Sizzling Cultural Potpourri on Display for CHM
Several key stakeholders are collaborating to present a sizzling display during this year’s Creole Heritage Month celebrations in October.
Over the years, this unique cultural celebration has spread to communities island-wide and the organsiers are keen on adding new dimensions to the event in an effort to create wider appeal both locally and globally.
And while preparations are being made to host this year’s major ‘Jounen Kweyol’ events at Gros Islet and Vieux Fort, on October, 27 it was also disclosed that a major creole international arts festival is being planned for next year.
At a press conference, on Wednesday, the Events Company of St. Lucia Inc. joined its partners, the Msgr. Patrick Anthony Folk Research Center (FRC) and the Cultural Development Foundation (CDF) to give an insight into the Creole Heritage Month (CHM) calendar of activities.
“The intention is to encourage Saint Lucians to embark on a journey of self-discovery through cultural immersion, while also discovering lesser known communities, sites and practices around the island,” notes Louise Victor, Executive Director of the FRC. “We are very pleased to have the expertise of the Events Saint Lucia team to support us on this journey.”
As the lead agency responsible for producing events of national relevance and scope, Events Saint Lucia (ESL) has collaborated with the FRC and CDF to execute activities for Creole Heritage Month which will kick off with a launch event in Soufriere tomorrow, from 4 a.m.
The launch theme “Dékouvè Soufriere » (« Discover Soufriere ») is in keeping with the overarching message for Créole Heritage Month this year: « Dékouvè Sent Lisi, Dékouvè Kò’w » (« Discover Saint Lucia, Discover Yourself »).
The launch event will be presented in three parts commencing with Séwénal, a daybreak celebration beginning at the Old Copra Factory and ending at Old Trafford Complex from 4:00 to 5: 00 a.m., followed by Sulphur Springs Wellness at Sulphur Springs Park from 5:00 to 10:00 a.m. and culminating with the Launch of Creole Heritage Month at the Old Trafford Complex from 1:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Victor said the FRC is pleased to present a new event entitled, “Feistere Joue” (“Festival of Play”), which will specifically target “a younger demographic…and introduce the generation which is generally on the tablet and the digital devices to the games that all of us play …like the ‘Chinese Skip’ and the ‘Tic-e-Toc’ and many other others.”
While the FRC is in the process of rebuilding its archives following the devastation of the building at Mt. Pleasant by fire last year, the FRC Executive Director adds that there will be a deliberate effort to not just have an event “but to document the processes, document the practices and to also make it relevant …as to how does it connect to the Saint Lucian today.”
CDF’s executive director Raymona Henry-Wynne stated that the agency will feature the ‘Cultural con’ series, as well as, the ‘Marguerite Grand Fete’.
“Our icon series, what it seeks to do is to honour and celebrate persons who have made an indelible contribution towards the arts,” added Henry. “We honour those persons because we want to ensure that their work, their history, the lives that they have lived …in becoming icons is known by all Saint Lucians.”
The ESL’s CEO Lorraine Sidonie said: “We understand the value of collaboration… the good relationships that we have forged with the FRC and CDF as well as the other stakeholders over the years continue to engender sharing of skills, closeness within our communities, expansion of our networks and overall more efficient, effective and quality outputs.”
Minister of Culture, Senator Fortuna Belrose commended the collaborating agencies for the invaluable work that has been done “in trying to ensure that we deliver a great Creole Heritage Month for Saint Lucia.”
Belrose noted that government is particularly aware and “knows that the essence of our country is our culture …that’s the essence of Saint Lucia, the culture of the people.”
She said it was for this reason that government continues “to invest in all areas of the arts working with the agencies and organisations and increasing educational opportunities, increasing and expanding our budgetary provision …and more importantly repositioning the celebration of events like Creole Heritage Month package for the benefit of our country.”
Belrose disclosed that while a sum of $600,000 has been allocated for the CHM activities, other supplementary support will also be provided as the event unfolds.
She added that as the creole festival continues to grow, “next year we are looking at a Major Creole International Arts Festival.”
Belrose stressed that the growth of the programme “first and foremost is us …we are celebrating us but we have a tourism economy, so people will be coming in to be a part and of course enjoy what we have to offer. And because we are doing this, next year, we hope to expand the programming to include an international event where we will be pulling people into Saint Lucia with the aid of the St Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA).”
[By: Reginald Andrew].