SVG represented at Carifesta XI in Suriname
September 6, 2013

SVG represented at Carifesta XI in Suriname

Despite having a small contingent, St Vincent and the Grenadines’ representation at Carifesta XI left an indelible mark on that festival, recently held in Suriname.{{more}}

Carifesta is the acronym for Caribbean Festival of Arts.

The festival was held from August 16 to 25 under the theme: “Celebrating our diversity and promoting the central role in economic, social and human development.”

The 17 member delegation represented the nation in dancing, drumming, soca, calypso, poetry and steel pan.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday at the Carnival Development Corporation’s conference room, leader of the delegation Ashford Wood said a festival of this nature produces opportunities and, without a doubt, St Vincent and the Grenadines took advantage.

“We showed Suriname and the thousands of visitors what we had to offer in terms of drumming, steel pan, dance, arts and crafts, calypso and soca music.”

Wood revealed that the local contingent performed on a nightly basis at different venues around the country, including restaurants and bars, theaters, hotels and villages.

“Our performances were well received and it was a good feeling after about three or four days into the festival to be looking at television on a daily basis and seeing our performances being repeated,” he said.

The most notable of all the performances, according to Wood, was at the closing ceremony on August 25.

Of the 30 countries that participated, SVG was one of the eight countries selected to perform at the closing.

Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Cuba, St Lucia, Grenada, Guyana and host country Suriname were the other countries.

“We felt extremely proud when looking at the highlights on the big screen at the closing ceremony when our dancers, our drummers, our pianists and soca artistes were featured,” he said.

“While waiting to check out and return home, a video featuring St Vincent and the Grenadines was being featured in the airport.

“We know that it was our impact on the festival that had created this,” Wood added.

Artistic coordinator for the contingent, Julian Piling Pollard, described St Vincent and the Grenadines’ representations as “hair-raising.”

“I realized that we would have needed amplification. A lot of amplification, because we were up against countries that had representation of up to 150, 96, 80, and I knew that for our small contingent to really excel, we would have had to put in everything we had.”

Minister with responsibility for Culture Cecil McKie said the participation of St Vincent and the Grenadines at Carifesta was an important opportunity for the country to expose the rich cultural talents that we possess here.

“We think it is very important, not only to have representation at the event [to] allow this rich talent the opportunity to go further in terms of the talents we possess, because there is also the opportunity for persons to be engaged regionally and internationally, with the various skills that they display at Carifesta, and also the opportunity for us to sell St Vincent and the Grenadines as a cultural tourism destination,” the Minister said.

The Carifesta XII will be held in Haiti in 2015. (AA)