The Caribbean ministers of culture have approved a permanent logo for the Caribbean Festival of Arts (CARIFESTA).
The approval was given during the two-day meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) that ended in Guyana over the past weekend.
Traditionally, each CARIFESTA host country was required to design a logo to be used in their branding of the region’s premier festival, which meant that for each hosting, there was a different logo.
“With this new logo, every CARIFESTA participating country subsequent to the 14th staging this year, will use the new design. The aim is to give the Community’s mega cultural Festival a more uniformed brand,” the Guyana-based Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat said in a statement following the COHSOD meeting.
It said the logo for the first CARIFESTA was “a dark hand rising, grasping the sun, depicting the skills and aspirations of the tropical man with talent untold”, a symbol of the Caribbean people defining themselves and articulating their aspirations.
August 15- 26 in Trinidad and Tobago
CARIFESTA will be held this year in Trinidad and Tobago from August 15-26 under the theme ‘Connect, Share, Invest’.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts, Dr. Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, provided the meeting with an update on the preparations.
She told the ministers that Trinidad and Tobago was introducing several niche festivals to the event that could become stand-alone events in the region.
She said that CARIFESTA was one of the Region’s best cultural assets and it was up to the Community to find innovative ways to reinvigorate and re-imagine the Festival each time.
The Secretariat said that the calendar of the events can be accessed at the CARIFESTA website www.carifesta.net.
CARICOM Secretary-General, Irwin LaRocque, took the opportunity to reiterate that culture plays a significant role in the region’s sustainable growth and development.
He said that cultural industries in the region had out-performed sectors such as agriculture, finance, insurance and construction in some member states.
He, however, said that there needed to be the necessary enabling environment for the creative industries to be more competitive, and to increase their contribution to employment and growth.
Catalyst for creative industry development
Speaking on CARIFESTA, which he referred to as the Community’s highly valued regional space that showcased arts and culture, LaRocque said the mega cultural event was being positioned as a catalyst for creative industry development within CARICOM.
He noted that since CARIFESTA XI in Suriname, a business component – the cultural marketplace – was introduced where managers of venues, international festivals and performing arts, buyers and booking agents were invited to see and network with Caribbean artists.
LaRocque said that the initiative was intended to create more opportunities for the professional development of artists and for the export of their products and services.
Caribbean Creative Industries Management Unit (CCIMU)
In the statement, the CARICOM Secretariat said that other matters that were discussed at the meeting included a proposal for the establishment of the Caribbean Creative Industries Management Unit (CCIMU) developed by Caribbean Export and the establishment of national and regional registries of artists and cultural workers were also discussed.
The CCIMU is intended to provide business and other support services to the sector to build the export capacity of artists and cultural entrepreneurs. The national registries and the regional registry are important tools to complement the free movement provision for artists and cultural workers under the CSME and enable greater market access to the European Union as Contractual Service Suppliers.