PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago, August 28, 2019 (CMC) – The 14th edition of the Caribbean Festival of Arts (CARIFESTA) ended, here, on Sunday night, with the country’s Culture Minister, Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, saying there had been significant achievements during the 11-day event.
She reported that the Festival, which attracted participants from several Caribbean countries, as well as Canada, had achieved the mission “to take our Caribbean film, dance, music, theatre, vision arts, food and fashion and to meticulously devise an impactful master plan to present these offerings to the people of the region and Diaspora, with a world-class finish”.
As had been the situation at the opening ceremony, the closure allowed for the exposure of Caribbean talent in song, dance, visual arts and Antigua and Barbuda, which will host the next staging of the Festival in two years’ time, said that the standard had been raised significantly.
The island’s Minister of Culture, National Festivals and the Arts, Daryll Matthew, said “I believe I speak for all delegations represented here, in saying that CARIFESTA XIV was a true success story. It raised the bar to what was previously considered unattainable heights for CARIFESTA.”
“You have set a new standard and this has given us yet another reason to be proud to say, we are from the Caribbean,” Mathew said.
Antigua and Barbuda will become the first country to use the permanent CARIFESTA logo, which was unveiled at the closing ceremony at the Queen’s Park Savannah in the capital.
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Assistant Secretary General, Dr. Douglas Slater, said that CARIFESTA was “another exciting experience and a platform for regional integration”.
He noted the presence in Trinidad and Tobago of at least 10 culture ministers from the region.
“This is a record number, in terms of attendance, in recent CARIFESTAs and it is an excellent sign of the commitment of our governments to further developing CARIFESTA, culture and the arts in our region,” Slater added.
The CARICOM Assistant Secretary General said the organisation of the 11-day event was “no easy task, no matter how many times it has been hosted before”, and praised all the organising committees, performers, artists and other stakeholders, for their contribution.
“Every edition of this festival brings new experiences and challenges, but also opportunities to learn and improve the festival,” he said.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Acting Prime Minister, Colm Imbert, said he was also pleased with the tremendous financial and other contributions made by the private sector towards the success of CARIFESTA.
“This CAIFESTA XIV was a resounding success, it was incident free, highest quality, well attended. It was a safe place for your family,” he said noting that Port of Spain intends to build upon the festival “into tangible actions affecting our national policies for the creative arts.
“We will use what we have learnt here, to revitalise our rural and urban communities with cultural showcases and unique community-oriented festivals,” Imbert said.