CARIFESTA Host Country Agreement Signed with Haiti

The Twelfth Edition of the Caribbean Festival of Arts (CARIFESTA XII) will be held on 14-23 August 2015 in Haiti under the theme `Our Roots, Our Culture, Our Common Future’.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Haiti, His Excellency Pierre Duly Brutus, and the Secretary General of CARICOM, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, signed the CARIFESTA XII Host Country Agreement on 25 September, 2014, in New York. With the signing of Agreement, and about eleven months to go, preparations for the event will now be moving in to high gear for key stakeholders: the host country, Member States, Associate Members and the CARICOM Secretariat.

The CARIFESTA Host Country Agreement, which is one of the key requirements in the new CARIFESTA model, sets out the legal and operational framework in which the new mandates for the management and staging of the Festival are to be implemented.  Haiti is the second CARICOM Member State and CARIFESTA host country to sign a Host Country Agreement. The first country that signed this official document was Suriname in 2013 for CARIFESTA XI.

The CARIFESTA XII Host Country Agreement stipulates the roles and responsibilities of the Host Country Management Committee and the Interim Festival Directorate, the latter being a transitional arrangement towards a permanent Board of Directors and Festival Directorate; a timeline for preparing for the Festival; and guidelines for the design and management of the CARIFESTA Website.

Preliminary preparations for the Festival at the regional level commenced in June 2014 in Guyana when Haiti presented the hosting proposal for CARIFESTA XII to Directors of Culture at the Twenty-Second meeting of the Regional Cultural Committee.

CARIFESTA is the Region’s roving multi-disciplinary, mega-event that showcases the cultural expressions of artists in more than thirty countries in the Caribbean. The establishment of the Festival was initiated by the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community in 1972 to celebrate the arts, foster a vision of Caribbean unity and to positively advance Caribbean culture regionally and internationally.

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