A special business forum which will permit dialogue between artistes and buyers; musicians; promoters; is one of the new events being proposed for CARIFESTA XIII when Barbados hosts the event in two years??? time.

This was revealed by Minister of Culture, Stephen Lashley who has signalled this country???s intentions to introduce another element to the festival in 2017.

The Minister was addressing thousands of CARICOM nationals on Sunday evening in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, at the official closing ceremony of CARIFESTA XII, where he reiterated Barbados??? commitment to the cultural industries and their role in national development.

According to Mr. Lashley, in addition to the traditional CARIFESTA events such as the Grand Market and the Super Concert, they were proposing that there be special symposia organised to take a ???more business approach??? to cultural development. The special event is geared towards, ???how our region can earn valuable foreign exchange from our creative goods and services,??? he affirmed.

Assuring those present that the planning process had already begun for the thirteenth edition of CARIFESTA in Barbados, Mr. Lashley stated that the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth and the Barbados Government, remains ???committed to creating the environment that would ensure its success.???

The Minister added that the government will ???work closely with the CARICOM Secretariat to ensure that the objectives are met.?????Mr. Lashley then revealed that the theme for the thirteenth edition of the regional arts festival is, ???Asserting Our Culture, Celebrating Ourselves???.

Citing the region???s readiness to command a space in the ???global value chain???, Minister Lashley proposed that this positioning can successfully take place through the artistic and cultural offerings of each country.

???It is our desire that CARIFESTA XIII would be instrumental in allowing us to stand tall and be proud of who we are and what we are capable of doing. Our artistes have given us this chance and it is now ours to collectively grab with both hands,??? he said.

The Minister also commended the Government and the people of Haiti for the effort made in staging a successful CARIFESTA; adding that the theme ??? ???Our Roots, Our Culture, Our Common Future??? resonated with each island as it affirmed the common heritage and showed that all CARICOM nations ???possessed something that could be shared with the rest of the world namely, our culture,??? Mr. Lashley remarked. ??

The next CARIFESTA will be held in Barbados in 2017 during the period August 17 ??? 27.


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