Barbados??? delegation to CARIFESTA XII is ready for the launch of the regional arts festival this evening in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

This is according to Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, who is currently heading the Barbados delegation to that country.

???We are all in place in Haiti???We are looking forward to a really fantastic CARIFESTA???The delegation is all prepared and ready. This CARIFESTA we are looking forward to showcasing Barbados??? cultural industries,??? Mr. Lashley remarked.

The Minister of Culture noted that there were many benefits to be derived from participating in the festival. ???This CARIFESTA also offers Barbados an opportunity to showcase its cultural goods and services and its cultural talent to rest of the Caribbean,??? he indicated.

He also highlighted the international attention Barbados stood to receive during the festival. According to Mr. Lashley, CARIFESTA ???affords Barbados the opportunity to reach out across the world; to expose the rest of the world to what is happening in Barbados on the cultural industries front???.

He noted that the event was another opportunity for Barbados to further intensify its commitment to the cultural industries as ???a key aspect of our economic growth going forward???.

He also pointed out that this year???s CARIFESTA was of particular importance to Barbados, as the country was successful in its bid to host CARIFESTA XIII in 2017.

In fact, Mr. Lashley stated, at the closing ceremony for this year???s CARIFESTA, he will formally accept the baton from Haiti to signal the start of preparations for CARIFESTA in Barbados.

The delegation representing Barbados comprises stilt walkers, musicians, spoken word artists, as well as various representatives of the Barbados Landship, the literary and culinary arts, and other performers and artists.

Mr. Lashley will also deliver a special message at the opening ceremony of CARIFESTA on behalf of Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, the current chairman of CARICOM.

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