The Ministry of Social Development and Sports issued a statement this morning to wish Bermuda’s CARIFESTA participants “the best of luck as they prepare to journey to Barbados on Wednesday morning to represent Bermuda at the region’s most celebrated cultural extravaganza”.

A spokeswoman noted that last week, the Minister of Social Development, Zane DeSilva, Permanent Secretary Wayne Carey and the Director of the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs Heather Whalen met with participants “to offer words of encouragement and congratulations for being selected for the event (pictured).

CARIFESTA will take place from August 17 to August 27. Every two years, CARICOM and CARIFORUM countries of the Caribbean and Latin America gather to celebrate the spirit of their people through the expressions of Art, Craft, Music, Food, Fashion, Film, Folklore, Health & Beauty, Liberal Arts, Theatre and Dance at the Caribbean Festival of Arts known as CARIFESTA.

CARIFESTA provides a forum for the people of the region to be exposed to each other’s culture, and in the process, cultivates tolerance and appreciation for differences, an integral element of any movement towards integration.

Ms Whalen said: “The benefits of Bermuda’s participation in CARIFESTA go far beyond the advantages that will be derived by those who attend. The knowledge that participants will gain whilst there will be brought back to Bermuda and shared with countless others; thereby strengthening the broader cultural community. In this particular CARIFESTA programme, Barbados will be placing great emphasis on the promotion and development of cultural industries; we will gain insights that can help Bermuda further develop and promote our cultural industries here.”

CARIFESTA participants include: Rapper Adum Reb (former stage name, ‘K.A.S.E.’), published author and visual artist Alan C Smith, published author and storyteller Florenz Webbe Maxwell MBE, banana leaf doll maker Veronica (Ronnie) Chameau, United Dance Productions (UDP) dance group (attending will be: Suzette harvey, In’Dasia Showers-Reid, Karina Forth, Shani Tucker, Zane Aberdeen, Zya Fraser and Keiazia Burchall-Busby), songwriter, producer, singer, tap dancer and actor Mitchelle “Arijahknow Live Wires” Trott, poet Chris Astwood, The Bermuda Gombeys (there will be representatives from H&H Gombey Troupe, Gombey Evolution Troupe, Wilson’s New Generation Gombeys, Place’s New Generation Gombeys, Warwick Gombey Troupe, and the Gombey Warriors) writer Yesha Townsend, poet and vocalist Joy T Barnum, artist and art educator Dr Edwin Smith, The Wall Street Band (Wall Street Band members are Robert Edwards, Eugene Tuzo, Denton Leader, Conrad Roach, Charo Hollis, Max Maybury, and Eugene Joell), dancer Rikkai Scott and singer Cindy Smith.

  • Photo: Courtesy of DCI