05 Oct 2023
The 13th Festival of Pacific Arts and Culture (FestPAC) 2024 is moving forward with determination and aroha, symbolising the resilience and unity of the Pacific region. This year's Festival carries an even deeper significance as it aims to uplift the communities devastated by the recent wildfires in Maui.
The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) has confirmed key logistical details, bringing the festival closer to reality. Dr. Aaron J.Sala, Festival Director, announced, "We are pleased to officially unveil the dates for FestPAC 2024, set to take place from June 6-16, 2024. This festival includes performing arts, visual arts, heritage arts, culinary arts, ceremonies, protocols, symposia, and conferences."
Another highlight is the dedicated Va'a or Waka Day, scheduled for June 5, just before the festival's opening. This day will pay homage to Pacific waka traditions, ensuring it receives the cultural respect and dedication it deserves. The Aotearoa waka contingent, under the leadership of waka tohunga Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr, is considering the opportunity to take a waka delegation in alignment with the restoration of traditional knowledge. He shared, "I've been in contact with members of Ohana Va'a and waka whanau in Maui, who regrettably experienced damage to some of their waka during the fires. We believe it would be ideal to take a waka like those built by Hekenukumai in Maui to share traditional knowledge related to their construction and use.”
Primary venues have been confirmed, including the Hawaii Convention Centre, the University of Hawai’i at Manoa for housing delegations, the Bishop Museum, and Capitol Modern the Hawaii State Art Museum.
As FestPAC 2024 continues to progress, it stands as a testament to the resilience of the host country, providing an inspiration of hope and joy to Hawai'i and the Pacific region during this time of recovery.
Carl Ross, Chief Executive of Te Matatini, stated, "Art serves as a means to help people navigate through challenging times, and FestPAC offers that during these trying moments."
Aotearoa is actively advancing its planning efforts to alleviate the pressures on host country due to uncertainties. “We are currently reevaluating our delegation’s size and approach to ensure alignment with FestPAC's outcomes and Creative New Zealand's Māori and Pacific arts strategies, while also upholding the value of manaakitanga, which has always guided our support for festival hosts,” says Stephen Wainwright, CEO of Creative New Zealand.
Aotearoa are awaiting specific information, which includes crucial details related to programme planning, art forms, and other essential aspects. Once this information from the host country is finalised, we will be able to provide a clear picture of what the Aotearoa delegation will look like.
Confirmation on the Aotearoa delegation process and additional updates will be made by late October. In the meantime, you can access information via the official website
Lynette Amoroa – FestPAC Communications
The Festival of Pacific Arts & Culture (FestPAC) is a travelling festival held every four years by different nations in Oceania. Initiated by The Pacific Community (SPC), FestPAC aims to preserve and share traditional cultural practices through cultural exchanges, focusing on traditional song and dance. The event unites cultural practitioners and delegates across the Pacific, promoting unity, understanding, and appreciation of the region's diverse cultures.
Aotearoa, New Zealand, last hosted the Pacific arts festival in 1976 and has sent a delegation to every festival since the first South Pacific Arts Festival was held in Fiji in 1972.
FestPAC is a regional kaupapa contributing to the 10-year Pacific Regional Cultural Strategy (PRCS) under the Council of Pacific Arts and Culture (CPAC). Aotearoa New Zealand’s participation in FestPAC aligns directly with the strategic priority of Cultural Wellbeing, highlighting the importance of preserving and promoting Pacific cultural heritage.
Creative New Zealand is determined to leverage its investment in FestPAC 2024 to create long-term benefits for artists. Considering the pressing issues and opportunities facing Pacific Island nations, including climate change and endangered art forms, we aim to strategically focus on priorities in the Māori and Pacific strategies.
The Pacific Community (SPC) serves as a platform for cooperation and collaboration among its member states, which include Aotearoa (New Zealand), American Samoa, Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, France, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, United Kingdom, United States, Vanuatu, and Wallis and Futuna.