FestPac delegates need more funding support

Canoe voyagers to arrive on Saipan

CNMI delegates for the upcoming 2016 Festival of the Pacific in Guam continue to seek the support of the public as they represent the Commonwealth for what has been touted as the “Olympics of the Pacific Arts.”

According to FestPac 2016 state committee chair John Gonzales, he is now working with the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation to “hopefully get the appropriation of the remaining $50,000 to $70,000 that’s needed to adequately fund the 250 delegates selected to represent the Northern Marianas.”

The festival will be from May 22 to June 4 and the FestPac committee will need a budget of $180,000 for the biggest delegation to FestPac that CNMI will have so far.

He added that the delegates are also working on their fundraising activities such as the golf tournament, raffle sales tickets, and dinner shows so that they can raise the needed money for their 17-day trip to Guam.

“We humbly, gratefully, respectfully ask the public to please support our arts and culture because it is a win-win element of who we are to promote our distinct, unique, vibrant indigenous and contemporary culture of our beloved Northern Marianas we call home,” Gonzales said.

Most of their budget will go to airfare as they are looking at chartering a plane.

According to Gonzales, DFS Saipan presented them a corporate sponsorship check recently worth $5,000.

“That will go a long way in defraying the cost of the bulk of FestPac participation in Guam for the charter airfare,” Gonzales said, “Their check will assist us to defray the cost.”

The Marianas Visitors Authority has also approved $50,000 to fund the delegates.

“We are truly grateful for that,” Gonzales said.

According to MVA managing director Perry Tenorio, the MVA board has approved the appropriation with certain conditions.

“They mentioned in their communication to us that they are looking at raising $94,000. So the board, the condition is that they take into consideration whatever government subsidies are being provided as well as sponsorship from private sectors and then we’ll make up the difference up to $94,000 but not to exceed $50,000,” Tenorio said.

Gonzales also mentioned that canoe voyagers from other Pacific nations are expected to arrive on Saipan soon.

“We are hosting them initially for some cultural reconnections and then the entire voyagers from FSM (Federated States of Micronsia), Marshalls, Palau, and the Northern Marianas will be doing a flotilla to Guam to join the opening ceremony,” Gonzales said.

Frauleine S. Villanueva-Dizon | Reporter
Frauleine Michelle S. Villanueva was a broadcast news producer in the Philippines before moving to the CNMI to pursue becoming a print journalist. She is interested in weather and environmental reporting but is an all-around writer. She graduated cum laude from the University of Santo Tomas with a degree in Journalism and was a sportswriter in the student publication.

Related Posts

Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.