The Grand Exhibition – An international Burlesque Benefit

The Grand Exhibition

The Grand Exhibition is currently held each year on the first 2 weeks of August in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

The aim of the Grand Exhibition is to bring Burlesque communities together for one week end in order to give back to their communities in some way. Each event is hosted by a local Burlesque company and features top burlesque talent, from seasoned professional solo performers to dazzling troupe numbers from Cape Town and Johannesburg’s longest standing burlesque companies, with all proceeds of the night being donated to the charities of their choice.

Since 2015 the Grand Exhibition Cape Town and JHB have raised and donated a over R101 500 for it’s chosen charities. Thanks go out to all the dancers and audience members who have support this cause. 

The Grand Exhibition Cape Town

The Grand Exhibition Cape Town donates all funds raised  to Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust.

The Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust (RCCTT), established in 1976, empowers rape survivors in the Western Cape on their journey to recovery and on their road to justice. Furthermore, we work to reduce and deter rape in communities, to support survivors speaking out about rape and to bring about law reform through partnering with other organisations across South Africa. We help an average of 300 calling and about 400 new face-to-face clients every month. There is little support available to rape survivors and Rape Crisis is one organisation that provides comprehensive services from the time of the rape right through to the conclusion of the trail and beyond. Our services are run by 13 staff members and 80 volunteers serving a beneficiary group that is 50% black African, 40% coloured and Indian and 10% white.

Rape is a significant social problem with 6 000 rapes being reported in the Western Cape every year. However, despite this, government funding and donor support fall short of addressing the full extent of the work required to address this problem. It is the generosity of people like you that enables us to continue providing these vital services in partnership with the communities that we serve.

The Grand Exhibition Cape Town in conjunction with Naked Girls Reading, raised R28 000 for Rape Crisis and in 2016, and has raised a total of R111 703 to date since its inception in 2015.

 The Grand Exhibition poster small 
 TGE 2016 small 
 TGE 2017-small 

The Grand Exhibition Johannesburg

The Grand Exhibition Johannesburg donates all funds raised to Breast Health Foundation.

The Breast Health Foundation, which is a Not for Profit Company, was established in April 2002 in conjunction with several companies and organisations to educate the public on breast cancer and breast health, increase awareness and empower women. It’s founding was facilitated by individuals who held deep concerns around women’s health issues in South Africa and had the intentions to educate the public on breast health issues in general and breast cancer in particular.

In 2015 the Grand Exhibition Johannesburg raised R19 200 for The Breast Health foundation, and a further R18 000 in 2016, totalling R37 000 todate.

TGE JHB 2015 small
TGE JHB 2016 small
TGE JHB 2017 small

More About The Grand Exhibition

The intention of the Grand Exhibition is to unite burlesque dancers around the world, and celebrate the beautiful art that is burlesque on the 1st weekend in August annually.

We are inspired by World Belly Dance Day, which is hosted on the 2nd Saturday of May each year, and is celebrated globally by thousands of dancers.  All funds raised from events around the world are donated to charity as an annual contribution from the belly dance community. Lydia Tzigane, founder of World Belly Dance Day, is excited about the prospect of a similar burlesque event and has given us her blessing.

Our wish is that Burlesque communities globally will host similar events, where burlesque dancers host shows/ workshops/seminars or even just a fun dinner, and donate the proceeds to a woman’s charity of their choice.

If you are able to organize a burlesque event, whether it be a workshop, a competition, a show, or even an enthusiasts lunch or dinner, we would love for you to join us on the 1st weekend of August.

The only condition is that:

  • The event is held on the first weekend in August,  in unison with other dancers around the world.
  • All profit from your event should go to a charity of your choice. Do it to give back to your community, not for personal gain and profit.

If you are not able to host an event, consider chatting to other troupes/dancers/ producers in your area, and combine forces to create a special event together. Use your imagination. The sky is the limit! If you are keen to join the movement, let us know what you have planned, join our facebook page and keep us updated on what’s happening.  Most of all, please help spread the word, as a global initiative, we can really make a difference!

Email for more information.