By Kara Bertoncini
The third annual Festival of Steve took place last month at the Kelvin Club in laneway Melbourne Place.
The Kelvin Club was the perfect venue for this event, encompassing all that is luxurious, classic and old-worldly.
City Precinct, a small business association within the CBD, runs the festival.
City Precinct vice-president Carl Nave said the festival supported small businesses and catered to the everyday man.
“The Festival of Steve is a celebration of the modern man and caters to men’s lifestyle, fashion, grooming, food and beverage. This is an event to bring men together in a non-threatening environment to shop,” Mr Nave said.
While the name of the festival suggests a very male focus, Mr Nave insists women are more than welcome to attend saying that there was a bit of “Steve” in all of us.
“Women should definitely not be afraid. We encourage women to come as well. Even to support their men. By celebrating their modern man, it’s a great way for women to get their men to sample new things,” he said.
“Steve is everyone. Steve is every man. Steve is me. Steve is Tyson. We all have a little bit of Steve in us. This is all about inclusion not exclusion. We’re bringing together everything that men appreciate,” Mr Nave said.
On offer were tailors, a barber, men’s assorted accessories, home furnishings, men’s apparel, leather goods, men’s millinery, men’s health products and services, a silent auction and open forums.
This was the first year forums were held and Mr Nave said it was a way to open up the dialogue between men.
“This is the first time we’ve introduced the forums. We have had presentations in the past but we wanted to open up the room a little bit more and get public engagement and questions as well. It went really well,” he said.
Throughout the day, gold coin donations were collected and given to Beyond Blue in order to further highlight the importance of men’s mental health.
“All gold coin donations go to Beyond Blue because we feel men don’t talk about mental health enough and it’s a very important thing that we address,” Mr Nave said.
Mr Nave said he wanted the Festival of Steve to grow and be even bigger and, while it has almost outgrown the Kelvin Club, it seems they are well on their way.