Fantastic finale

After a spectacular 10-day display of music, dance, art, film, theatre and other regional culture, the curtain closed on the 13th Caribbean Festival of Arts – CARIFESTA XIII – at the Kensington Oval last night.

It was a whirlwind week after some of the events suffered delays due to the passing of Tropical Storm Harvey. Despite the rocky start, the momentum picked up as the week progressed and the energy and excitement of CARIFESTA continued right through to the closing ceremony, where regional delegations animatedly celebrated the end of the biennial multicultural festival.

Although the number present in the island’s cricket mecca was noticeably fewer than for the opening ceremony the previous Sunday, there was still a feverish excitement among the crowd.

And despite the numerous complaints about poor patronage at the numerous events during the festival, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Stephen Lashley declared CARIFESTA XIII a resounding success.

Addressing the audience that included Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Assistant Secretary-General, Human and Social Development, Dr Douglas Slater; Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts Nyan Gadsby-Dolly and other government officials, Lashley said the festival in which 26 contingents from across the Caribbean participated had fulfilled its objectives.

“We were able to promote the sustainability and competitiveness of the region’s creative businesses and talent as significant forces in the modern economy. We were able to showcase the diversity of the region’s cultural industries by offering a rich and diverse programme of cultural presentations of the highest standard from a cross-section of the region’s artists and artisans.

“We were able to encourage appreciation for the value of cultural goods, services and activities as carriers of meaning and identity, and inspire innovation and development in the arts by providing a platform for both established and emerging Caribbean artists to show their work,” said the Minister of Culture.

He also spoke about the success of the festival in generating new market opportunities for businesses, with companies such as Inexmoda of Columbia, expressing interest in developing a programme for regional fashion designers, and local music group G-Syndicate receiving the nod of approval from music buyers.

On a sad note, Minister Lashley also expressed his condolences to the Guyana delegation on the passing of one of its members, Petol Frank, last Friday.

The highlight of the ceremony was Minister Lashley passing the CARIFESTA ‘baton’ to Gadsby-Dolly, whose country will host CARIFESTA XIV in 2019 from August 16-25.

The Trinidadian Culture Minister applauded Barbados for its success in hosting the “region’s cultural Olympiad”, and said the twin-island republic’s mantra would be “connect, share, invest” when it hosts the next festival.

“In 2019, we will place increased focus on the intangible cultural heritage which abounds in our region and underpins the more tangible expression,” said Gadsby-Dolly.

“We need, by way of meaningful interaction and information transfer, to underscore why we do what we do and why we are as we are. We must bound ourselves and our future generation in the essence of our Caribbeaness. In this sense, we connect with who we are and share this with the present and future benefit of our practitioners, both in the region as well as the Diaspora.

“As a region, our investment in CARIFESTA must provide a framework for networking, international exposure, elevation of artists and practitioners that will last much longer than ten days, with measurable impacts,” she added.

In the final exhibition of the Caribbean’s talents, members of the 26 contingents came together to give the crowd a stellar showcase of dance and music.

There were performances from Tambou Combo Haiti; the Pan-Caribbean Pinelands Creative Workshop brought out dancers from Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, and Trinidad and Tobago to perform a piece entitled Bele; and dancers from Bermuda and St Kitts brought Carnival to the stage with a piece entitled Masquerade.

Giving patrons a taste of what they can expect for CARIFESTA XIV, Trinidad and Tobago’s performances came from young soca artiste Aaron Duncan and a fusion of East Indian classical music and chutney by Neval Chatelal.

With the official end of CARIFESTA XIII, the contingents partied the night away with music from artists from Barbados, Bahamas, Antigua and Barbuda, and Bermuda for more than two hours.

As patrons huddled together on the Kensington Oval grounds, the flags waved non-stop as if it was just the beginning of the festival.

Source: By Katrina King

One Response to Fantastic finale

  1. jade corbie September 17, 2017 at 5:09 pm



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *