13th FestPac in Hawaii to honor victims of Maui fire
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
The Hawaii Commission has launched the website for the 13th Festival of Pacific Arts & Culture, which will be hosted by Hawaii next year.
“The 13th FestPAC will honor the courage and resilience of all those impacted by the wildfires," said Kalani L. Ka‘anā‘anā, chair of the commission.
The 10-day cultural event will be held from June 6 to 16, 2024.
"I know the festival will honor the people of Maui in the appropriate way," said Stuart Minchin, director general of the Pacific Community, a regional organization commonly known as SPC.
He said SPC is working with the Hawaii Commission, the state of Hawai’i, the Council of Pacific Arts & Culture, SPC members and the Pacific communities to convene the 13th edition of the world's largest celebration of indigenous Pacific Islanders.
Minchin acknowledged Hawaii's "brave decision" to proceed with the festival despite the tragedy in Maui.
"We look forward to receiving our Pacific sisters and brothers then, to celebrate and showcase Pacific arts and culture after eight long years," Ka‘anā‘anā said.
Launched in 1972, FestPac is held every four years, bringing together artists and cultural practitioners from around the Pacific region. It is the largest gathering in which "Pacific peoples unite to enhance their respect and appreciation of one another."
The 12th FestPac was hosted by Guam in 2016. The 13th FestPac was supposed to be held in Hawaii in June 2020, but the event was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The commission is delighted to launch the website for the 13th FestPAC, which we hope will build on the growing excitement and anticipation for this significant event. As more information comes to hand, it will be uploaded onto the website, so keep watching that space," Ka‘anā‘anā said.
The website contains details about the Pacific island delegations, program of events and information about the venue.
"Despite challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, which led to the rescheduling of the 13th FestPAC to 2024, and the recent tragic wildfires in Maui, the commission and the State of Hawai’i remain steadfast in their commitment to hosting a successful festival next year," SPC said in a press release.
Ka‘anā‘anā said Hawaii Gov. Josh Green's proclamation solidified Hawai’i's support for the festival.
"Working together, we will make this festival one to remember, and we look forward to seeing the Pacific family join us in full force in Hawai’i in June 2024," the commission chair said.