As preparations for CARIFESTA XIII intensify, visiting delegations are also stepping up their plans to come to Barbados. Over the past weekend, the local CARIFESTA Secretariat welcomed a group from Haiti who visited the island to solidify plans for the upcoming Festival.

Phillippe Dodard; Directeur General, Ecole Nationale Des Arts (Director General of the National Arts School) and Stephanie St. Louis Directrice à la Creation Artistique et Litteraire Ministére de la Culture (Director of Creative Art and Literature in the Ministry of Culture) met with Festival Director Andrea Wells and other local officials to firm up the plans for their own delegation which is expected to be between 80 and 100 persons.

At the meeting, they learnt of the programming for the 13th iteration of the Festival, and looked at locations where their delegation will be performing. The large contingent which is going to be staggered in its attendance will have persons coming in time for the Opening Ceremony of which they will be a part and another group will be coming near the end to be included in the Closing Ceremony.

When questioned about the visit Mr Dodard stated “the success of CARIFESTA is about communication…and friendship of course” as he explained that they were here seeking information on visas, transport, and technical requirements that the contingent would need. They were also able to give the local organisers some insight as to any challenges that they would have experienced in staging the 12th edition of the Festival two years ago. The two in Barbados were joined by their Artistic Director to complete the advance contingent.

In addition to meeting at the Secretariat, they visited Queens Park to see the ongoing renovations to the historic Queens Park House and while there met the Visual Arts Officer for the NCF – Rodney Ifill and visited with the En Plein Air artists who were working in Queens Park at the time. Other locations touched on during this visit included the NCF Offices in West Terrace where the Director General – himself an acclaimed visual artist will lead a team of artists who will paint a mural in that area when he returns for the Festival.

The team also planned to visit the hotels where the members of the contingent are expected to stay during the festival.

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