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Festival Celebrates Pacific Art And Culture

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

30 October 2008 - Instilling a sense of cultural pride through art, crafts, language and music is a key focus of next month's Waitakere Pacifica Living Arts Festival.

This popular event runs November 9 to14 at the Pacific Arts and Cultural Centre at the Corban Estate Arts Centre in Henderson and is a celebration of the sights, sounds, tastes and colours of the Pacific.

The festival combines displays of traditional arts and crafts with educational workshops, storytelling and cultural performances. It also incorporates the Waitakere Schools Multicultural Festival (November 10-14), which features performances from local primary and intermediate schools.

Now in its 11th year, organisers say the festival is becoming increasingly popular and last year attracted around 15,000 people.

Chairman of Waitakere City Council's Culture and Community Committee, Councillor Judy Lawley, says the festival is becoming one of the iconic cultural events on the Auckland calendar.

"Many people from outside Waitakere are now coming to the festival; such is its growing reputation. It's a fantastic few days of stunning art and culture and a colourful celebration of the people of the Pacific, particularly the young.

"Once again the festival will feature the schools of Waitakere and thousands of young people from a huge range of cultural backgrounds will bring the noise and fun that makes for a great event," she says.

While providing a chance for Pacific peoples to introduce their cultures to a new audience, the festival is also about passing on their knowledge and skills to young New Zealand-born Pacific Islanders as a way of keeping their heritage alive. Visitors can also enjoy a taste of the Pacific at a variety of food stalls or find a gift at one of the many art and craft stalls.

The festival is a time for young and old to immerse themselves in the richness of Pacific cultures and this year the Samoan and Cook Island communities are holding special events at the Pacific Arts and Cultural Centre as part of the festival.

On November 11 from 6.30pm, the Cook Island community host, Return to Avaiki - A Taste of the Cook Islands. This will feature traditional arts and crafts, pearl shell carving, tivaevae, weaving and garments by TAV Fashions. The label was recently featured in New Zealand Fashion Week and is the work of Cook Island designer Ellena Tavioni.

On November 13 between 6.30pm and 8.30pm, the Samoan community host a Fiafia night featuring all forms of the traditional Siva (Samoan dance). Fire dances with knives, slap and clap dances will also be a feature.

The Waitakere Pacifica Living Arts Festival is organised by the Waitakere Pacific Arts & Culture Centre with support from Waitakere City Council. What: Waitakere Pacifica Living Arts Festival. When: November 9-14, 9.30am to 2.30pm. Where: Pacific Arts and Cultural Centre at The Corban Estate Arts Centre, Mt Lebanon Lane, Henderson.

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