St. Kitts and Nevis' contingent at the opening ceremony for CARIFESTA XIV. Photo via carifesta.net.

Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Minister of Culture, the Honourable Shawn Richards, said while appearing on the “Working for You” programme Wednesday, events such as the Caribbean Festival of Arts (CARIFESTA) have a great impact on the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis’ artists.

“One, it allows our persons here who are engaged in the different artforms to go out and showcase what they have to offer. I think the recognition, the ability to perform in a different island, those are important in terms of persons being able to develop themselves, whether it is you are able to tap into new markets, or you are able to see other persons perform, and so, you get an idea as to some of the things you can do differently,” said the Minister of Culture. “You are able to form bonds with other persons who may be able to assist you down the road. You get the opportunity to perhaps look at a market that you can advertise your craft, your product. So, all of these I think are important for us when we do decide to send persons to CARIFESTA etc.”

The culture minister used the occasion to touch on St. Kitts and Nevis’ performance at the recently held CARIFESTA XIV in Trinidad and Tobago Aug. 16-25, noting based on feedback the performance was exceptional.

“I would have been able to look at team as they would have performed on various nights in Trinidad and Tobago. From all indications the contingent that represented the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis performed very well,” he said. “Yesterday for example, I had a conversation with the reigning Calypso Monarch, Karissa Willett, and during that conversation she outlined to me her own experience and the fact that it was a very good experience for her…”

Deputy Prime Minister Richards expressed thanks and appreciation to persons who were involved in the organization process, including but not limited to, Troy Mills, Director of Culture; Tom Buchanan, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sports, and Culture, and Noah Mills, Chairman of Carnival.

CARIFESTA XV is slated for Antigua and Barbuda in 2021. According to Richards, St. Kitts and Nevis made a bid to host the event, which is held every two years, in 2023.

According to carifesta.net, the Caribbean Festival of Arts, CARIFESTA has assumed a pre-eminent place among the elements that define and give expression to the uniqueness of our Caribbean reality. Like other significant institutions such as cricket, CXC, and CARICOM that symbolize a Caribbean commonality, the Festival reinforces unity in the midst of our splendid cultural diversity.