City-based groups for MACFest - Solomon Star News

City-based groups for MACFest

06 June 2018

ONLY Honiara-based cultural groups will represent the country in next month's Melanesian Arts and Culture Festival (MACFEST).

This was due to drastic budget cuts faced by the MACFEST national organising committee.

In a statement on Tuesday the committee said, Honiara-based Cultural groups from the country’s nine provinces will represent Solomon Islands at the upcoming Melanesian Arts and Culture Festival (MACFEST) this July.

The decision was reached as a result of cuts to the hosting budget.

“We regret to take this option but we cannot be able to bring in groups from our nine provinces due to funding issues,” said National Organising Committee Chairman, Andrew Nihopara.

He explained getting all the groups from the provinces is an expensive exercise in view of transportation, accommodation and meal expenses during and after event.

He said his committee initially planned to bring groups and artists from the provinces.

“But significant cuts to the hosting budget has prevented this plan.”

Meanwhile, chairman of the Solomon Islands National Contingent and Deputy Director of the Culture Division, Andrew Houlia said the decision to pick Honiara-based groups doesn’t mean that all provinces cannot be represented.

He said the Honiara-based groups are representing their province’s ethnic diversity in performing arts, dance and music during the festival.

“Honiara is the melting pot of our diverse and ethnic cultures so the groups that were selected have equally represented each of our nine provinces,” Mr Houlia said.

He further explained that a few exceptions will be granted to individual artists or performing groups that are unique and that have exemplary features never highlighted in Honiara before.

“The committee has identified very few individuals or groups that are based in some provinces and we will invite them to be part of the Solomon Islands MACFest contingent,” Mr Houlia explained.

The country’s contingent will include cultural and contemporary performers, musicians, visual artists, carvers, weavers, traditional currency makers, potters, florists and many others.

The festival will kick off on July 1 with a grand opening ceremony at Lawson Tama stadium. It will end on July 10.

All MSG countries, including Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia have already confirmed their participation at this year’s festival.