Vila Times

Solomon Islands to host Melanesian festival in 2018

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Solomon Islands will be hosting the next Melanesian Arts and Cultural festival (MACFest) in July 1st-14, 2018, to coincide with the country’s 40th Anniversary.

MACFest is estimated to cost the government US$1.9 million, Solomon Star reports.

As normally happened, and agreed upon during last week’s MSG Ministers summit, MSG countries will also provide assistance to support the host country. MACFest is one of the outcome resolutions of the MSG Ministers meeting in Honiara.

Two other resolutions were the ‘framework for protection and strengthening Melanesian Cultures, as well as the cultural cooperation between MSG countries’.

This was confirmed by MACFest’s chairperson, and Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Culture and Tourism Andrew Nihopora.

Nihopora said that his committee is working on a 6-7 months’ time-frame to ensure preparations is done before the actual festival time.

“The main cultural venue is the National Art Gallery. Work is progressing now. We are working to ensure we all work are done a month before the event.”

Updating the main preparation work, Director of Culture who is also member of MACFest organising committee, Dennis Marita said that they have learnt a lot from the Festival of Pacific Arts in 2012.

“In terms of facilities, we are looking at building more permanent facilities within the Art Gallery area that can be used later. Construction work is currently underway.”

He explained there won’t be any provincial satellite venues due to budgetary constraints.

Approximately 2000 delegates from the 5 MSG countries will be attending the event where each country required having only 150 delegates.