Rupununi Music and Arts Festival to promote hinterland development

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DPI, Guyana, Friday, February 09, 2018

The third Annual Music and Arts Festival was officially launched today at Colgrain House, Camp Street. The event, slated for February 16-18 at the Manari Ranch in Lethem, promises to be a memorable one.

(from left) Gavin Mendonca, Organiser/Artiste of the festival, Ronald D’Agrella, Organiser of the festival, Bob Ramdhanie, Director of the festival, Hon. Sydney Allicock, Minister of Indigenous People’s Affairs, Alfred King, Permanent Secretary of the Indigenous People’s Affairs Ministry.

Festival Director, Bob Ramdhanie said the weekend’s event will include a range of activities and a number of performances by both local and international creative arts groups.

“During the day we wish to create space between 10 to 4 pm so that visitors to the festival can leave the festival if they choose to, and visit the neighbourhood and other sites and places of interest within the Rupununi. But for those who are staying on site all day between 10 and 4, we will have arts and music and reading workshops, so people are engaged all the time,” Ramdhanie said.

According to the director, he is working towards constructing a village, within a two-year period, which will afford visitors the opportunity to camp, go for nature hikes and experience nature at its best.

Minister of Public Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes gave testimony of the event and encouraged all to get involved in what she described as a wonderful experience.

“I have had personal experience of enjoying the festival in being there for over a three-day period. And it is a moving experience because it’s not just music which is a powerful unifying role in any country or part of the world. But the fact is this is music with depth that allows you to experience a culture,” Minister Hughes said.

She added, “I say to any family or any Guyanese this is a wonderful opportunity to pick up your tent if you do not have an accommodation…go camp in a safe, beautiful, natural environment”.

Also attending the launch, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs, Alfred King said the ministry is in full support of the festival, especially since it will promote hinterland development.

“In terms of nature adventure and eco-tourism, I believe this one offers that refreshing opportunity for people to leave the built-up city,” King said.

He commended the organisers of the event for preserving the indigenous culture through workshops and noted that the event will create jobs for some 80 persons in the region.

Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) Senior Marketing Officer, Annarie Seecharan expressed satisfaction in being part of the event and encouraged visiting Guyanese, particularly those visiting for Mashramani to explore and enjoy the event.

Patrons attending the event will be exposed to camping, a festival of music with performers from Brazil, Jamaica and Venezuela, art, dance, yoga, spoken word, craft displays, Zumba dancing, workshops, and tours around the village, which includes a popular waterfall in the region, among other activities.

Earlier in the day, Minister of Indigenous People’s Affairs, Sydney Allicock presented a cheque for $5M dollars to the Director of the Rupununi Music and Arts Festival to help offset some of the costs.

Organisers and Sponsors at the launch of the 3rd annual Rupununi Music and Arts Festival.

Hon. Catherine Hughes shares her experience at the launch of the third annual Rupununi Music and Arts Festival.


By: Crystal Stoll


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