2005 Calabash Festival a Huge Success – Henzell


The 2005 staging of the Calabash literary festival, has been touted as a huge success, with the staging of the event last weekend in Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth described as the best ever in the festival’s five year history.
Principal Organiser of the event, Justine Henzell told JIS News, that there was vast improvement in the “on the ground organisation” of the festival.
“Of course, we have to say a big thank you to all those who came together to make this year such a huge success; the poets, writers and musicians as well as the members of the audience, who came out in their numbers from not just Jamaica but also from abroad. a very special thanks to the people of Treasure Beach,” she said.
Ms. Henzell promised that next year’s festival would be further improved, “as the aim of the organisers was to become better and better overtime”.
“To us, Calabash is an important tool, which not only further establishes Jamaica on the world map but it also helps to support the local tourist sector as it brings in much needed foreign exchange for many of the small resorts that exist here on the south coast,” she stated.
Ms. Henzell also had high praises for the many sponsors, who came forward to assist with the funding of the 2005 festival.
“A special thank you to the government of Jamaica, who supported us through the CHASE (Culture Health Arts Science and Education) Fund and the Jamaica Tourist Board; American Airlines, United States Embassy, DB&G, among others too numerous to mention,” she said.
Event conceptualiser, author Colin Channer, told JIS News that what was really heart-warming, was the fact that all the performers had agreed to appear free of cost.
“Many of these individuals would normally be paid from maybe US $30,000 to US$50,000 per appearance, but here it is that they actually come to Jamaica and to Treasure Beach and do everything free of cost; this is what makes this festival so unique,” he stated.
Mr. Channer is encouraging persons to book their places early for the 6th staging of the event in May 2006.
“Our promise is to continue to work very hard to keep it a quality literary event that will continue to enrich the lives of all those who participate,” he said.

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