CARIFESTA XIII – An opportunity for Regional economic progress

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‘Asserting our future, celebrating ourselves’ is the theme for the 13th Caribbean Festival of Arts (CARIFESTA XIII), which takes place in Barbados on August 17-27, 2017.

CARIFESTA has been the Caribbean Community’s premier art and culture festival since 1972. This roving event attracts artists and culture professionals from more than 30 countries in the Region and has been held 12 times across eight Member States. The thirteenth staging of this mega cultural showcase will see performers, artists and a range of cultural ambassadors from the Caribbean Region converging in a medley of sounds and sights that are sure to capture the true essence of Regional Integration.

 “I would encourage everyone to come and experience CARIFESTA XIII in Barbados. It is an exciting celebration of Caribbean arts and culture where you can enjoy the artistic presentations of artists from 27 countries in our region in a wide range of disciplines over 10 days. There will be over 500 performances and events to choose from, so there will never be a dull moment,” says Dr. Hillary Brown, Programme Manager Culture and Community Development at the CARICOM Secretariat.

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Flashback to CARIFESTA XII – Haiti, 2015

CARIFESTA XIII runs from the 17-27 August 2017 in Barbados.

In the build up to this edition of the festival, the CARICOM Secretariat has produced a throwback magazine from CARIFESTA XII, held in Haiti in August 2015. This magazine (see above) includes highlights from the various performances and cultural presentations from two years ago,  which  should wet the appetite for what is expected to be a great regional cultural showcase in Barbados.

The magazine can also be accessed via this link https://issuu.com/caricom/docs/caricom_view_-_carifesta_xii__haiti (more…)

CARICOM SG asks Sweden’s help on blacklisting issue

Her Excellency Elisabeth Eklund and CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque during the accreditation ceremony on Wednesday
Her Excellency Elisabeth Eklund and CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque during the accreditation ceremony on Wednesday

Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Ambassador Irwin LaRocque has urged Sweden to use its position in two major international organisations to highlight the unfair labelling of some of the Community’s Member States as “non-cooperative tax jurisdictions”.

Speaking at the CARICOM Secretariat’s Turkeyen, Guyana headquarters during the accreditation ceremony of Sweden’s news Ambassador to the Community, the Secretary-General said, “as we seek to diversify our economies and build our services sector, some of our Member States, engaged in financial services, have been labelled as “non-cooperative tax jurisdictions”. This is despite the fact that the countries in question are not so designated by the relevant global authorities, such as the Financial Action Task Force and the OECD Global Forum.”

“As a member of the EU and the OECD, Sweden can assist in encouraging these bodies to be guided by the informed position of the relevant global regulatory authorities and desist from their unnecessary seemingly punitive actions,” he added.

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SG calls for new model for development finance

Her Excellency Elisabeth Eklund and CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque during the accreditation ceremony on Wednesday
Her Excellency Elisabeth Eklund and CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, during the accreditation ceremony on Wednesday

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) believes that a new model for development finance needs to be considered.

Speaking during the accreditation ceremony for the new Swedish Ambassador to the Community on Wednesday at the CARICOM Secretariat’s, Turkeyen, Guyana headquarters, CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque stated that GDP per capita should not be the principal measurement used in determining the development status of a country.

“We will continue to advocate for the use of a more accurate and realistic measure of development which considers vulnerability, including exposure to natural disasters and other exogenous shocks,” he said. “In the interest of realising our economic aspirations as a Community, we believe that a new paradigm in development finance needs to be considered,” he added.

Her Excellency Elisabeth Eklund presented her credentials to the Secretary-General who noted that her accreditation was a continuation of years of building bilateral relations with the Member States of the Community and a bi-regional dialogue between CARICOM and the countries of the Nordic region. Sweden is one of the countries in the Nordic Group with which CARICOM has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Political Dialogue and Cooperation.

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Canada sending large contingent to CARIFESTA XIII

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Canadian musicians ready for CARIFESTA
Canadian musicians ready for CARIFESTA (Photo via TorontoCaribbean)

More than 66 artists, spearheaded by the Canadian-Caribbean Arts Network (C-CAN), are heading to Barbados for CARIFESTA XIII which opens later this week, the TorontoCaribbean media outfit has reported.

“I am still pinching myself because at one point in time I had given up hope that it would ever happen,” confessed Rhoma Spencer, Artistic Director of C-CAN as she sat down for an interview at the Black Artists’ Networks Dialogue art gallery following a special meeting.

TorontoCaribbean said that the contingent comprises a wide variety of Canadian talents, from a dynamic array of dancers to musicians and performances in storytelling and spoken word. Two artists will also be presenting academic papers at the CARIFESTA Symposia. Financing for the initiative is expected to come from public and private agencies, as well as from the fundraising efforts of the participating artists and organisations, TorontoCaribbean said.

CARIFESTA XIII will be held in Barbados 17-27 August, 2017.