Praslin culinary festival, arts festival dominate Seychelles' National Arts Council 2018 calendar
Participants in the ‘culinary and arts fiesta’ on Praslin in September 2014. (Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The Seychelles National Arts Council is bringing back the Praslin culinary festival this year and adding an arts festival to its calendar of activities. The chief executive, Jimmy Savy, told SNA on Friday that the two events will be the council's major activities in 2018.
“Due to budgetary constraints, we have decided to alternate some of our activities. For instance, the arts award and the Biennale will be held in 2019,” explained Savy.
Savy said that in September the council will hold a culinary arts festival on the second-most populated island of Praslin. "The festival was the one which was organised by the Ministry for Tourism as the main attraction on Praslin as on La Digue there was already the traditional August 15 feast and the Creole Festival which is held principally on Mahe,” said Savy.
“We want this culinary and arts festival to encompass gastronomy as well as arts. We plan to partner with the tourism sector so that they can take care of the culinary part whilst the council will be responsible for the arts,” said Savy.
The chief executive said the festival will include different forms of art such as musical shows, which he said will ensure a mass participation and be the main attraction as currently there are no big events on the island.
“I believe the National Arts Council’s plans to bring this culinary festival back on the calendar of activities for this year is a good initiative, as it was an excellent way to appreciate the talent of our local chefs and artists on the island,” said Seychelles Tourism Board chief executive Sherin Francis.
Francis added that “Praslin is heavily reliant on tourism, so this also helps to give the visitors as well as the local population something to look forward to.”
The Praslin culinary and arts fiesta was an initiative of the archipelago’s Ministry of Tourism and Culture and was held for the first time in September 2014.
The festival used the kernel of the coco de mer, the largest nut in the world, as the main highlight of a culinary and arts fiesta. People had the chance to taste different products made from the kernel. But the festival was highly criticized by environmental groups and has not been organised again since.
|Coco de mer shaped bread prepared from the kernel of the nut was on sale during the Praslin Fiesta. (Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
The other major national event organised by the National Arts Council is an arts festival. Savy said the arts festival will be held in November on Seychelles' main island of Mahe. "We will look at arts in all its dimensions. We will also look at innovation at all levels,” said Savy.
The National Arts Council is also taking this year to relook at its strategy to better prepare for some of the challenges it faces.
Savy said that following participation in international events such as MIDEM -Marché International du Disque et de l'Edition Musicale, an international music market held in Cannes, France, the council is mobilising resources to ensure the successful participation of Seychelles – a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean - in future fairs.
Savy said that the council will also this year, relook at strengthening memorandum of understanding with its international partners as well as building its capacity in terms of recruitment and staff training.