Guyana, Barbados artiste-exchange programme coming, President Ali confirms

IN keeping with the government’s vision of promoting local talent, President Dr. Irfaan Ali has disclosed plans for an “Artiste exchange programme” which would see Guyanese having the chance to perform at major festivals in Barbados.

That was revealed by President Ali, on Wednesday, at a meeting at State House with those who performed at the 56th Independence Anniversary Flag Raising Ceremony.

He noted that one of the major festivals being discussed was “Crop Over” which is Barbados’ biggest summer festival.

According to Dr. Ali, the programme which will see artistes from Guyana going to Barbados and Bajan artistes performing in Guyana at major festivals was discussed with, and agreed to, by Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley during his recent visit to the island for the launch of Agro Fest.

“Over the weekend I was in Barbados for one day to have some meetings with Prime Minister Mottley and I said to her ‘I would like us to have an artiste exchange. You give me the opportunity to put my artiste on your stage at Crop Over or any national event and I will give you the opportunity to put your artiste on my stage’, and it was an overwhelming response from her,” he said.

The Head of State noted that he believed that if Guyanese artistes have the opportunity to perform on stage in front of thousands of tourists for Crop Over or any other major Bajan festival, that would provide a world stage for them to market themselves and Guyana, and would tremendously boost the artistes’ following and scope of opportunities.

He noted that, as a country, government has a responsibility to put systems in place to “provide a platform” to showcase and market the vast talents of local artistes.

On the local front, President Ali said Guyana Night which he described as a “stage that sells Guyana”, will showcase local talent, inclusive of art, poetry, song, dance and even dramatic readings.

This event is part of the much-anticipated Guyana Cricket Carnival which is set for September 2022.

President Ali disclosed that government will expend some $10million to put together a production that could potentially be marketed across the wider Caribbean region through major television networks. Apart from providing a stage for Guyanese talent, another major benefit of the Guyana Night, according to the Head of State, is government’s commitment to investing all proceeds of the night into the local artistes.

The President who noted that government fully supports the artistes stated, “I want you guys to sit down and come up with a world-class programme; we will come up with the budget, we will come up with the best sounds – the best beats, we will come up with the best anybody has ever seen in entertainment in this Guyana Night.”

The Head of State expressed belief that Guyanese artistes, and by extension Guyana, can make a name for themselves in the regional and international arts and entertainment sector.


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