The media campaign for the 27th edition of FESTIVAL KREOL 2012 was officially launched in Seychelles. In a press conference with Seychelles’ main media houses – Seychelles Nation, Rising Sun, and Seychelles Broadcasting Cooperation (SBC) – Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, Alain St.Ange, explained the raison d ‘etre of this year’s festival saying that Victoria was renowned as the “Creole capital of the world” and will continue to spell out its identity of valorizing the true essence of its Creole-speaking nation.
Seychelles islands, which have different races of immigrants with different cultures, have, over the years, formed a racial mixture, which is the population of Seychelles today. A population with a very special charm of its own and which has preserved its grassroots identity: the Creole language. Annually, in the last week of October, Seychelles’ capital, Victoria, is transformed into a vibrant colorful village for Creole-speaking countries.
The Seychelles Minister responsible for Culture, Alain St. Ange, will this year bear witness to his first “FESTIVAL KREOL” as the newly-appointed cabinet minister in the culture portfolio. Minister St. Ange, who was the former Chief Executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board, worked tirelessly to bring “Carnival International de Victoria” onto the Seychelles calendar of events and has used his skills as an event planner to revamp the 27th edition of “FESTIVAL KREOL.”
In a press conference, Minister St.Ange explained that for the 2012 edition of “FESTIVAL KREOL,” the notion of “culture tourism” will be put to the fore.
“The organizing committee of “FESTIVAL KREOL” has worked tirelessly to give a new dimension to the festival. We have moved away from having a larger working committee. Less time is spent in meeting and more in the organizing aspect of the festival. This Seychelles will bear witness to more active involvement of the partners of the festival and the sharing of budget and responsibilities,” said the minister.
Minister St.Ange said that he had met personally with the artistic team who has been given the task to work on the theme and the artistic component of the official opening ceremony. He said that the one-hour show will be spectacular and emotional.
“Over the past years, Seychelles has become accustomed with an outdoor opening ceremony for the festival. We have thought a lot about keeping the tradition of mass participation of the public during the official opening, because this festival is above all paying tribute to our people and the Creole-speaking countries. The success of an opening ceremony depends a lot on the artistic component. This aspect has overridden our judgement of hosting the official opening outdoors. The public will still have its rightful place in the official opening, as we have taken the decision to go live with the official opening and erect big screens in the town center for the public to watch this ceremony – a ceremony which will put to the frontline the importance of the Seychellois personalities who have played a vital role in the preservation of our cultural heritage.”
Another new highlight of the festival will be the presence of a high delegation of Mauritius, Rodrigues, Reunion, Mexico, and Louisiana, which have been invited to Seychelles to showcase their culture. Kiosks of the participating countries will be erected in the town center to showcase key components of their cultural heritage. Seychelles’ inner islands of Praslin and La Digue’s acceptance to be sold as an entity of the Vanilla Island concept will be assigned with their individual kiosk in the Creole village to promote their islands’ culture. Throughout the six days of festival, from October 26-31, a day will be dedicated for the international delegations and that of Praslin and La Digue to parade and entertain the crowd in the Creole village.
In the presence of the Chairperson of the Organizing Committee of the festival, Raymonde Onezime, who is also the Special Advisor to the Minister, Minister St. Ange said that “FESTIVAL KREOL” will be put on Seychelles’ calendar of events alongside that of “Carnival International de Victoria” and bring mass international media coverage to Seychelles. He has thanked all sponsors of the festival and said that without their valuable contribution, the festival would not have been a success.
PHOTO (L to R): Special Advisor to the Minister, Raymonde Onezime; Minister Alain St. Ange; singer Joe Samy at the “ FESTIVAL KREOL” press conference with local media.