Posts Tagged ‘Calabar Festival’

festival

As the 2012 Calabar Festival kicks-off today with the lighting of the Christmas tree at the Millennium Park, there appears to be a scramble by tourists for Calabar-bound flights.

The Millennium Park, previously known as Eleven Eleven, was a memorial to mark the end of the World War 11. It is the grounds on which the remains of the unknown fallen hero of that war were laid to rest.
Interestingly, the Millennium Park, will for the first time host the first 15 events of the festival.
Due to this increasing demand from teeming tourists, who want to travel to the state to be a part of the festival, major airlines have announced more frequencies on the Calabar route.

One of such airlines, Aero Contractors in a statement to the organizers of the festival, disclosed that it was introducing “extra frequencies into Calabar from Lagos and Abuja with effect from 01 December, 2012”.
Meanwhile, the 31-day festivity is drawing dignitaries from all over the world.

For instance, the Country Director of UNAIDS, Dr Kwame MPOMAH, Lady Nkechi Onah, former National Coordinator of CISHAN, Professor Babtunde Osotomehin, the Executive Director of UNFPA, the Country Director of UNFPA, Dr. Victoria Mayogha and the Regional Head of UNFPA ,Sarah Masale have indicated intention to take part in some of the festival’s activities.

For the tree lighting exercise, legendary South African composer and trumpeter, Hugh Masekele will be making a guest appearance.
The organizers of the festival are promising a bigger and better event this year.
Indeed, apart from the traditional activities, the organizers have introduced new events to the festival to ensure this year’s is the best ever.
Some of the new events introduced into the festival include the festival of Arts and craft.
There is also the poetry slam and a 3 on 3 basketball competition featuring teams from the USA, Cape Verde and Nigeria.
Other innovations include a skating competition, premier of the movie, ‘streets of Calabar and Hot Wheels featuring biking clubs.

festival

Multi-talented international R & B and hip hop recording artist, Akon, and legendary South African trumpeter, composer and singer, Hugh Masekela are leading a star-studded list of international and local musicians to perform at this year’s Calabar Festival, which kicks –off Friday.
This is the second time that Akon, who is the founder of two successful record labels, convict Muzik and Kon Live Distribution, will be performing at the festival.
Also to perform during the 31 – day festivity are some of Nigeria’s biggest music stars such as 2 Face, MI, Ice Prince, P-Square, Wizkid, J Martins and Naeto C.
Other local acts include Timaya, Duncan Mighty, Ruggedman, Wande Coal, Iyanya, Nigg a Raw, Flavour and the Azonto exponent, Sakordie from Ghana.
The organizers of the Festival have also made sure that lovers of Jazz Music equally have a swell time by lining up Jonathan Butler, Kunle Ayo and Moses Philips to perform at the Jazz in Paradise segment of the festival.
Of course, there is also a long list of Comedians billed to put smiles on the faces of revelers.
The list includes I Go Die, Klint de Drunk, Shirman, Julius Agwu, Gordons, Akpororo, MC Mbakara, Prof Aboki, White Nigerian, Last Prophet. Headmaster, Whokes and Robert Ekpo
For the Calabar praise Night, the list of artists is no less impressive. It includes respected acts like Sammy Okposo, Hope Davies, Sinach, Sabina, Ohen de prophet, Kingsley Agbor and Godswill Danied.
The festival will also witness the commissioning of a cinema, where the movie; streets of Calabar will premier.
There is also the Festival of Arts and Craft, golf and football matches, the selection of a new Calabar Carnival Queen and the Green concert among other new additions to the yearly event.

aero

Effective December 1, 2012, Aero will commence flight operations between Calabar and Abuja.

The flight, which will be operated with a Boeing 737-500 series will depart Calabar for Abuja at 09:50am and arrive 11:00am with flight number AJ175, while Abuja to Calabar flight departs at 11:35am and arrives 12:45pm with flight number AJ176.

Announcing these services, Captain Akin George, Aero Managing Director said: “The decision was taken in the interest and comfort of the airline’s loyal customers to give them more choices and flexibility in planning their business and leisure trips and also reduce the stress of traveling during this festive season”.

Over the years, Aero has become the first airline of choice offering excellent value for money and making travels easier and convenient.

Aero has grown to be one of the most reliable and reputable carrier in Africa, operating over 50 flights a day and covering more than 15 domestic and regional destinations.

Source: http://www.flyaero.com

Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River State has unveiled the 2011 Carnival Calabar theme at the International Conference Centre, Abuja. While unveiling the theme “Endless Possibilities”, at a ceremony tagged “ A Glimpse of Destination Cross River” Governor Imoke described as “tedious and tasking finding a suitable theme for the Carnival because it is more than dance, costume and regulations exercise as each has been a difficult job because the latest does not reflect the previous ones.

The Governor disclosed that each of the five Carnival bands are guided by the theme and are expected to work hard to interpret it into dance, float and costume as it affects the people and the future, adding that it is distinct that participants should key into the opportunities which it provides because the carnival has grown in leaps and bounds.
He explained that in this year’s festival of 32 days of well packaged events, everything will be put in place to ensure that it grows bigger and better than the previous editions, as it is driven by the visions shown a few years ago which has now attracted world recognition while commending the immediate past Governor of the state, Mr. Donald Duke for initiating the vision.
He said the unveiling ceremony was only a tip of the ice berg as more awaits those that intend to visit Cross River State in December, assuring that it will be “nerve raking and tasking”.
Minister of Culture, Tourism and Orientation, High Chief Edem Duke, in his good will message, commended the state for refining tourism as an enterprise because it drives the third largest economy after Agriculture and Banking while thanking Governor Imoke for his creativity, courage and commitment which is a reflection of a viable vision, adding that tourism employs about 200 million people in the world with low entry barrier in terms of academic qualification but has the potential of placing food on the table of many families.

Chief Duke, who said Cross River State has introduced a new lexion in Nigeria’s tourism programme by initiating Carnival Calabar, noted that the carnival should not be viewed as dancing and glamour but a sector that can contribute to the nation’s GDP because it has the capacity of turning a poor man into a rich man.

He reasoned that the time has come for other governors to cue behind governor Imoke as the future of Nigeria’s tourism development “starts from today” while urging theatre performers in Abuja to emulate the wife of Cross River State Governor, Mrs. Obioma Liyel Imoke by initiating social activities that will keep the International Conference Centre busy with entertainment as a way of promoting tourism.
The Minister further enjoined Nigerians to find a way of being in Calabar in December to participate in the Calabar Festival especially Carnival Calabar because of its attractions.

Wife of the Governor of Cross River State, Mrs. Obioma Liyel Imoke, while presenting her pet programme, “Breath of Life”, solicited for funds to enable her procure vaccines to save the lives of children suffering from pneumonia because currently, 467,000 children suffer from the life threatening ailment, stressing that it kills more children than any other known diseases like malaria and AIDS. According to her, Pfizer has promised to donate vaccines worth millions of naira as support while the launching of the project is scheduled on November 12, adding that the launching was keyed into the programme because of her passion for children.

Mrs. Imoke disclosed that her other pet programmes, “Mother Against Child Abandonment,(MACA)” has saved the lives of over 150 abandoned babies while 200 children are being accommodated in a home at the “Destiny Child Centre”, adding that 80 young pregnant girls have been taken off the streets because their families do not want to do anything with them. She further explained that the Carnival Calabar Queen has gone round the state to counsel young girls to abstain from casual sex, as the pageant is not only about beauty but brain while commending her husband for the assistance and support given to the project.

The Special Adviser, Events Management, Mr. Nzan Ogbe in an opening remarks, described the Calabar Festival under the state’s tourism development thrust as a brand new industry that creates jobs, wealth and skill for the people as a culmination of events because it is not only to entertain but also educate and has grown bigger by the year.
Mr. Ogbe described it as one of the biggest branding events initiated by any Nigerian government and commended Governor Imoke for not just keeping it going but also developing upon it to include other activities

A representative of First bank, Mr. Uke, representing sponsors of the festival said it has been in partnership with the state tourism commission in the past four years while the relationship between the state and the bank dates back to 1900, which precedes Nigeria as a nation, noting that as a big bank, it sees the programmed as a catalyst for social engineering as well a support for the youth to show talents.

The bank which currently has 14 branches in the state, stated that the event goes beyond tourism as the state has today become the biggest investment destination in the country and they thanked Governor Imoke for giving them the opportunity to partner in the programme.

Highlights of the programme include the presentation of prizes to the Carnival Calabar 2010 winners, musical performances, comedy, drama presentation by Carnival Calabar Revelers, cultural performance and presentation of “The Evolution of Calabar Festival” anchored by the Executive Secretary of the state’s Carnival Commission, Mrs. Elenda-Osima Dokubo.

Come Thursday, November 10, 2011, the International Conference Centre, Abuja will be agog with events that would serve as a foretaste of the bumper package the Cross River State Government intends to deliver in this year’s edition of the increasing popular Calabar Festival.

To many it would reminiscent of Sunday August 15, 2010 at the Ball Room, Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, bringing back memories of colour, style, fashion, thrills and excitement that offered a glimpse into last year’s festival. The impact of the marketing strategy had been instant as over 1.4 million guests had been recorded to have visited the state in the festive period last year.

Tagged “A Glimpse of Destination Cross River”, the event will showcase to the outside world what the 32-day Calabar Festival which climaxes with the two-day carnival parade among others.

The event which will also be in the spirit of innovation and freshness which has characterized the festival over the years, and has continued to keep it relevant all the while, will also witness the rebranding of the State’s tourism initiatives.

According to the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Patrick Ugbe, the event last year in Lagos had contributed in no little way to make the Festival a huge success, and believed that “Calabar Festival this year would be much, much bigger than the previous ones we have been having.”

His words, “What we are doing critically, first and foremost, is that we have an event which we call a glimpse of Destination Cross River which will be presented in Abuja. We did the first one last year in Lagos. It was a huge success. What we are going to do is to showcase what Destination Cross River is all about and what it has to offer – the 32 day Festival which climaxes with the two-day Carnival parade which is the biggest street party in Africa. We are taking all that to Abuja. We have lots of fantastic artistes lined up. The headline artiste of course is P-Square, who we believe, will rock the crowd in Abuja.

“We believe that from the attendance, people would see this event and actually have a bigger experience of what the main event would look like and begin to plan their trips to Calabar.

“We had a lot of visitors last year. We had over 1.4 million visitors last year and part of it was the exercise we did in Lagos, whereby a lot of people were able to witness and see what the festival was all about. It is just a tip that encouraged them to come down and actually see and experience the festival itself.

“We expect that the carnival this year would be much, much bigger than last year, because it has been growing year after year. Bigger and bigger. Last year there was virtually no space on the streets. This year we expect it to be bigger, but we are ensuring that everything would be in place.

“The Calabar Festival this year would be much much bigger than the previous ones we have been having. Artists lined up are more exciting this year.”

The commissioner said they would also use the opportunity to rebrand the state’s tourism initiative.

“We are rebranding our tourism. The tourism brand is going to change. We are going to unveil our tourism brand when we take Glimpse of Destination Cross River to Abuja and after that day, our tourism would wear a new look, new brand identity and we would have a new slogan. You must retool, constantly if you want to position yourself to be the number one which we are. You must stay ahead and the only way to do that is to reinvent yourself and that is the essence of rebranding”, he stated.

Although the Festival seems to be all about revelry, there is also the humanitarian aspect to it as Glimpse of Destination Cross River will also provide the opportunity to raise funds to assist children suffering from pneumonia in the state.

As the 32-day Calabar Festival approaches, the Cross River State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Patrick Ugbe, has assured that this year’s edition of the event will offer a whole lot more than it has it the past years.

The Calabar Festival which kicks off on November 30, 2011 and ends on January 1, 2012, has over the years grown in popularity and acceptance across the country and even internationally.

The annual event which debuted about a decade ago, and has the 2-day carnival as its high point, has over the years witnessed innovations which have made each year’s event feel like a new experience. In keeping with the spirit, Ugbe said, and assured that “this year, it is much bigger and better than the previous ones we have been having.”

Last year’s edition of the event had recorded over 1.4 million visitors to the state.

According to him, “The Calabar Festival this year will be much much bigger than the previous ones we have been having. Artistes lined up are more exciting this year. We expect that the carnival this year will be much bigger than last year’s, because it has been growing year after year. Bigger and bigger. Last year there was virtually no space on the streets. This year we expect it to be bigger, but we are ensuring that everything will be in place.”

As a means to further boost the festival this year, he said, states will first and foremost presents an event tagged, “A Glimpse of Destination Cross River” which will hold in Abuja.

“We did the first one last year in Lagos. It was a huge success. What we are going to do is to showcase what A Glimpse of Destination Cross River is all about and what it has to offer – the 32 day Festival which climaxes with the 2 day Carnival parade which is the biggest street party in Africa,” he said.

According to the commissioner, part of the strategy to keep the event refreshing will be rebranding the state’s tourism programme. “The tourism brand is going to change. We are going to unveil our tourism brand when we take A Glimpse of Destination Cross River to Abuja and after that day, our tourism will wear a new look, new brand identity and we will have a new slogan. You must retool, constantly if you want to position yourself to be the number one which we are. You must stay ahead and the only way to do that is to reinvent yourself and that is the essence of rebranding,” Ugbe said.