiokontrabas.be.