Tomorrow marks 100 days until the world gathers in Guam to witness the Pacific Island region’s diverse and spectacular cultural heritage on show at the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts.
Also known as FestPac2016, the 12th edition of the quadrennial festival – taking place in the capital, Hagatña, from 22 May to 4 June – is world renowned for its feast of Pacific cultural and contemporary practises, including demonstrations from artisans who are keeping ancient carving, weaving, tattooing and dancing traditions alive.
“The energy of the biggest cultural event in our island’s history is definitely being felt throughout our community, which was shown at the 100-day wave we held at Chief Quipuha Park in our capital city of Hagatña,” said FestPac Organizing Committee Chairman Nathan Denight.
“We are confident Guam will be ready to welcome the participating countries and showcase the Håfa Adai spirit and our unique Chamorro culture.”
The theme for the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts is What we own, What we have, What we share, United voices of the Pacific.
“A lot of planning has gone into hosting this important event for the Pacific which the Government of Guam has tirelessly spearheaded over the past few years and heading into the final stretch, no doubt the enthusiasm and anticipation is building among the participating countries and territories as well,” Pacific Community (SPC) Deputy Director, Social Development Division, Leituala Kuiniselani Toelupe Tago – Elisara said.
“The Festival of Pacific Arts has a proud legacy spanning four decades and as festival custodian, SPC continues to actively support the Festival Organising Committee and national preparations,” Ms Tago-Elisara added.
The unique festival was conceived to preserve and promote traditional and contemporary cultural practices and expressive arts in the Pacific Islands.
It was initiated by the Pacific Community with the first edition held in 1972 in Fiji.
Guam has participated in every Festival of Pacific Arts, including the most recent edition held in Solomon Islands in 2012.
Among the events coinciding with the festival in Guam will be the third Pacific Ministers of Culture meeting, to be facilitated by SPC.
The 27 countries and territories participating at FestPac2016 will be: American Samoa, Australia, Cook Islands, Easter Island, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam (host), Hawaii, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Norfolk, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna.
Log on to guamfestpac2016.com to learn more about Guam’s preparations for FestPac.