HONOLULU, HI – The Festival of the Pacific 2020 Commission yesterday voted to have the Hawaiʻi Convention Center as the main venue for the spectacular 13th Festival of Pacific Arts & Culture (FESTPAC) in June 2020. Twenty-eight nations, and nearly 10,000 delegates and visitors, are expected for this incredible international event. This is the first time it will take place in Hawaiʻi in the festival’snearly 50 year history.

FESTPAC, which will run from June 10-21, 2020, will include a festival village to showcase artists and cultural practitioners from each nation, as well as a performance stage and food vendors.  The exhibition halls, ballrooms and conference areas inside the convention center will be utilized for dynamic creative displays, films, a wearable arts show, poetry readings, discussions on critical issues facing each nation, an ecumenical service and more.

“Sharing our cultural heritage is the essence of the Hawaiian Islands and why our island home is the ideal setting to bring attendees from 28 island nations together with the people of Hawai‘i,” states Chris Tatum, president and CEO of the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority. “Being selected as the main FESTPAC venue is an honor for the Hawai‘i Convention Center and a testament to its experience, infrastructure and quality of resources. This festival is a rare opportunity to strengthen community bonds, deepen people’s understanding of other cultures, and ensure the traditions of these island nations are sustained through arts, special presentations and interactive discussions.”

The 11-day festival will also include events at Bishop Museum, the State Art Museum and Magic Island.  It is estimated that FESTPAC could generate more than $100 million for Hawaiʻi’s economy. 

“Hawaiʻi Convention Center’s central location, wonderful facilities and grounds make it a perfect and prominent place to unite and showcase the nations of Oceania,” says FESTPAC Director Vicky Holt Takamine. “FESTPAC will be the largest gathering of Pacific peoples united in respect and appreciation of each other. In addition, many Hawai‘i residents have deep ties to the various cultures represented in the Festival.”

The theme of this year’s festival is “E kū i ka hoe ʻuli” (Take hold of the steering paddle), encouraging indigenous people to steer their own course now and into the future. 

In 2012, Hawaiʻi was selected by the Pacific Community (SPC)to host the 13th Festival of Pacific Arts & Culture (FESTPAC).  SPC is an international organization dedicated to empowering Pacific Islands, Countries, Territories and their people. SPC ensures that these Pacific Islanders have the knowledge, technical ability and resources to thrive and sustain their livelihood, arts and cultural practices.   

The first South Pacific Arts Festival was held in Fiji in 1972.  In 1980, the event became known as the Festival of Pacific Arts & Culture, to include all of the Pacific.  For more information on FESTPAC Hawaiʻi 2020, including a list of participating nations, visit www.festpachawaii.org.


*** Hawaiʻi Convention Center photos can be accessed here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/e11073abu4aum9f/AADuJ8PN_xwJZWTHVTQOyS9oa?dl=0

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Donalyn Dela Cruz
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