It was a very chilly summer evening when I experienced my first outdoor movie at Lost Lake in Whistler, BC, Canada. It was to be another 8 years before I opened the doors to The Galileo Open Air Cinema at Kirstenbosch Gardens on 21st November 2012, but little did I know that that chilly Canadian night was to set the wheels in motion to one of the most rewarding career journeys I could have ever imagined.
My vision in 2012 was to create a new and unique entertainment opportunity for locals and tourists, taking advantage of the gorgeous Capetonian summers, the beautiful vistas and bringing joy to as many people as possible by providing a mix of movie magic with great food, entertainment and fun under the stars. Today, as I work my last day of handover to the new owners, I look back at the past 9 years and can only be proud of what we have achieved. From one venue in 2012, we grew to host shows at more than 18 venues in Cape Town and over 30 wine estates in the Cape Winelands, as well as private shows at schools, estates and many more. We have brought movie magic to more than 300,000 viewers, hosted dozens of birthdays, anniversaries and engagements and organised the most romantic Valentines’, funnest Christmas’ and scariest Halloweens. It has been a truly rewarding, fulfilling, creative and fun work experience and I wouldn’t change a single minute of it.
I’ve also been most fortunate to work with some incredible people and companies along the way and while I cannot name everyone that deserves it here, I’d like to thank a few key players as The Galileo would have never been what it is today without them: Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden (the most gorgeous!), Output AV (the most outstanding!) and Webtickets (simply the best!), you guys have really been the backbone of The Galileo and I cannot thank you enough. To our amazing team of food vendors who have stuck it out through thick and thin and have loyally and dutifully come to the party every time, thank you for your hard work! Michelle from The Mexican Nacho, Firas from 2 Kitchens, Chris from Lion Coffee, Mariska & Kirsty from Butler’s Pizza and Des and Dylan from Tipsygypsy Artbar. To all our wonderful Cinema Crew, THANK YOU, you guys are absolutely fabulous in every way, to our PR girls, Josie and Beverley, your work has been invaluable to our growth and to all our stunning and wonderful venues, we could have never done it without you! Thank you also to the beautiful Jackie for her love and care, Marc from CapeTownMagazine.com and the Kfm Radio group for their support and to Cinevation (Karen, Justin and the entire team) for their incredible contribution (along with all the great sponsors that came along with them!). And mostly importantly, to the two most amazing people I have ever worked with who not only treated this company like their own but literally ran it from A-Z, I simply don’t have the words to thank you enough. Andre and Lauren, you have been like family to me and I am so proud and privileged to have worked with you. You have made my life not only easy throughout the 7 years we have worked together but also exciting, fulfilling, challenging and most importantly, fun! THANK YOU!
Today I say a physical goodbye, but not an emotional one as The Galileo will live in my heart forever. With my second baby due in July and plans to travel the world and live overseas as soon as she arrives, I am excited for the new adventures that await. I am sad to leave but also proud to look back and know that we did our best, and we did it always with love.
Last, but certainly not least, a huge thank you to all our dearest patrons who supported The Galileo throughout the years. May you continue to enjoy many more magical nights under the stars!
With much love and gratitude to this little company that changed my life, and that of so many! <3 Huenu