Changes have been made to this year’s National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA), with the announcement today of the creation of a new “semi-professional category” of competitors.
Chief Cultural Officer at the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) Alison Sealy Smith made the revelation during a NIFCA press briefing at the Haggatt Hall offices of the Ministry of Culture Sports and Youth, at which she reported that planning for this year’s festival began back in early June.
The NCF official also said that following “an in-depth critical analysis of the last ten years of its Performing Arts component” it was decided that an additional category would be added.
“That means, participants in music, dance and theatre, will now compete in three categories- Non Professional, Semi Professional and Professional,” Sealy-Smith said, explaining that the new Semi–Professional category makes provision for individuals who have gained some level of tertiary academic qualifications; have gained intermediate training from a recognized international institution along with their years of experience; and/or who use the discipline as a part-time source of income.
Winners in this category will be eligible for a yearlong BIMAP course to study for a certificate in management studies at a value of $2,500.
Sealy-Smith also announced that this year’s Performing Arts finals will take place at the Major Noot Hall at the Combermere School instead of the Frank Collymore Hall, which is under renovation.
And while the NIFCA Gala is set to return to its original home at the Garfield Sobers Gymnasium, the Visual Arts Exhibition will be held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre where its opening will be twinned with the Literary Arts Gala as part of an Evening of the Arts celebration.
This year’s NIFCA semifinalists will be announced next week, ahead of the first semi-final on October 7-8 at the Lester Vaughn School.