To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

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Monday, October 02, 2006

3rd Melanesian Arts and Culture Festival to be officially opened tomorrow

It is confirmed that the 3rd Melanesian Arts and Culture Festival will be officially opened tomorrow night by the President of Fiji Islands, His Excellency Ratu Josefa Iloilo. Today is scheduled for final preparations especially stall arrangments and decorations by all the participating countries.

According to the newsletter for the festival, titled Kulcha Vulcha, the opening ceremony will take place at the Post Fiji National Stadium at 7pm tomorrow, while the Festival Village at the Fiji Development Bank (FDB) foreshore will open to the public on Wednesday. The Post Fiji Stadium is just beside the University of the South Pacific Laucala campus, and students are already making plans to attend the unique ceremony.

The newsletter said the free festival would feature exciting events spread over a number of locations including the Ratu Sukuna Park, FDB foreshore and Thurston Gardens, turning the capital city into a melting pot of Melanesian culture. It said Ratu Sukuna Park would have Melanesian art and craft, where a trade show would feature artists from the five Melanesian countries demonstrating weaving, carving, pottery and so forth. All the festival venues are walking distances within the City vicinity.

It said lunch hour would promise to be an especially exciting time at the Sukuna Park. Different delegations would put on a cultural show each day from 12 noon. The final schedule showed that Vanuatu and PNG will perform on Wednesday, Fiji and the Solomon Islands on Thursday, PNG again on Friday, New Caledonia on Saturday and all five countries next Monday.

Visual art and craft exhibition would be held daily at the Civic Centre during the festival with drama, films and story telling to take place from 1pm to 6pm each day.

The festival newsletter said a wide range of topics relevant to Melanesian arts and culture would be discussed at the festival's symposium at the Holiday Inn and is open to anyone interested. Meanwhile, it is understood that the symposium will be opened tomorrow morning by the Vice President of Fiji, His Excellency Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi. The topic of discussion would be "My perspective of Melanesian culture", and the keynote address would be delivered by UNESCO chair in Teacher Education and Culture Professor Helu Thaman who is a prominent academic at the University of the South Pacific. This would be followed by a speaker each from the five participating countries Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Fiji.

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