Gombey Festival Showcase From Oct 10 To 13

October 5, 2019

The 2019 Bermuda International Gombey Festival Showcase will be held from Thursday, October 10 to  Sunday, October 13.

A Government spokesperson said, “The Minister of Labour, Community Affairs and Sports, the Hon. Lovitta Foggo JP, MP, is encouraging the community to attend the upcoming 2019 Bermuda International Gombey Festival Showcase.

“The annual festival which is hosted by the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs takes place from October 10 – 13, 2019.

“The line-up of events includes a panel discussion focusing on the impact of the African Diaspora on the Bermuda Gombey; a documentary highlighting Bermuda’s customs and traditions; an Open Mic event hosted by Nadanja; and the main event, the Bermuda International Gombey Festival featuring five of the island’s Gombey troupes.

“The Department is also partnering with the Chewstick Foundation and its ongoing Gombeys in the Gardens Community Art Project, which depicts the Bermuda Gombeys on the side of the Jack King Building at the Bermuda Botanical Gardens.

Minister Lovitta Foggo Bermuda Oct 2019

Minister Foggo said, “The Gombey is undoubtedly our most iconic cultural symbol. Its history is reflective of Bermuda’s blend of African, indigenous peoples, Caribbean and British cultures.

“In recent years, the popularity of the Gombey Festival has grown considerably, and we have enjoyed expanding the festival events to provide continued exposure to our folk art traditions and cultural heritage. All of the events are free to the public and are aimed to be engaging. So, next week we hope to see as many people as possible supporting these events.”

The full line up of events are as follows:

October 10 – 12, 2019: Gombeys in the Gardens Community Art Project in partnership with The Chewstick Foundation

“This is an ongoing project in partnership with The Chewstick Foundation to depict the Bermuda Gombeys on the side of the Jack King Building at the Bermuda Botanical Gardens. Artists are chosen based on their connections with the troupes.

Gombeys Bermuda October 2019

Thursday, October 10, 2019: Bermuda Folklife Documentary: Traditional Bermuda Games and Crafts

  • “Location: Speciality Cinema
  • “Time: 6:00 PM – 7:15 PM
  • “Cost: Complimentary tickets are available from specialitycinema.bm
  • “Details: Open the Bermuda International Gombey Festival Weekend by watching a documentary on the traditional games that Bermudian children play, and crafts that traditionally kept children occupied, including bottle dolls, box carts, maypole, gombey masks and cat’s tail. Featuring interviews with Yvonne James, George Leon Burt, Shirley Pearman MBE, Donna Pink, Shawn Caisey and Judith James, this documentary will inspire a new appreciation for the artisans who keep Bermuda’s culture alive. Afterwards, Shawn Caisey, the 2019 Gombey Festival Honouree, will be available for questions.

Friday, October 11, 2019: Dance of the Diaspora Discussion

  • “Location: Leopard’s Club
  • “Time: 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
  • “Cost: Complimentary
  • “Details: A round-table discussion on the impact of the African diaspora on the dance, drum, and regalia of the Bermuda Gombey, and linkages between Bermuda and Africa. This discussion includes Vanessa Bartley, former Gombey costume-design apprentice that recently experienced the egun mask costume-makers’ work of Abormey, Benin; Ajala Omodele, author of several Bermudian history books; Michael Simmons, leader of Bermuda Donquili African dance and drum group; and moderated by Ayo Johnson, a Sierra Leonean and Bermudian veteran journalist.

Gombey Festival Bermuda October 2019

Saturday, October 12, 2019: Bermuda International Gombey Festival Showcase

  • “Location: Bermuda Botanical Gardens, Main Show Ring
  • “Time: 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM | Doors Open at 4:30 PM
  • “Cost: Complimentary
  • “Details: Bring a blanket or chair and head to the hillside or bleachers to watch five of Bermuda’s Gombey troupes display their passion and artistry in the annual Gombey Festival Showcase, with special guests. Refreshments will be available for purchase.
  • “*Rain Date: Sunday, October 13, 2019

Sunday, October 13, 2019: Ayo! Open Mic! Presented by Nadanja & Sponsored by The Department of Community and Cultural Affairs

  • “Location: Place’s Place
  • “Time: 8:00 PM – 10:30 PM
  • “Cost: Complimentary
  • “Details: Wind down the Gombey Festival Weekend with a night of pure creativity, sponsored by the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs. Backed by the Kings Band and featuring a performance by Arijahknow Live Wires, bring your best song, poem, or dance to perform, or just enjoy the vibes and inspiration that unfolds. And with Nadanja as your host, you know you’ll spend the night laughing! Ayo – this open mic is bound to be unexpected!”

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