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Guam gets ready to host the Pacific and the world in 2016

Guam gets ready to host the Pacific and the world in 2016 at the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts


Thursday 5 June 2014, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva –

Members of the Council of Pacific Arts and Culture are impressed by the progress being made by Guam in preparing to host the region and the world at the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts in May 2016. They showed their support and appreciation when they met recently (27–29 May) in Fiji at the 26th Meeting of the Council of Pacific Arts and Culture, for which the Secretariat of the Pacific Community is the secretariat.

Guam will play host to all the nations of the Pacific, including Rapa Nui, Norfolk Island and Hawaii, from 22 May to 4 June 2016 under the theme of What we own, what we have, what we share: united voices of the Pacific.

Ms Jacqueline Balbas, Programme Coordinator for the Guam Council on the Arts and Humanities Agency, updated the members of the Council on their preparations.

The FestPac Coordinating Committee is in place, with six working sub-committees dealing with programming, logistics, volunteers, marketing, finance and ceremonies, all of which started their work in November last year. Workshops have been held and the artistic disciplines that will feature at the festival include visual arts, literary arts, performing arts, traditional arts, and forums and seminars. Preparations will go into full gear in early 2015.

The festival is estimated to cost USD 13 million, funded through government appropriations and the private sector. A trust fund was established for this purpose. The Bank of Guam and United Airlines are key partners, and negotiations with telecommunications, fuel, hotel, automobile and shipping sponsors are ongoing.

A local public relations campaign for the festival was launched in May this year, with the Guam Visitors Bureau as the festival marketing lead. In 2014, the focus will be on-island public relations, and in 2015 off-island marketing will begin. 2016 will see increased event excitement. Information about shipping needs, charter flight needs, and anticipated sizes of delegations will be obtained through responses to surveys sent to SPC member countries. Collaboration with the South Pacific Tourism Organisation is being planned to promote the festival in the region and beyond.

The 26th meeting of the Council of Pacific Arts and Culture was held at Vale ni Bose Levu Vakaturga in Suva, Fiji. The meeting Chair was Guam (host of the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts in 2016) and the Vice-Chair was Hawai’i (proposed host of the 13th Festival of Pacific Arts in 2020). The Council discussed a wide range of issues relating to the Festival of Pacific Arts and promotion of the culture sector in the region. The Council has 27 members and SPC, was formed in 1975 for the purpose of managing the Festival of Pacific Arts and promoting cultural development in the region.

For further information please contact: Elise Huffer, Human Development Programme Adviser, Culture (eliseh@spc.int) and visit the Guam Festival of Pacific Arts website: http://www.guamfestpac2016.com/

ends

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