Cayfest launches with a full schedule

Cayfest – the Cayman Islands’ National Festival of the Arts is just around the corner.

Next week, the curtain opens on a kaleidoscope of cultural events at various venues around Grand Cayman. There’s something for just about everyone.

The Cayman National Cultural Foundation is bringing together the visual, performing, literary, cinematic, and culinary arts with fashion design, cultural heritage and intellectual discussion. The festival runs from 13 April to 2 May. The Cayfest events are live and on radio and television.

The Foundation’s sister organisation, the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands is screening films from the first Travelling Caribbean Film Showcase from13 to 17 April. The films are the work of independent filmmakers from around the Caribbean. The films come in various forms, there are documentaries, feature length and short films. Screenings are at 6pm and admission is free.

On The Air

The opening week also includes broadcasts of storytelling on Error! Bookmark not defined. and Foundation programmes on Cayman 27.

Cayfest on Air is broadcast on Radio Cayman 89.9FM. Some of the radio programmes include storytelling by Twyla Vargas, Rose Hurlston and the John Gray High School drama students, while other programmes are panel discussions.

The storytelling shows are on at 7pm on 14, 15 and 24 April. The panel discussions with United World College graduates are on 21 and 23 April at 12.15pm and focus on multiculturalism and national culture. The shows are sponsored by Radio Cayman.

Television viewers can tune in to Clip Art on Cayman 27 at 6.30pm on 15 April for presentation of the first Fresh Cayman Couture fashion show in 2007 and the performance of Dance Cayman that the Foundation took to Scotland for the Aberdeen International Youth Festival.

Early risers can learn some Caymanian cooking. Cayfest Caboose gives demonstrations of Caymanian cooking on Cayman 27’s Daybreak Show on 16, 28 and 30 April. Cayman 27 sponsors the televised segments.

The Art and Photography Exhibition and Sale always includes some of Cayman’s best artists. The exhibit runs from 16 to 25 April and features selected art and photographs.

The art is selected by the Foundation and the National Gallery. The photographs are the winning entries in the Cayfest Photography Competition. Most of the art in the exhibit is for sale.

A Weekend of Variety

Cayfest’s opening weekend features a wide variety of events for Cayman audiences.

Friday evening, 17 April, is the Literary Reading and Culture Jam at Camana Bay. The evening begins with the reading of the winning entries in the Cayfest Literary Competition at Books & Books; a commemoration of the Foundation’s 25th anniversary at Abacus Restaurant with a sampling of multicultural foods, and then musical performances and an open mic night at Camana Bay’s Gardenia Court.

Camana Bay, Books&Books, and Abacus sponsor these events.

On Saturday, 18 April, Cayman’s cultural heritage is revived with the Catboat Regatta at the Public Beach on Seven Mile Beach. It’s a day of sailing, fun games, food and entertainment for the whole family. Dart Realty, Cayman National and Hopscotch Productions sponsor the Catboat Regatta.

Saturday is also the first showing of Lights… Camera… Action at Hollywood Theaters. This event will present children’s films selected by the second Travelling Caribbean Film Showcase. Screenings are from 10am until noon on 18 and 25 April and 2 May.

On Saturday evening, dance fans are treated to Dance Vibes at the Harquail Theatre at 7pm. The Cuban dance group Ballet De La Television Cubana joins dance troupes from Cayman, including Dance Unlimited and Barnes Dance Academy. Dances Vibes has a second show on Sunday at 6pm.

His Excellency the Governor’s residence is the setting for the Praise gospel concert at 7pm on 15 April. Choirs and individual performers from congregations across Cayman will sing in a variety of gospel styles. Special guest for the evening is Brad Pattico of Belize. Admission is free.

Highlights during the final week of Cayfest are the Fresh Cayman Couture fashion show, the Distinguished Lecture and An Evening of Classical Performances.

The Fresh Cayman Couture fashion show at the Harquail Theatre is a showcase of creations by ten of Cayman’s fashion designers. Special guests include designers Uzuri International Designs, designers for Miss World 2008, Minka, Miss Barbados and Miss Canada. Fresh is staged on 26 April at 6pm. The Cayman Islands Film Commission sponsors Fresh.

Dave Martins of The Tradewinds and Rundown fame is the invited lecturer at the Distinguished Lecture. This renowned Caribbean singer, composer, writer, actor and humourist speaks at the Harquail Theatre on ‘Cultural Identity – Finding A Voice To Stand On’.

Topping off Cayfest is An Evening of Classical Performances. This is a special evening from two aspects. First, Cayman will be treated to a rare theatrical performance of Japanese classical theatre preceded by a viola recital of classical music.

Secondly. the performance is a benefit for the restoration of Miss Lassie’s House. Dress is formal and tickets are $40.

For a Cayfest calendar of events, visit and click on Festivals.