The curtains came down on the thirteenth edition of the Caribbean Festival of Arts CARIFESTA XIII last evening. The ten-day mega cultural event ended with a closing ceremony at Kensington Oval Ground, President Kennedy Drive, Bridgetown, Barbados.
The night’s activities included a culmination of performances from various Caribbean countries that have performed throughout the festival and the passing of the baton to next host country of CARIFESTA XIIII, Trinidad and Tobago.
There were also closing speeches from Minister of Culture of Barbados Hon, Stephen Lashley and Assistant Secretary-General in charge of Human, Social Development at the CARICOM Secretariat Dr. Douglas Slater among others.
Dr. Slater told the large gathering that once again CARIFESTA has given us an exquisite and diversities of wonderful performances of cultural expressions from visual and performing arts to film, fashion, literary arts and symposium series.
The Assistant Secretary General extended his regards on behalf of the Caribbean community for the hospitality received. He also congratulated Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, Minister Lashley and team for organising, managing and creating the space where Caribbean contingents were able to explore the team of CARIFESTAXIII- “asserting our culture, celebrating ourselves.
“An important legacy of CARIFESTA XIII is the way in which Barbados has placed the development of our culture and creative industries at the centre of the festival through the platform of the buyer’s shopping mall in the Grand Market. Through this component which showcased the region’s exquisite collection of home and décor, fashion, gourmet, film, music literature and more; Barbados has further expanded the concept of Caribbean market base for the arts which was introduced in CARIFWST XI in Suriname in 2013,” Dr. Slater underlined.
He also expressed his condolences to the family and friends of late Guyanese participant Petal Frank who passed away during CARIFESTA.
Meanwhile, Minister Lashley noted that even though there was not a perfect start to CARIFESTA due to tropical storm Harvey the team pulled together and “CARIFESTA XIII was a resounding success” with the participation of the 22 Caribbean countries.
Lashley proudly reported that the critical objectives of the festival were indeed met. “From discussions held with Ministers who were present and directors of culture we were able to recognize the ongoing importance of the culture industries to the development of national economies and the enrichment of culture capital. We were also able to promote the sustainability and competitiveness of the region’s creative industries and talent as significant forces in the modern economy.”
Among the highlights of the country’s many successes, Minister Langley noted that during CARIFESTA Barbados was able to secure international sales of books and international interests in the country’s musical artistes and visual arts. The Culture Minister also lauded Guyana for its unique fashion display.
In concluding the Minister praised Guyana for its continued participation during the passing of its member Petal Frank. He then passed the baton to 2019 host country of CARIFESTA XIIII Trinidad and Tobago.
The Minister of Culture and Art of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Nyan Gadsby Dolly accepting the baton, thanked the host country Barbados for hosting an enjoyable and successful CARIFESTA XIII. “We now invite the world to shift a little further south to the twin island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago as together we tropical men with talent untold raise our hand to grasp the sun.” Dr. Dolly also thanked CARICOM for the opportunity.
CARIFESTA XIIII will be held from August 16-25 2019 under theme “the tangible and intangible; connect share and invest.”