The World Music Expo, WOMEX will take place next month in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain. Today, the Garifuna Collective received some much needed funds to ensure that they will be a part of the event. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Culture, Patrick Faber handed over a cheque to the group. As part of today’s event, the Garifuna Collective and the Belize Music Agency signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH). Al Ovando from the Garifuna Collective and James Sanker from the Belize Music Agency spoke on the MOU and the opportunity it has afforded them.
Al Obando Road Manager, Member of Garifuna Collective: “ We really appreciate the time that they put in and the consideration and the appreciation they have found in promoting the art and culture in Belize. The Garifuna Collective is being showcased in WOMEX and the whole idea of this showcase is to set the trend, set the playing field for all the other musicians coming behind and we hope that with this initiative and this kind of thinking and this kind of people that we have like all these kind people here right now that we will always have any artist here from Belize that has an opportunity to showcase should have the full support of the country just like this. We are grateful to NICH, we have support from BTL, BTB, Office of the Music Ambassador and today we are happy to finalize a really elaborate MOU with NICH which we are waiting to come back now because the MOU has this work that we wanted to do for years as the Garifuna Collective which will include us sharing our knowledge, sharing our experience when we come back with other music with other musicians, other artist in Belize. Like you know it’s one thing going somewhere and coming back but if we cant share it and we can’t share our experience, the knowledge we gain, the opportunities that exist, the way things work, the way a lot of people have misconception of how things work you know we could share all of this and we are looking forward to coming back and share all this good for information with everybody.
James Sanker Belize Music Agency: “Even though the Garifuna Collective is the highlight of being showcased at a very prestigious WOMEX we also want to assist other artists to access the market and so in particular Belize Music Agency is going to be promoting other artists at this place at booth. This will give other opportunities for other artists to the door that the Garifuna Collective is opening up now for other artists to step through that and to benefit from it. We saw this as an opportunity to capitalize on this particular opportunity to promote Belizean music in this space.Deputy Prime Minister
Patrick Faber, also shared his views on the recently signed MOU.
Honorable Patrick Faber: “It makes me very happy to be here to sign the MOU with the BMA and with the Garifuna Collective. I think really this is the way it ought to happen and I salute the words that Mr. Obando just said. The whole push behind this is to ensure that our investment, our support is put into an activity or initiatives that we can push beyond just the attendance at WOMEX and I loved what he’s said just now about coming back and working with our artist so that they know that they as well can be put on that path to succeeding and representing us abroad and promoting our music abroad and that is very big and of course our efforts continue not only for the Garifuna Collective but for all our musicians. And that is where of course the Belize Music Agency comes in so I am very pleased that we are able to sign onto this Memorandum of Understanding today. Of course we are very pleased to support our musicians and so we take great pride in signing on today. I want to thank those who have worked in this for some time to ensure that it is happening today. I do salute our Music Ambassador for his efforts as well to promote the Music Industry and promote our artist as well especially the Garifuna Collective. He has been behind them in this initiative and we continue to collaborate to ensure that our musicians are given maximum support from all corners.
With the donation of approximately thirty thousand received from NICH, the Garifuna Collective has now officially reached their goal of around seventy five thousand dollars needed for WOMEX. The event will take place from October 24t to 28th.