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Host Country For 12th Arts Festival To Be Selected

Host country for 12th festival to be selected by Council of Pacific Arts

The Council of Pacific Arts, which oversees the promotion of culture in the Pacific including preparations for the Festival of Pacific Arts, is meeting at the 10th Festival in American Samoa to select the host country for the 12th festival in 2016.

The meeting has been organised by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), which provides the secretariat for the council. (Solomon Islands will host the next festival in 2012.)

SPC's Human Development Programme Manager, Ms Linda Petersen, says the festival is the region's most important cultural event with all SPC member countries coming together to celebrate their customs and traditions. The event is also an important opportunity to consider the role that culture plays in shaping the future of the region and its people.

Speaking at the festival opening ceremony on Monday on behalf of SPC Director-General, Dr Jimmie Rodgers, Ms Petersen said cultural vitality is key to maintaining and enhancing quality of life. She said that, internationally, culture was increasingly recognised as an essential element of people's well-being.

Ms Petersen also presented a carving to the Honourable Togiola T. Tulafono, Governor of American Samoa. The carving, which was specially commissioned for the festival, symbolises the festival theme, 'Su'iga'ula a le Atuvasa' - threading the Oceania ula).

Meanwhile, the festival is in full swing. Yesterday saw the opening of the festival village just opposite Utulei beach and all day thousands of people, including delighted passengers off a cruise ship that dropped anchor for the day in Pago Pago, thronged to the village where each delegation has a fale displaying its art.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

Council of Pacific Arts

The Council of Pacific Arts comprises the twenty-two Pacific Island countries and territories that are members of SPC, with the addition of Hawaii, Easter Island and Norfolk Island, and the founding members, Australia and New Zealand.

ENDS

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