Colin Granderson, Assistant Secretary General Foreign and Community Relations, Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, remarked that it was a distinct pleasure and privilege for him to deliver remarks at the Closing Ceremony of the Eleventh Caribbean Festival of Arts (CARIFESTA).
He said that vibrancy and the excitement highlighted the many dimensions of the rich Caribbean culture, and that of our many visiting contingents of artists from UNASUR and other friends from outside the Caribbean region.
He congratulated President Bouterse (President of Suriname) and the dedicated CARIFESTA XI team for having successfully organized and delivered CARIFESTA XI and creating a space where all participating artists and officials were able to explore the theme of CARIFESTA XI — Culture for Development. He said, “Over the past 10 days we have celebrated our diversity in all art forms, from the performing to the visual, literary, culinary, and many other art forms, including film, fashion and craft.” (Image credit: President of Suriname His Excellency Desi Bouterse lifts a young boy during his tour of the Youth Village at CARIFESTA XI Paramaribo, Suriname on Monday. http://www.caricom.org/jsp/photo_gallery/carifestax1/carifestax1.jsp)
Suriname was instrumental in implementing new and commendable initiatives to CARIFESTA XI. One of these initiatives was The Caribbean Marketplace for the Arts where international booking agents and art promoters attended the Festival to see Caribbean artists.
Other new elements such as the mass choir presentations, Animation and Anansi celebrate youth and presented new opportunities for young artists to develop, while safeguarding our Caribbean heritage and identity.
(Youth Orchestra on stage at the opening of the Youth Village at CARIFESTA XI, Paramaribo, Suriname on Monday evening. credit http://www.caricom.org/jsp/photo_gallery/carifestax1/carifestax1.jsp)
“I know that everyone who attended CARIFESTA XI will leave with a lasting memory of an unforgettable performance or cultural expression they saw or experienced,” Granderson said.
Jamaican dancers performing at CARIFESTA XI – Credit http://www.caricom.org/jsp/photo_gallery/carifestax1/carifestax1.jsp
He also commended the Youth Focus Programme and the CARICOM Youth Ambassadors, he said that these programs made sure our young people were fully engaged in CARIFESTA. He emphasized that engaging our young people is critical to the continuity and sustainability of this quintessential Caribbean Festival.
Finally, he congratulated Suriname for implementing a new model for CARIFESTA. This model is intended to take the Festival to a higher level of excellence, to generate economic benefits, engage Caribbean people and create new pathways to success for our Caribbean artists. Suriname has managed, with the support of its Caribbean counterparts, to place this country, the Region and CARIFESTA on the cultural world map.