CARIFESTA XIII opens

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Aug 21 2017 – The 13th edition of the Caribbean Festival of Arts (CARIFESTA X111) opened here on Sunday with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary General, Irwin La Rocque, saying the region’s premier arts and cultural festival is a binding a force for the region.

“This year we celebrate 44 years as a Caribbean community and CARIFESTA happened from the beginning . . . CARIFESTA is a highly valued Caribbean event that is near and dear to our hearts since its inception in 1972 in Guyana . . . it has given us a platform where we can share and showcase our talents and assert our cultures and celebrate ourselves,” La Rocque told the opening ceremony at the Kensington Oval on the outskirts of the capital.

The opening had been delayed as a result of the passage of Tropical Storm Harvey which drenched the island on Thursday night and despite the initial disappointment, the organisers said Barbados, which is hosting the event for the second time since 1981, will produce a festival to rival previous ones.

The Secretary General said that there is much store for the cultural sector including some US2.6 million for establishing the Cultural Creative Industries Innovative Fund which will assist the public and private sectors in member states with seed funding for medium, small and micro enterprises in the sector.

He said that this boost from the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is just one of the great things for the culture sector.

The host Minister of Culture Youth and Sport, Stephen Lashley used the opportunity to call on the contingents work even harder for regional integration.

He urged the gathering to rededicate themselves to dreams of their forefathers to the dreams of united Caribbean politically, economically and socially.

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