Barbados building CARIFESTA legacy

Artistic Coordinator for CARIFESTA XIII, Dr. John Hunte, speaking at today’s press conference while looking on are Minister of Cultural, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, and Festival Director of the CARIFESTA Secretariat, Andrea Wells. (Photo via C.Pitt/BGIS)
Artistic Coordinator for CARIFESTA XIII, Dr. John Hunte, speaking at the press conference. Looking on are Minister of Cultural, Sports and Youth, the HOn. Stephen Lashley, and Festival Director of the CARIFESTA Secretariat, Ms. Andrea Wells. (Photo via C.Pitt/BGIS)

CARIFESTA XIII promises to be to be a diverse festival with a lasting legacy.

During a media update in his Sky Mall office on Monday, Minister with responsibility for Culture, Stephen Lashley highlighted several plans for the Festival. One notable feature referred to by the Minister was the Grand Market and Buyer’s Mall.

He pointed out that since Barbados had been at the forefront of the development of the cultural industries, CARIFESTA XIII will focus on the promotion of those industries. According to Minister Lashley, through its Grand Market and Buyer’s Mall, this year’s CARIFESTA XIII will employ a rebranded element. (more…)

CARICOM congratulates Haiti

Christmas Banner landscape
CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque
CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque
President of Haiti. His Excellency Michel Martelly
President of Haiti, His Excellency Michel Martelly

CARICOM has congratulated the Government and People of Haiti as they celebrate the country’s 212th independence anniversary on 1 January, 2016.

The CARICOM Secretary-General  Ambassador Irwin LaRocque in his congratulatory message to Haiti’s  President, His  Excellency Michel Martelly, paid tribute  to “the solidarity, strength and unity of the Haitian people”, which he said “continued to inspire the Community”.

“We are all aware of the significance of Haiti’s independence 212 years ago and its effect on shaping our modern world, it is in how the Haitian people continue to persevere in the face of adversity that we are most encouraged… Your resilience and steadfastness brings added strength to CARICOM,” he also said.

Noting that he expected Haitians at home and abroad will celebrate the occasion with the usual culturally rich environment for which it is known, he indicated that he could speak from first-hand knowledge of  that rich and diverse culture, having experienced and enjoyed a very successful CARIFESTA XII, last August. (more…)

CARIFESTA can lead to lasting relationships – Barbados Minister of Culture

Culture Minister, Stephen Lashley looking at metal artwork at CARIFESTA XII in Haiti. (BGIS)

Minister of Culture, Stephen Lashley, has called on participants in CARIFESTA to utilize the regional festival to develop long lasting cultural relationships between their respective countries.

Stressing that Caribbean countries needed to invest in the festival during its two week run and beyond, the Minister highlighted the need for participating countries to strive for long standing connections, adding that such is the purpose of the proposed Barbados/Haiti Cultural Agreement.

Haiti’s President H.E. Michel Martelly presents CARIFESTA Baton to Barbados Minister of Culture Hon. Stephen Lashley. Barbados will host the next CARIFESTA in 2017.

“We are very focused and keen on taking this beyond CARIFESTA. I think the legacy of CARIFESTA has to be about how we can concretise the outputs of this very important festival into a number of gains for each country”.


Full story: BGIS

CARIFESTA XII closes on a high!

The Host Country Management Committee for CARIFESTA XII

The twelfth edition of the Caribbean Festival of Arts CARIFESTA XII has come to a close. The ten-day mega cultural event ended with a closing ceremony at the Kiosque Ocide Jeanty in Champs Mas, Haiti on Sunday night. The night’s activities included a culmination of performances from various Caribbean groups that have performed throughout the festival. There were also closing speeches from  President of Haiti, H.E. Michel Martelly, Minister of Culture of Barbados Hon, Stephen Lashley – representing CARICOM Chairman and Prime Minister of Barbados Rt. Hon. Freundel Stuart, and Assistant Secretary-General in charge of Human and Social Development at the CARICOM Secretariat Dr. Douglas Slater.

L’Acadco Dance Company, one of several performances at the CARIFESTA XII closing ceremony

Speaking on behalf of CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, ASG Slater said CARIFESTA XII was a clear manifestation of what makes the Caribbean people great and sends a powerful statement about regional unity and togetherness. He said CARICOM was proud of Haiti and conveyed his congratulations to the Haitian President and people.

CARICOM ASG in Charge of Human and Social Development Dr. Douglas Slater brings remarks at the CARIFESTA XII closing ceremony

“On behalf of the people of CARICOM, thank you Mister President and the people of Haiti for the warm hospitality extended to us all and for creating an excellent opportunity to bring our people together”

He also congratulated the organizing team and officials involved in the planning and execution of the event. Dr. Slater shared a personal experience he had at CARIFESTA XII about a conversation  with a Haitian lady who prior to CARIFESTA XII always saw herself as Haitian, not West Indian or Caribbean. He said she told him that because of CARIFESTA XII now she calls herself Caribbean and that it was a great testimony to the Festival.

President  Martelly once again thanked CARICOM for giving Haiti the opportunity to host the event. He said CARIFESTA XII proved how similar and different the people of the Caribbean are. He said he was very proud of his country for successfully hosting the festival and also congratulated the team involved in making it happen.

Following the President’s speech the officials involved in the festival were invited onto the stage and formally congratulated for their hard work after which the Haitian President handed over the CARIFESTA baton to Barbados, the next country that will host CARIFESTA in 2017. The baton was created and donated by acclaimed visual artist Phillipe Dodard who also served as Atisitc Director for CARIFESTA XII. It was accepted by Minister of Culture, Barbados Hon. Stephen Lashley.

President of Haiti, H. E. Michel Martelly hands over the CARIFESTA baton created by acclaimed Haitian Visual Artist Phillipe Dodard to Barbados Minister of Culture Hon. Stephen Lashley

So now its on to CARIFESTA XIII, Barbados 2017.