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Regional delegates on Guam to prepare for FESTPAC 2016

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With the Festival of the Pacific Arts only one year away, Secretariat of the Pacific Community officials have arrived on Guam to prepare for the event. The Secretariat of the Pacific Community is the oldest intergovernmental organization in the Pacific.

It was the SPC that initiated the very first FESTPAC in 1972. "They decided that in order for pacific island countries to maintain their rich cultural diversity, and to keep exchanges, and to learn from each other, they should hold a festival," explained Dr. Elise Huffer. It now takes place every four years, with Guam slated to host the upcoming event next year. FESTPAC will include participants from at least twenty seven different island communities.

In preparation, Dr. Huffer, SPC's culture advisor, arrived on Guam last Saturday. "We're pretty much at the one year kick-off for the festival, so we're just coming to meet with the organizing team to see how the preparations are going," she said. "This is just the first of several visits from the SPC to Guam in preparation for the Festival of Pacific Arts in 2016."

She and SPC pc deputy director Keituala Kuiniselani Toelupe Tago-Elisara will meet with festival director Rose Ramsey and festival programming chair Monica Guzman, as well as various other government departments. "Besides the artistic aspects of the festival, there's a lot of other areas such as broadcasting, biosecurity, and health - so we're reviewing how that's going, what needs to be put in place - what SPC needs to do, what the host country needs to do," she said.

Venues, accommodation, programming, and charter flights must also be discussed. "Really, there's a huge range of areas to cover," she said.

Although the postponement of the Guam Micronesian Island Fair put a damper on the visit, Dr. Huffer says her team will accomplish as much as possible they leave May 19.

e will reduce the need for qualified elevator inspectors.

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