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The National Cultural Commission (NCC) launches the 13th Pacific Arts & Culture Festival (PACFest) with a corporate dinner held on April 25th, 2024, at Dynasty Restaurant, Vision City, Port Moresby.

Presented at the event was the Minister for Tourism, Art, and Culture, Hon. Isi Henry Leonard; Governor of Central Province, Hon. Rufina Peter; Ambassador. Ivan Pomaleu, Chief Secretary to the Prime Minister and National Executive Council and Chairman of the NCC board; the Deputy Board Chairman Prof. Leo Marai; as well as NCC Executive Director, Mr. Steven Enomb Kilanda and Mr. Albert Veratau Director of National Sports Foundation. The event also had the presence of NCC Board Members, other dignitaries representing various organizations, and Cultural Researchers. Their presence shows a unified effort to support NCC and the cultural groups that will be participating at the 13th PACFest in Honolulu, Hawaii, highlighting the importance of cultural exchange and tourism initiatives.

Minister Leonard said, “This is an important event that Papua New Guinea can enhance the festival to showcase its rich cultural heritage, and artistic expression, and market our diverse culture for tourism potential on the international stage.” He stressed the importance of cultural preservation, citing its integral role in the country’s Medium-Term Development Plan.

Papua New Guinea participating in the PACFest is expected to yield benefits such as cultural diplomacy, economic opportunities, preservation of cultural heritage, capacity building, and national identity.

NCC Executive Director Mr. Kilanda highlighted the importance of showcasing Papua New Guinea’s culture on the global stage. He said, “We have a very important product and that is the culture, we need to expose this culture to other countries. We are part of the global community, we must expose our country, we must showcase it.”

NCC Board Chairman and the Chief Secretary to Prime Minister and National Executive Council, Ambassador Ivan Pomaleu said, “When we come to support this event and when sending people over to showcase culture, it creates impact. The arts and culture of Papua New Guinea play a significant role in the Pacific community, serving as pillars of economic and cultural cooperation among Pacific Island States and Territories.”

The spotlight of the night fell on the cultural performers, music artists, visual artists, and contemporary dancers who will be showcasing PNG’s culture in Hawaii this coming June.

The idea of the PACFest was established by the conference of the South Pacific Commission (now known as the Secretariat of the Pacific Community) (SPC) aims to preserve traditional customary practices.

Since its inception in 1972, delegations from 27 Pacific Island nations have come together to exchange cultures at various festivals. With an anticipated delegation of 2500 performers and artists, the festival aims to address concerns regarding cultural dilution within the Pacific region.
Papua New Guinea will have a remarkable chance to spotlight its rich cultural heritage on an international scale. This prestigious event serves as a dynamic platform for PNG artists to share their traditions, stories, and contemporary perspectives with a diverse global audience. PNG’s culture will bring a unique and captivating experience to audiences, offering a glimpse into the traditions, artistry, and rituals of its indigenous peoples.



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