The Solomon Islands Melanesian Arts Festival National Organizing Committee (MAFNOC) has resumed its pre-festival planning process for 2018 this week.
Solomon Islands will host the 6th Melanesian Arts and Culture Festival (MACFest) from July 1 to 10 this year on the theme “Past Recollections; Future Connections.” The event is programmed to coincide with the country’s 40th Independence Anniversary.
MACFest was one of the outcome resolutions of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Ministers meeting in Honiara late last year. During Ministers summit the group also agreed upon MSG countries to provide assistance to support the host country.
The main Committee will be supported by a number of technical sub-committees in various areas including Events, Accommodation, Catering, Health, Security, Quarantine & Customs, Media & Promotions, Protocol, Finance and Logistics.
MAFNOC Chair and Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Culture and Tourism Andrew Nihopara said the Committee is working hard to ensure that all tasks are completed a month before the event.
This week the Committee has focused attention on its budget to ensure the limited funds provided by the Government are strategically spent to host a better and successful festival.
Approximately 2000 delegates from the five MSG countries (Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and New Caledonia) will be attending the event. The Solomon Islands will have 300 delegates. Also there will be invited delegates from West Papua, Timor Leste, and Torres Strait Island of Australia. West Papua has been granted an observer status at the MSG meeting.
The Solomon Islands was the first MSG country to host the Melanesian Arts Festival in 1998. After this inaugural event, the festival has been held every four years on rotational basis in the five Melanesian Countries.
The Festival was conceived in 1995 by the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) to promote and preserve Melanesian cultures, traditions, values and contemporary arts in the region.
1998 – Solomon Islands
2002 – Vanuatu
2006 – Fiji
2010 – New Caledonia (Kanaky)
2014 – Papua New Guinea
2018 – Solomon Islands