The Region’s cultural performers transformed the Kensington Oval in Barbados into a sea of Regional integration as they brought the curtains down on CARIFESTA XIII, Sunday night. The Closing Ceremony for the ten-day festival featured performances from some of the region’s top music and dance groups, steel bands, and individual artistes, while delegates and patrons partied to the regional cultural mix.
Headlining attendance at the ceremony were Barbados’ Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Hon Stephen Lashley, Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of Community Development and Culture Dr. the Hon. Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, and Assistant Secretary General for Human and Social Development at the CARICOM Secretariat Dr. Douglas Slater.
Dr. Slater, in remarks delivered on behalf of CARICOM Secretary General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, thanked the Government and people of Barbados for their hospitality in hosting the event. Noting that organizing an event of the magnitude of CARIFESTA was a major undertaking, he congratulated the Minister of Culture and his team for doing so successfully, especially having to overcome the challenge of Tropical Storm Harvey, which brought heavy rains to the island and forced the postponement of the August 18th Opening Ceremony.
Dr. Slater said an important legacy of CARIFESTA XIII was the way in which Barbados has placed the development of Regional cultural and creative industries at the centre of the festival through the Grand Market and Buyers Shopping Mall.
“Barbados has further expanded the concept of the Caribbean market place for the arts which was introduced in CARIFESTA XI in Suriname 2013.”
Minister Lashley, in his remarks, pointed to the opportunities created from the presence of more than 20 regional and international buyers as a measure of the festival’s success. The Minister handed over the CARIFESTA baton to his Trinidadian counterpart, Minister Gadsby-Dolly. Trinidad and Tobago will host CARIFESTA XIV in 2019 under the theme “The Tangible and Intangible, Connect Share and Invest”.
Patrons were then given an early taste of what to expect at CARIFESTA XIV. The ceremony ended with performances from several Barbadian artistes including new cultural ambassadors Allison Hinds and Red Plastic Bag.