Themed “Håfa Iyo-ta, Håfa Guinahå-ta, Håda ta Påtte, Dinanña Sunidu Siha Giya Pasifiku,” the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts was the most successful festival to date, according to FestPac followers and previous hosts alike.
It was a unique opportunity for a cultural exchange with 27 other Pacific islands. The two-week event allowed our people and our children to learn about other cultures and cultural practices directly. Through FestPac, we were able to speak with and learn from artisans from the different Pacific islands.
Guam benefited in other ways as well:
• From May 22 to June 4 in 2016, Guam welcomed 65,846 visitors; that’s a 25.5% increase in arrivals compared to the same period in 2015.
• This provided $125,590,710 in direct, indirect and induced impacts to Guam’s total economy, supporting more than 1,500 jobs.
• Much of the capital improvement projects related to FestPac continue to benefit our island, such as the renovation of the Paseo Stadium and recreation center, the Festival Village, renovated bathrooms at public parks, additional bathrooms at Chamorro Village, and a safer crosswalk in front of Chamorro Village.
• Media coverage of the festival garnered international exposure, proving that Guam has the ability to host large scale international events.
• Served as a platform for local businesses to display their “Made in Guam” products and to share their local crafts with the world.
It was in 2004 when Guam bid to host the 12th FestPac and in 2008 it was awarded and officially accepted. However, by 2015, the committee had yet to identify a suitable location for the festival site or housing for visiting delegation members.
Governor Calvo responded by naming GVB President & CEO Nathan Denight as Chairman of the organizing committee and the Governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff Rose Ramsey as the Festival Director.
The committee whittled the $13 million budget down to $8.5 million and started identifying festival sites and housing.
As noted by the auditor the new budget broke down to: $8.1M from government appropriations and federal funds; and $436,000 from donations, sponsorships, fundraising events, and vendor fees.
What is important to note, is that the funds spent also allowed for improvements around the island for our island community to enjoy for years.
Previous festival hosts had noted that much of the Festival sites they created are nearly non-existent just a few years later. This is one way Guam set itself apart from the crowd:
• The Paseo Stadium and the attached recreation center were renovated
• Additional bathrooms were added to the Chamorro Village
• The huts for the Festival Village is an expanded area for Chamorro Village and has been used by various local groups to host their own events.
• Renovated restrooms at local parks throughout the island were renovated.
• Additionally, the canoe purchased by the committee is now being used for high school paddling program.
The FestPac Committee worked with OPA to achieve accountability throughout the process. Given the short timeline and having to respond expeditiously to demands, we appreciate the acknowledgement that the festival was well done and something our island can be proud of for generations to come.

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