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Festival of Pacific Arts


Festival of Pacific Arts

Festival of Pacific Arts
Genre Pacific Islands music and dance
Dates Every four years
Location(s) Oceania; host country varies. Future hosts:
2012: Solomon Islands ;[1]
2016: Guam .[2]
Years active Since 1972; see table below
Festival history,
Current festival (redirect page)

The Festival of Pacific Arts, Pacific Arts Festival, or FESTPAC is a traveling festival hosted every four years by a different country in Oceania (map). It was conceived by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (former "South Pacific Commission")[3] as a means to stem erosion of traditional cultural practices by sharing and exchanging culture at each festival. The major theme of the festival is traditional song and dance. The 2008 Festival of Pacific Arts was hosted by American Samoa from 20 July to 2 August 2008; it was the 10th Festival of Pacific Arts.[4][5][6]

The Pacific Cultural Council (former "Pacific Arts Council" or "Council of Pacific Arts," originally "South Pacific Arts Festival Council")[7] selects the host country and recognizes that each participating country desires the opportunity to showcase its unique indigenous culture by hosting the festival. Host selection is based on principles of equity and preference is given to countries which have not yet hosted. The festival host country pays participants' costs of local travel, accommodation, meals, and other forms of hospitality. Entry to all artistic events is free to the public thereby maximizing cultural outreach and inclusion.

By its vastness, the Pacific Ocean inhibits social and cultural interchange between the inhabitants of its mostly island countries. The festival, not a competition but a cultural exchange, reunites people and reinforces regional identity and mutual appreciation of Pacific-wide culture. Participating countries select artist-delegates to represent the nation at this crossroads of cultures, considered a great honour.

About 2,000 artists attended[8] the 2008 Festival of Pacific Arts from these participating countries:[5] American Samoa, Australia, Cook Islands, Easter Island, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Hawaii, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Norfolk Island, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Islands, Sāmoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Wallis and Futuna.[4] Taiwan was allowed to send a delegation of 80 performers and artists, most of whom were Taiwanese aborigines, to the Festival of Pacific Arts for the first time in 2008.[9] Taiwan had previously applied to attend the Townsville, Australia, festival but was denied.[9]


  • Locations 1
  • See also 2
  • Footnotes 3
  • External links 4


Iteration Year Dates Location Theme
1st 1972[10] 6 May-20 May Suva, Fiji "Preserving culture"
2nd 1976[11] 6 March-13 March Rotorua, New Zealand "Sharing culture"
3rd 1980[12] 30 June-12 July Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea "Pacific awareness"
4th 1985[13] 29 June-15 July Tahiti, French Polynesia "My Pacific"
5th 1988[14] 14 August-24 August Townsville, Australia "Cultural interchange"
6th 1992[15] 16 October-27 October Rarotonga, Cook Islands "Seafaring heritage"[16]
7th 1996[17] 8 September-23 September Apia, Sāmoa "Unveiling treasures"
8th 2000[18] 23 October-3 November Nouméa, New Caledonia "Words of past, present, future"[19]
9th 2004[20] 22 July-31 July Koror, Palau "Nurture, Regenerate, Celebrate"[21]
10th 2008[22] 20 July-2 August Pago Pago, American Samoa "Threading the Oceania Ula"
11th 2012 1–14 July Honiara, Solomon Islands "Culture in Harmony with Nature"[23]
12th 2016 TBA Tumon, Guam "TBA"
13th 2020[24] TBA TBA, Hawaii "TBA"

See also


  1. ^ Unattributed (29 July 2008). "Solomon Islands Prepares Early for 11th Festival of Pacific Arts". Pacific (in  
  2. ^ Sagapolutele, Fili (24 July 2008). "Guam Will Host 12th Festival of Pacific Arts". Daily News (in  
  3. ^ Unattributed (8 August 2008). "Secretariat of the Pacific Community". Pacific Community Website (in  
  4. ^ a b Unattributed (1 May 2007). "2008 Festival of the Pacific Arts" (in  
  5. ^ a b Unattributed. "10th Festival of Pacific Arts -- American Samoa -- July 20 - August 2, 2008". 10th Festival of Pacific Arts (in   The official web site of the 10th Festival of Pacific Arts.
  6. ^ Unattributed (2 August 2008). "Festival of Pacific Arts holds closing ceremonies". (in  
  7. ^ Unattributed (26 July 2008). "Festival of Pacific Arts changes name". Islands Business (in   This mis-titled article describes adoption of name change, not by the Festival of Pacific Arts, but by its overseeing body, from "Council of Pacific Arts" to "Pacific Cultural Council."
  8. ^ Secretariat of the Pacific Community (21 July 2008). "Pacific Arts Festival Hours Away From Opening". Pacific Magazine (Trans-Oceanic Media). Retrieved 2008-08-11. 
  9. ^ a b "Taiwan gets go ahead to attend Pacific Arts Festival in American Samoa".  
  10. ^ "1st Festival of Pacific Arts". Festivals of Pacific Arts (in  
  11. ^ "2nd Festival of Pacific Arts". Festivals of Pacific Arts (in  
  12. ^ "3rd Festival of Pacific Arts". Festivals of Pacific Arts (in  
  13. ^ "4th Festival of Pacific Arts". Festivals of Pacific Arts (in   Mentions the festival location and date had to be changed due to 1984 political instability in New Caledonia which was originally planned to host.
  14. ^ "5th Festival of Pacific Arts". Festivals of Pacific Arts (in  
  15. ^ "6th Festival of Pacific Arts". Festivals of Pacific Arts (in  
  16. ^ Lyon, Wenonah (1995). "Social Context and the Limits on Symbolic Meanings". Centre for Social Anthropology and Computing.   A scholarly paper about the symbolism of voyaging canoes.
  17. ^ "7th Festival of Pacific Arts". Festivals of Pacific Arts (in  
  18. ^ "8th Festival of Pacific Arts". Festivals of Pacific Arts (in  
  19. ^ "8th Festival of Pacific Arts". Pacific Arts Online (in  
  20. ^ "9th Festival of Pacific Arts". Festivals of Pacific Arts (in  
  21. ^ Moulin, Jane Freeman (Fall 2005). "Oltobed a Malt (Nurture, regenerate, celebrate)". The Contemporary Pacific (in   Although access to the full article is restricted through Project MUSE, the free synopsis is useful.
  22. ^ "10th Festival of Pacific Arts". Festivals of Pacific Arts (in  
  23. ^ "11th Festival of Pacific Arts" (in  
  24. ^ "Hawaii Wins Bid to Host 2020 Festival". Festival (in  

External links

  • Festival of Pacific Arts web site (redirects to current host site)
  • Pacific Arts Association website An independent association devoted to the study of all the arts of Oceania.
  • Pacific Arts Alliance Host of First Artists' Forum at the 10th Festival of Pacific Arts
  • Secretariat of the Pacific Community web site has Organizational and support information
  • Frommer's Event Guide
  • Takeuchi, Floyd (2011). Pasefika: The Festival of Pacific Arts. Self. p. 186.  
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