$20k for artists | Boost for incubator program

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Trade Minister Manoa Kamikamica (3rd from left) with executives of the Fringe Festival at the launch. Picture: SUPPLIED

Government will provide $20,000 for the business incubator program for artists, with half of it going towards the funding of the Fiji Fringe Festival that is scheduled for February and March next year.

Trade Minister Manoa Kamikamica, who officially launched the event, said there was a need to ensure there was sustainability for these artists to grow and fully develop their talent.

Mr Kamikamica said about 170 artists were currently under the ministry’s Fijian Made-Buy Fijian Campaign carrying the emblems of “Fijian Crafted”, “Fijian Designed” and “Fijian Sewn”.

“There is no doubt that the Fiji Fringe Festival serves as a platform that celebrates creative arts and the role it plays in championing the God-given talents of these artists, both local and international,” Mr Kamikamica said.

“And again, as the Government, we are happy to support such initiatives. Through this launch, we are demonstrating your government’s continuous support towards the creative sector.”

Since the inaugural event this year, the Fiji Fringe Festival has quickly become the focal point of arts, culture, and mana in Fiji.

Featuring 262 artists, including musicians, dancers, magicians, and painters, the festival attracted more than 11,000 visitors. About 47 per cent of the artists were women.

Mr Kamikamica said the earlier fringe festival this year had an amazing economic spin-off.

“The eight-day event generated a turnover exceeding $150,000 with $80,000 directly benefiting the participating artists and over $55,000 sales from seven micro, small, and medium enterprises that sell food and beverages,” Mr Kamikamica said.

“The festival stands as a testament to the celebration of diversity, community, and learning within the vibrant artistic landscape of Fiji.”

The festival will be held at the University of the South Pacific from March 16–23, 2023.

“I am sure, with the forecasted tourism numbers, this event will offer another niche tourism product for our tourists to enjoy.”

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