By Chris Chimezie
Citizens of Ondo state have been challenged to always showcase their cultural heritage and promote indigenous products in the state in order to enhance economic development.
Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, made this known during the media launch of Ondo ARTFEST in collaboration with the Oshodi Art Gallery held at the Cocoa Conference Hall of the Governor’s office in Akure yesterday.
The Governor added that the programme, Ondo State Arts, Music and Cultural Festival (ARTFEST), which is the first edition, is an annual programme that would showcase the tourism potentials of the State.
He explained that the programme encompassed various segments of art, culture and tourism, and urged the involvement of women in the programme to make it more colorful and entertaining.
“Quite a number of our local attires can be showcased with our arts which will attract buyers if they are of quality. Let us promote what is African, what is ours.
Earlier, Ondo State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Ismaila Olurimisi hinted that the programme, apart from creating awareness and promotion of Artworks and cultural potentials of the state, is also aimed at generating a financial forecast of over 100 million naira and enhance the IGR of the state.
The Commissioner further stated that the festival will more importantly, expose and empower the hidden treasures of the state in art and culture and propagate them to the outside which would emphasize the need to diversify from oil which is the only source of national income.
Also, Managing Director of Oshodi Arts Gallery, Mr Oshodi Paul said the festival is designed to promote cross-cultural awareness, economic and social development, cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue as well as creating jobs and foster intercultural relationships.
He added that the Ondo ARTFEST 2018 which is the first edition, will bring together arrays of activities that would provide a platform for economic growth as well as attracting more than 4,000 people showcasing vibrant music, diverse arts and cultural performances.
“The annual ethnotourism carnival parade will also include trado-carnival floats from all the 18 local government Areas of the State and all the arts, tourism and culture Ministries in all the 36 states would also be present”, he said.
Paul however mentioned the festivals activities to include; aggro-tourism, Mountain racing, Food and drink festival, Face painting, Fashion show, Tourist site seeing, Afro-modern fashion show carnival, Book and literature as well as Ethno tourism and Summit.