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Guests at the opening of the first ever Fiji Arts Festival at Thurston Garden in Suva. From left: Lee Cleland, Helen Southwick and Derek Cleland.

People in Suva will have something to look forward to when the Fiji Arts Council hosts its first ever arts festival at the Thurston Garden, aptly called the Wasawasa Festival (wasawasa is ‘ocean’ in Fijian).

The week long event, which begins today is a reflection of the success from the four-yearly regional Pacific Festival of Arts in Pagopago early this year and an inspired Fiji Arts Council will put together a series of performances, workshops, collaboration and activities which will, amongst other things, use the art to explore social changes.

“Poetry, sculpture, mural painting, quilting, nature walks, creative writing, masi making, bid watching, live music and dance are just some of the activities that everyone is welcome to partake in,” event coordinator Letila Mitchell said.

The event which is free of charge will also have a Christmas Arts Market and the National Heritage Arts Exhibition, and with the festive season coming up, the Wasawasa Festival is a place to go for the unique gift you are looking for.

A typical day at the festival, Michelle suggests, could begin with an early morning bird watching tour which starts after a breakfast program at a food stall or the Kahawa Café and this would be a historic walking tour of Suva and so forth.

Lunch will be very interesting at the story-telling space which is bound to fascinate you while eating and your afternoon could be made exciting with a quilting workshop, helping to paint a mural, learning to make masi, talking a creative writing workshop or just relaxing in front of the sound stage and listening to some of Fiji’s top musical talent.

“The Festival has a strong environment custodianship focus and a feature of the Festival will be the displays and activities for the public on the environment and how we can better live in harmony with the world around us,” Mitchell says.

“The Festival also has a strong social responsibility aspect, working with marginalised and disadvantaged youth and people from squatter settlements to provide alternative livelihoods and develop sustainable income streams.

“Whether you want to learn about the nature that exists in the centre of Suva, write stories about your experience with the world around you, get information about how you can reduce your impact on the environment, or learn more about the flora and fauna that makes Fiji unique, you will find something new or someone at the Wasawasa to help you.”

Another Suva landmark, Traps Bar will set up a bar for those who because of work or otherwise, can only make it to the evening entertainment which will feature...

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