Coonalpyn main street tops the list

It’s official. Coonalpyn has South Australia’s best regional main street.

The announcement was made at the 2017 Mainstreet South Australia Awards, when the Coorong District Council took home two awards for the Creating Coonalpyn project.

They were: Best Regional Mainstreet Award; and Outstanding Partnerships Award (with Country Arts South Australia).

Over the past 12 months, the council has set a national benchmark for arts-led community renewal projects.

This comes after Creating Coonalpyn garnered worldwide attention as renowned artist Guido van Helten transformed Coonalpyn’s towering grain silos, making the town one of the most photographed of rural Australia.

The silo mural, alongside five other community-led arts projects installed along the main street, has revitalised the main street of Coonalpyn.

Coorong District Council Mayor Neville Jaensch was delighted to accept the awards on behalf of council, the Coonalpyn Arts Group and Country Arts SA.

“We were up against much larger streets and towns like Rundle Mall and Victor Harbor, so we’re batting well above our average,” he says. 

Council’s director of community and corporate Nat Traeger is beyond excited about the campaign’s success, saying the awards were a win not only for council, but the Coonalpyn Arts Group and the town’s residents.

“This is a hard-working group of community members who put passion and a lot of long hours into the projects, all which has led to exceptional outcomes for their district and its people,” Ms Traeger says.

The council acknowledged that while this is good news, the announcement comes at a challenging time for the community.

Council CEO Vincent Cammell said: “Last week was the closure of the Coonalpyn BP, and we know this has hit the community hard.

“We are continuing to work with local people, businesses and other stakeholders to ensure there is alternative fuel access and ongoing tourism and economic growth opportunities; because awards like this reiterate the town is still well and truly alive.”