THE official 50-member delegation which will be representing Guyana at the Caribbean Festival of Arts (CARIFESTA) to be hosted in Suriname from August 16-25, 2013 will be departing for the festival on August 15.
This was disclosed to the Guyana Chronicle yesterday by Guyana’s Festival Director for CARIFESTA XI, Mr. Lennox Canterbury in a telephone interview with the Guyana Chronicle.
According to him, preparations are quite advanced for Guyana’s participation in the festival which is being hosted under the theme “Culture for Development: Celebrating our diversity and promoting the central role of culture in economic, social and human development.”
Culture Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony last month had told members of the media in a press conference that Guyana would be taking the largest delegation to the festival, operating on a budget estimated at $20M.
He had explained that since Guyana is a neighbour to the CARIFESTA X1 host country, Suriname, the two states had effected an agreement allowing Guyana to send the largest contingent, and others are welcome to join the delegation, but they will have to pay their own way.
Guyana will be participating in the Performing Arts, Visual Arts, Culinary Arts, Cinematography, Indigenous Festivals, Fashion, and Literary Arts sections of CARIFESTA.
Compared to previous years, a new model initiated by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has resulted in each participating country in Carifesta X1 being limited to 50 persons.
Minister Anthony had explained that under the new model, countries will also pay for transportation, food and accommodation, and the traditional opening ceremony has been modified after being described as too long and somewhat ineffective.
According to him, after consultations with various CARICOM member states, it was decided that each country will have a flag backdrop and a three- minute set piece or display which reflects what each country is best known for.
The CARICOM Secretariat had said that the new CARIFESTA model seeks to address several weaknesses in the management of the event, and to ensure that CARIFESTA is more dynamic, economically viable and meets the expectations of regional and international audiences.
The activities for CARIFESTA XI include opening and closing ceremonies, extended Grand Cultural Market and Trade Fair; performing arts in theatre, dance, music and storytelling; as well as a youth focus.
According to the CARIFESTA XI website, this festival was initiated by the Heads of Government of CARICOM in 1972 to celebrate the arts, foster a vision of Caribbean unity and to positively advance Caribbean culture regionally and internationally.