Guyana will be sending a 50 member contingent to this year’s Caribbean Festival of Arts (CARIFESTA) in neighbouring Suriname. The cultural delegation is expected to represent all aspects of Guyanese culture from music to dance, drama and literature.
The Coordinator for the Guyana Carifesta team is Lennox Canterberry of the Ministry of Culture. He told News Source that the Government of Suriname which is hosting the event has asked all participating countries to limit their delegations to just 50 persons. He said the Surinamese organisers have explained their limitations when it comes to hosting facilities and accommodation.
Over the past week, the Guyana Ministry of Culture held auditions for persons interested in being part of the Guyana delegation. Over 70 persons auditioned for various roles and parts. The local organisers will now have to come up with the Guyana concept and have all of the performers focus on the theme that Guyana will be showcasing at the Regional event.
Canterberry said the doors have been open to all Guyanese who want to participate in the event. “No decision has been made as yet on the final destination, but everyone would have to be keeping in line with the Guyana theme” he explained to News Source.
Carifesta was last held in 2008 when Guyana hosted a spectacular festival that was considered one of the largest ones to ever be hosted. The Bahamas was listed as the next country to take over the hosting of the event but pulled out of those hosting duties several times. Suriname later agreed to host the regional festival.
When Guyana hosted Carifesta, some of the major names in Regional and International music and culture were brought in to showcase their culture and the culture of the Caribbean people. Various workshops were held for dance, theatre, music, poetry and literature as part of the celebration. Participating countries were also allowed to showcase their food, art, craft and music at the Country Nights which were hosted at the Sophia exhibition complex.
Carifesta began in Guyana as the brainchild of late Guyanese President Forbes Burnham.