A proposed Caribbean shopping centre during the staging here of the Caribbean Festival of Arts (CARIFESTA) this year is generating global interest, according to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth.
In a release issued through its public relations consultants, Finer Points Consultants Inc, the ministry said in addition to the eight Caribbean Community countries that had confirmed their participation in CARIFESTA XIII, there had been interest in the Grand Market and Buyer’s Shopping Mall from as far as the Middle East.
“In addition to early confirmers Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, Guyana, Montserrat and St Lucia, there has been interest shown in the regional showcase from international buyers in Colombia, North America, Europe the Middle East as well as from other Caribbean islands, who have a special interest in one of the major events for the festival – the Grand Market and Buyer’s Shopping Mall,” it said.
“The Caribbean’s first mega mall is expected to feature the widest range of Caribbean creative products under one roof with over 300 booth spaces available.”
Barbados will host CARIFESTA from August 17 to 27 under the theme, Asserting Our Culture, Celebrating Ourselves; and in addition to the Grand Market which will be held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, there will be a number of entertainment events at various venues across the island “where the extensive talent of this region will be showcased”, the release stated.
According to the ministry, plans are being made for two super concerts, three signal events and nightly performances from the various country delegations.
Many of the venues, including some schools, are currently at various stages of refurbishment in preparation for the festival, last hosted here in 1981.
The ministry has issued a call for the submission of interest from community groups and people interested in producing their own events, which can be promoted on the official CARIFESTA calendar.
“These creative fringe functions will permit artistic and resourceful individuals or groups the opportunity to design and develop events which can be seen by regional counterparts who will be visiting at the time,” the release stated.
The ministry said a number of committees had been formed to manage the various areas of the festival, which will take place in different venues around the island.