Fest celebrates talent, heritage

Lasheigh Lucas
THERE is excitement in the air and festival fever is about to hit as the Northern Arts Festival (NAF) draws near.
The seventh annual NAF will be held at the Gelvandale Sports Grounds from September 27 to 29.
Over the past six years the festival has become a major event in the Nelson Mandela Bay event calendar and it is a platform to scout for new talent through the Youth Development Programme.
The Northern Areas of Port Elizabeth are abundant with art and music talent but the hidden talent has never been showcased to society, instead gang violence, riots and poverty overpowered the positive things.
The NAF represents the good within society and it showcases various talents. “Through the festival we can introduce, celebrate and bring forth the cultural strength of the community from the Northern Areas and create awareness amongst the people regarding their heritage,” said festival director Billy Paulsen. He went on saying that all positive contributions given in life create a vibrant society.
The NAF strives to honour and expose musicians, academics, artists and community leaders.
The opening of the NAF will be a Gala Awards Ceremony to VIP guests on September 24. This will be a luxurious seated dinner at the newly built Boardwalk ICC followed by entertainment by super group, The Rockets, Gino Lee and the Christadelphians. Reservations for this prestigious event are available through booking. The speech at the opening ceremony will be delivered by Dr Danny Titus, a well-known international speaker and executive director.
An achievement award in an arts discipline that relates to the culture of the NAF will be presented on the evening. The opening ceremony will be a way of personal interaction with society and to showcase talent, meaning and achievements.
The gala is only an introduction to the big festival.
This year’s festival is going to be bigger and better with loads of special guests and performances. There will be many different activities and performances ranging from a fireworks display to a performance by Jody Williams, South African Idol winner for 2007.
The NAF is a well-anticipated event for the community and this year will be no different. With a new venue, the producers are eager to showcase the best of the Bay and bring a unique music and cultural experience for people looking for a hub of creativity, entertainment and cultural diversity.
There is no reason good enough this September to miss the Northern Arts Festival.
Two entry passes for the Northern Arts Festival will be given away to two lucky Algoa Sun readers this month. Send your contact details, with NAF in the subject line, to northernsun@timesmedia.co.za

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