SIFF, MACFest stamp deal

Mrs Maria Rarawa and MACFESt Chair Andrew Nihopara sign the Agreement.

The Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) and the National Organising Committee for the upcoming Melanesian Festival of Arts and Culture (MACFEST) have signed an Agreement today (13 June 2018) for the festival opening ceremony at Lawson Tama Stadium.

The Agreement had allowed the National Organising Committee to stage the grand opening ceremony at Lawson Tama Stadium on July 1.

The MACFEST NOC has identified Lawson Tama Stadium as the only suitable venue in Honiara to stage big events due to its lighting and media facilities and the capacity to accommodate large crowds.

MACFEST-NOC Chair and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Andrew Nihopara said the Committee is very pleased with SIFF’s positive response to allow the stadium for the event.

“On behalf of the Government I would like to thank SIFF for its response and contribution towards MACFEST by allowing the stadium for us to stage the opening ceremony,” he said.

SIFF representative, Maria Rarawa who signed on behalf of the SIFF Executive said her team is pleased to assist the Government in this undertaking.

“This is a huge regional event and SIFF is always happy to assist with our facilities to ensure any event that our Government hosts is successful.”

She added that Lawson Tama is the only suitable venue to host large events and SIFF is proud to provide this as part of its contribution towards the MACFEST.

The opening ceremony will involve a parade of countries, speeches, cultural presentations and entertainment including fireworks displays.

Meanwhile, work to erect huts and stalls is currently underway at the main Festival Village at the Panatina Grounds.

The Panatina Grounds will host most of the festival activities during the festival as well as the closing ceremony. Other venues will include the National Art Gallery Grounds, the National Museum Auditorium, the SINU Marine School and the Panatina Pavillion.

The Solomon Islands National University (SINU) and MACFEST-NOC had recently signed an Agreement to use SINU facilities for the festival.

The ten days event will run from July 1-10 on the theme “Past Recollections; Future Connections” which is programmed to coincide with the country’s 40th Independence Anniversary.

Solomon Islands was the first MSG country to host the Melanesian Arts Festival in 1998. After this inaugural event, the festival has been held every four years on rotational basis in the five Melanesian Countries.

The Festival was conceived in 1995 by the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) to promote and preserve Melanesian culture, tradition, values and contemporary arts in the region.