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Artists at last year's Wasawasa Festival showcase their wares.

Fiji Arts Council events organiser Peter Sipeli is predicting a bigger and better Wasawasa Arts Festival to be held in conjunction with the 2009 South Pacific Pageant at Albert Park in Suva next month.

The arts festival will be something for the people of Fiji to look forward to.

The Wasawasa Festival is aptly named that. Translated into Fijian, wasawasa means “ocean”.

Hence the Fiji Arts Council has put together a series of performances, workshops, collaboration and activities to reflect the connection with Pacific culture.

Sipeli is the driving force in coordinating the activities which seek to explore solutions to social problems impacting Pacific communities using art.

“We bring together Pacific artists, non government organisations and other community-based groups together in a melting pot of thinkers, artists, activities to talk, workshops and create ideas and strategies especially for environmental issues that we’re facing in the Pacific,” Sipeli said.

“Through this event, we bring senior artists from across all mediums in performance, which is dance, music, singing, visual as in painters and sculptors literally- writers and poets.

“This year we’re going big on the event and besides the whole idea of exploring social changes we’re also inviting senior artists to share ideas and give inspiration to young and emerging artists to grow an artist community that is more skilled.”

The festival will also allow Pacific island artists to display activities for the public on the environment and how islanders can better live in harmony with the world around them.

“Whether you want to learn about weaving, know more about your history; get information about how you can reduce your impact on the environment or learn more about flora and fauna you will find something new or someone at the festival to help you,” Sipeli added.

Each day is tagged with a theme ranging from Protecting Our Ocean, Climate Change, Cloak of Protection for Arts and Social Changes, Youth In Action and Building Bridges.

“A typical day at the festival will begin with the dance workshop which starts after the breakfast program and performance from local and Pacific groups. Lunch will be interesting at the story-telling space to fascinate you while eating and the afternoon could be more interesting with the Recycling Art Workshop.”

There will also be a sound stage for an evening jazz session and an open microphone session for young and budding talent.

The Arts Council is partnering with the Fiji Museum, Department of Environment, WWF, Ministry of Health, Hibiscus Event Group, Miss South Pacific Pageant Secretariat, Fiji Television, Connect, Telecom Fiji Limited, Fiji Times, Fiji Sun, Department of Culture and...

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