Turks & Caicos Islands Participates in Carifesta XIV
“Connect, Share and Invest” was the theme that guided the 10-day CARIFESTA XIV, the Caribbean Festival of Arts. The celebration of culture and the arts was held in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago during the period August 16 – 25, 2019. The event saw delegations from 22 Caribbean countries and the diaspora, which included a group of 27 representatives from the Turks and Caicos Islands. Heading the delegation was Hon. Karen Malcolm, Minister who holds responsibility for the Department of Culture among other departments.
Throughout the years, Carifesta has played an eminent role in showcasing the Caribbean’s uniqueness and creates a platform for “the inspirational exchange of creative flows.” Carifesta XIV provided the Turks and Caicos Islands with opportunity to express our cultural diversity while introducing our creatives to the regional and international stage. Delegates were able to promote their talents and businesses while interacting with the people and artists. This gave them the opportunity to build clientele across the Caribbean and the World, which once only saw the Turks and Caicos Islands as a high-end tourist destination.
The 2019 festival presented and exhibited a multi-talented cultural display in the music, dance, culinary, visual and literary arts, fashion, craft, theatre and film media. Over the 10 days there were approximately 300 events that took place across Trinidad and Tobago. Which included art exhibitions, theatrical productions, workshops, symposia, dance and music events, and a food and rum festival which showcased foods from various countries represented at the festival.
The TCI delegation, though small, came with vigor, enthusiasm and a level of national pride that shone throughout the entire event. The TCI delegation participated in The Opening Parade, Opening Ceremony, Country Night, Dance Showcases, The Gospel Experience, Craft Market, Visual Arts Exhibition, Pan & Powder, Youth Village Workshops, Youth Orchestra, Country Booth and the Food & Rum Festival.
Speaking of the Carifesta XIV experience Hon. Karen Malcolm commented; “It was such a delight to be in Trinidad with the team representing our country. This event gave us an opportunity to show case the TCI to the world through persons from our artisan community, who I must say did a tremendous job in displaying our culture through music, song dance and the likes. It was equally a pleasure to meet with the other Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and Directors of Culture during a meeting held on August 18, 2019 in Port of Spain where we were able to discuss a number of matters of cultural significance. I applaud the team and encourage everyone to continue to support the work undertaken by the Department of Culture.”
Some of the countries represented at Carifesta XIV included Montserrat (29), Cayman (50), Anguilla (59), St. Kitts (71), St. Lucia (86), Antigua and Barbuda (130; next hosts of the event), Guyana (147), Jamaica (184) and Haiti (203).
Director of Culture, Miss Ludwina Fulford commented “we wish to express our profound thanks to the Host Country and their team for the planning and execution of Carifesta XIV, which was such a memorable event. We recognized the level of effort and resources that had to be invested to render Carifesta XIV a tremendous success. And so we are grateful for having been a part of the experience. Similarly, I wish to extend profound thanks on behalf of the entire DOC Team to Hon. Karen Malcolm and PS Wesley Clerveaux for their ongoing enthusiasm and the level of support given throughout the process of preparing and ensuring that our attendance and participation came to fruition. Finally, I MUST register heartfelt thanks and deep appreciation to each delegate for their cooperation, teamwork, professionalism and their display of talent. You made the TCI very proud. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
Turks and Caicos Islands’ participation in Carifesta XIV gave us an opportunity to share our culture with our Caribbean neighbors and friends. Some of whom had little knowledge of the TCI but have since pledged to visit. It was also a joy to have persons who worked in the Turks and Caicos over the years come by to visit our Country Booth and also bring their family and friends to take a little piece of the country they called home for many years with them.
The Department of Culture following it’s Carifesta experience hopes to integrate workshops and programs island wide that will give persons interested in the performing arts, an opportunity to develop skills needed to venture into their discipline of choice and participate in various events and Carifesta XV.
For more photos and videos follow Turks and Caicos Islands Department of Culture on Facebook. Carifesta XV will be hosted by Antigua and Barbuda in 2021.