SECRETARIAT OF THE PACIFIC COMMUNITY (SPC)

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Noumea, New Caledonia
Suva, Fiji Islands

NEWS RELEASE September 27, 2000

EUROPEAN COMMUNITY BACKS FESTIVAL OF PACIFIC ARTS

The European Union has donated EUR 750,000 (US$ 662,624) to the regional Festival of Pacific Arts, opening next month in Nouméa, New Caledonia.

The money is designated specifically for such expenses as erecting stages, hiring equipment, and providing technicians for the performances.

EUR 25,000 (US$ 22,076.50) has been reserved in order to carry out an evaluation of the Festival, and the evolution of Pacific Island cultures. A consultant will make the evaluation during the Festival, and even before it begins, in the Fiji Islands, Guam and Samoa.

If judged to be a success, EU may consider funding a regional program to assist cultural development in the Pacific Islands. The EU itself is the first to admit that as well as giving funds for the Festival, as they have done in the past in Rarotonga and Apia, more support is needed to assist the precious and fragile Pacific cultures to survive increasing financial pressures.

A report on the findings will enable Brussels to decide whether the European Union wishes to take a step further, one in which the Cultural Affairs Program of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) will play a central role.

Mr. W. Rothweiller, Head of the European Commission delegation for the French Territories, based in Nouméa, and Ms. Lourdes Pangelinan, Director General of SPC, were scheduled to sign the convention documenting the transfer of funds at the Tjibaou Cultural Center, Nouméa, on Tuesday September 26, at 2:30 p.m.

The 8th Festival of Pacific Arts opens on October 23, 2000 in Nouméa, New Caledonia and runs until November 3.

Contact:

Yves Corbel YvesC@spc.int 

Sarah Langi English Editor Secretariat of the Pacific Community

BP D5 98848 Noumea Cedex New Caledonia Tel +687 26 01 96 SarahL@spc.org.nc 

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