Various artists will be representing Belize in this year’s Caribbean Festival of Arts (CARIFESTA), which will be held in Trinidad and Tobago. CARIFESTA is an annual festival that allows Caribbean countries to send their best artists from various categories to perform in one location. This year’s Belizean delegates were chosen and sponsored by the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) to attend CARIFESTA from August 16 to the 25. Today, some of the delegates were presented at the Bliss Centre for Performing Arts and, President of NICH, Sapna Budhrani spoke about how these delegates were chosen.
Sapna Budhrani – President NICH: “NICH has been engaged in a number of activities that seek to promote culture as a focal point in our nation-building processes. Additionally we are engaged in promoting the cultures of Belize internationally. One such activity is Carifesta, the Carribean Festival of Arts Carifiesta has assumed a preeminent place among the elements that define and give expression to the uniqueness of our Caribbean reality like other significant institutions such as cricket, CXC and CARICOM that symbolizes a Caribbean commonality. The festival reinforced our unity in the midst of splendid diversity. This year’s theme focuses on both tangible and intangible aspects of cultural and heritage development and seeks to embody and facilitate the objectives of Carifiesta. Both NICH and society because we reached out to the Belize Book Industry Association also for recommendations and individuals. Ms. Ivory Kelly was one of the recommendations in her case so we looked at recommendations that were being sent in and we also looked at who all are representing in trying to get all of the cultures represented in the different areas rather than focusing on only one culture. Music was represented by the Creole but we also have Art. As you heard it was Dr. Ludwick Palacio who is a well known Garifuna artist so we try to incorporate all of our stakeholders as best as possible.”
Artists such as Bredda David and The Tribal Vibes; Richard Kiau; National Youth Orchestra; author, Ivory Kelly; fashion designer, Julia McCord and others attended the ceremony today. Illona Smiling, a curator at the museum of Belize, presented the delegates representing the Visual Arts Showcase. These delegates told the media how grateful they are to be chosen to attend CARIFEST.
Illona Smiling – Visual & Craft Artist: “The artists that will be representing us in the visual arts portion are as follows: Kion Griffith, Crystal Lopez, Gayla Fuller, Roxana Bradley, Ludwick Palacio, Raheeda Haylock, Edgar Gomez, and Rachel Heusner. All these artists were chosen based on their continuous work in art in Belize and the type of art that they paint.”
Dr. Ludwick Palacio: “It is always a great honor when you are asked to represent your country and in this case it is no different so my band and myself will always do as we do, do our best to make our country proud. We want to thank NICH and all the sponsors, whoever is helping to make this possible and believe me we will do our best like we always do.”
Ivory Kelly – Author, Pengereng: “ I will be representing Belize as a writer and Belize is one of the countries that are less well known in the literary sphere in the Caribbean. Myself and my counterparts in the Belize Book Industry Association and the Belize Writers Guild of which I am a member we intend to change that. In representing Belize I intend to introduce them to the book that I released last week which includes the first major work of fiction written in standard Belize Creole and in that regard I think we will be setting a trend for the rest of the Caribbean to embrace creole to a greater extent than we do in Literature.”
Belize has attended 13 CARIFESTAS dating back to 1972.///////////