The Festival of Pacific Arts & Culture (FESTPAC) is the world’s largest celebration of indigenous Pacific Islanders, drawing artists, cultural practitioners, scholars and officials from member nations of the Pacific Community (SPC). FESTPAC is held every four years in a different Pacific Island nation.
For more than 40 years, The Festival of Pacific Arts and Culture has been an important venue for the perpetuation of Pacific arts and cultures. It has developed into a strong entity in which cultural sharing and learning from differences has enhanced our appreciation and knowledge of the region. The goals of the Festival were developed in 1975 and have remained the driving force of the event
- Preserving and revival of traditional arts and cultures of the Pacific,
- Exploring new forms of cultural activities suited to the needs of the Pacific,
- Creating greater awareness of the cultural richness of the Pacific throughout the world,
- Fostering a greater sense of unity throughout the Pacific to promote excellence in arts, and
- Promoting the development and use of ethnic [indigenous] languages.
The Council of Pacific Arts and Culture
The South Pacific Arts Festival Council, as the Council was initially named, was established at a meeting organised by SPC in Noumea in 1975. Its main objectives were to ensure the Festival would become a permanent event; to provide the SPC Conference with information about the Festival and advice with respect to cultural affairs of the region.
The Council ensures the continuity of the Festival of Pacific Arts on a 4-yearly basis and sets the mandate for cultural development in the Pacific Islands and territories as per its objectives.
CPAC Meeting Guam 2016
The Council’s membership is made up of all SPC Pacific Islands members as well as Hawai’i, Easter Island (Rapa Nui) and Norfolk Island (due to their participation in the Festival), Australia, New Zealand, France and the UK (through Pitcairn). Invited observer members include UNESCO, the University of the South Pacific, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, the Melanesian Spearhead Group and more recently the South Pacific Tourism Organisation, the International Union on the Conservation of Nature as well as non-governmental organisations such as the Pacific Islands Museum Association, the Pacific Islands Arts Alliance, and the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation. Other organisations are invited from time to time to address cross-sectoral issues. Other SPC divisions and programmes also take part in Council meetings
FestPac 2020: Hawaii
Hawaiʻi is honored to host this dynamic showcase of Oceanic arts and culture from June 10 – 21, 2020.
FESTPAC-Hawaiʻi 2020 will feature live performances, cultural workshops, hands-on demonstrations, film, storytelling and more, exemplifying the diversity of traditional and contemporary arts and culture across Oceania. The event will also underscore the urgent issues Pacific Islanders face – from rising sea levels and the death of coral reefs to widening social inequality – as a way to illuminate our path toward the future.