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CARIFESTA XII closes on a high!

The twelfth edition of the Caribbean Festival of Arts CARIFESTA XII has come to a close. The ten-day mega cultural event ended with a closing ceremony at the Kiosque Ocide Jeanty in Champs Mas, Haiti on Sunday night. The night’s activities included a culmination of performances from various Caribbean groups that have performed throughout the festival. There were also closing speeches from  President of Haiti, H.E. Michel Martelly, Minister of Culture of Barbados Hon, Stephen Lashley – representing CARICOM Chairman and Prime Minister of Barbados Rt. Hon. Freundel Stuart, and Assistant Secretary-General in charge of Human and Social Development at the CARICOM Secretariat Dr. Douglas Slater.

Speaking on behalf of CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, ASG Slater said CARIFESTA XII was a clear manifestation of what makes the Caribbean people great and sends a powerful statement about regional unity and togetherness. He said CARICOM was proud of Haiti and conveyed his congratulations to the Haitian President and people.

“On behalf of the people of CARICOM, thank you Mister President and the people of Haiti for the warm hospitality extended to us all and for creating an excellent opportunity to bring our people together”


CARICOM ASG in Charge of Human and Social Development Dr. Douglas Slater brings remarks at the CARIFESTA XII closing ceremony

He also congratulated the organizing team and officials involved in the planning and execution of the event. Dr. Slater shared a personal experience he had at CARIFESTA XII about a conversation  with a Haitian lady who prior to CARIFESTA XII always saw herself as Haitian, not West Indian or Caribbean. He said she told him that because of CARIFESTA XII now she calls herself Caribbean and that it was a great testimony to the Festival.

President  Martelly once again thanked CARICOM for giving Haiti the opportunity to host the event. He said CARIFESTA XII proved how similar and different the people of the Caribbean are. He said he was very proud of his country for successfully hosting the festival and also congratulated the team involved in making it happen.

Following the President’s speech the officials involved in the festival were invited onto the stage and formally congratulated for their hard work after which the Haitian President handed over the CARIFESTA baton to Barbados, the next country that will host CARIFESTA in 2017. The baton was created and donated by acclaimed visual artist Phillipe Dodard who also served as Atisitc Director for CARIFESTA XII. It was accepted by Minister of Culture, Barbados Hon. Stephen Lashley.

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