A Bajan delegation of about 65 people, led by Minister of Creative Economy, Culture and Sports John King, participated in last weekend’s CARIFESTA XIV held in Trinidad & Tobago.
A range of skilled Barbadians took part in the Grand Market, Country Night, Performing Arts and Literary Arts segments of the regional festival.
The ministerial delegation included Minister King, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Creative Economy, Culture and Sports Jehue Wiltshire and Senior Cultural Policy Officer Sheron Johnson.
Barbados’ participation was led by the Chief Executive Officer of the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) Carol Roberts-Reifer with administrative support from the Chief Cultural Officer Andrea Wells who represents Barbados on the CARIFESTA Interim Festival Directorate, and the NCF’s cultural officers.
Barbados’ presentation was under the theme: From Rum to Rihanna. Minister King said he was pleased with Barbados’ performances and display at the festival.
“I was very happy and think Barbados did a really good job,” the Minister said.
On Barbados’ country night on stage at the Queen’s Park Savannah on Saturday, a contingent of performers weaved a story of the island in song and dance. King said he particularly enjoyed the multimedia production: Journey to the Last Canes which covered the island’s history from the sugar revolution through to Rihanna’s music. He noted, “There were a few technical hitches, but it did not take away from the actual spirit of the performances”.
“Right now, with CARIFESTA, we are celebrating ourselves among ourselves, but I think CARIFESTA now needs to move into different spaces like Europe, Asia, South America – different parts of the world where we as a Caribbean region can begin to impact on others and display our wealth of creativity,” said the former entertainer.
Contingents from 22 countries were a part of the celebrations at the bi-annual event themed: Connect, Share, Invest. In addition to delegations from CARICOM member states, there were delegations from Curacao, Martinique and Guadeloupe. According to information from the CARIFESTA secretariat, the largest delegation was from Jamaica which had a 265 member contingent with a strong presence in dance and visual arts.
Head of the secretariat Arlene Holman said: “In years gone by, CARIFESTA has been a catalyst for not only strengthening regional integration among Caribbean countries, artisans and cultural practitioners. This wide-ranging festival has therefore been a launching pad for the Caribbean to take center-stage, by bringing the essence of what makes the islands culturally rich to the world.”
T&T won the bid to host this year’s CARIFESTA with an investment of 43 million dollars. (IMC/PR)