FISH Creek’s legendary Tea Cosy Festival planned for May 2020 and cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic has now brewed to even greater strength and become the e-Cosy Exhibition.
While tea cosies were assembled for judging and display at the Fish Creek Memorial Hall for previous festivals, this year photographs of entries for all categories of handcrafted cosy are invited for a free online contest and show instead.
As well there’s a brand-new Instagram-based competition called #teacosiesinisolation that’s intended to cock a bit of a snook at the coronavirus in general and to lift people’s spirits up even further in particular.
Tea Cosy Festival Committee president Marge Arnup said tea cosies for this year’s event had already started arriving in the mail from right across Australia when the decision was made to cancel.
“The committee called it early in March thinking it was best not to go ahead but as we were sitting there at one of our meetings looking at some of the new batch of tea cosies we came up with the idea of holding at least the exhibition online,” she said.
“We’d received so many emails and letters from people who had already made their tea cosies and from people who had been planning to travel to Fish Creek from as far away as Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia for this year’s festival that we felt we had to do something!
“One woman wrote to tell us that her husband had actually sewn for the first time in his life to make a tea cosy, and that’s what drove us on,” Marge said.
“We know that crafters and lovers of the Fish Creek Tea Cosy Festival are delighted to learn the Tea Cosy Competition and Exhibition is still on, with our additional Instagram competition to boot, even though the festival itself is not taking place.”
Marge’s fellow Tea Cosy Committee members include Susan Poletti as secretary, treasurer Jose Goossens, social media manager Tess Deyl, Nadia Stefani and Janet Matthison who together have been figuring out how to run the competitive aspects of the festival remotely.
Marge said all entry fees have been abolished for the e-Cosy Exhibition, and all entry categories are continuing, including Traditional, Exuberant Whimsy, Men’s, and Children’s, among others.
“Judging will still occur and prizes will be awarded thanks to the continued support of the all prize sponsors who without hesitation agreed to support the re-jigged competition,” she said.
“To enter the e-Cosy Exhibition, all crafted tea cosies should be photographed and sent via email to the festival committee by Friday May 8, 2020 and the images will then be uploaded to an online exhibition starting on Saturday May 16, 2020.”
While COVID-19 is a very serious situation, the Fish Creek Tea Cosy Festival Committee wanted to do something more to bring a smile to its loyal band of supporters, and it came up with the new Instagram competition #teacosies
#teacosiesinisolation seeks photos of any tea cosy in an isolated situation, such as in a room by itself, out in a paddock or even up a tree.
Marge said entrants do not need to make their isolated tea cosy; “it can be yours, your granny’s, borrowed, or dare I say ‘stolen’!
“It can be indoors or outside, whatever takes your imagination,” she said.
“Post all pictures to Instagram by Sunday May 24, 2020 and the winner will be announced on Sunday May 31, 2020, who will receive a Wilsons Promontory Cruise for two people from Pennicott Wilderness Journeys.”
The Fish Creek Tea Cosy Festival committee members said they have been gratified by the ongoing backing of the all prize sponsors and the interest shown by tea cosy makers and lovers everywhere.
“We want to show the coronavirus that we’re not going to be beaten!” Marge said.
“The Festival committee and sponsors all hope YOU will join in the fun of the e-Cosy Exhibition and the #teacosies
inisolation Instagram competition and we look forward to your entries.”