The 5th edition of the Lagos Theatre Festival, tagged “Rhythm of the City”, opened yesterday, February 28, 2017 at the VIP hall of the National Theatre in Iganmu, Lagos.
The opening symposium which was moderated by Ms. Ojoma Ochai, Director of Arts British Council Nigeria kicked off with the national anthem of Nigeria and Britain. The opening address was delivered by the country director of the British Council Nigeria Ms. Connie Price who gave an overview of the activities of the British council for the past year. Ms. Price talked about the successful UK/NG 2017 Art Project with outstanding events in Nigeria and in the UK. She emphasized the importance of arts and culture for any growing economy and how the Lagos Theatre Festival has helped in forging a good relationship between Nigeria and the UK.
A goodwill message from the Lagos state government, delivered by the acting commissioner for tourism, arts, and culture, Ms. Adebimpe Akinsola, came next. Ms. Adebimpe thanked the British Council for organizing the festival and revealed plans of the Lagos State Government in revitalizing the Arts and culture industry with the building of six theatres in six zones of the state and how the Governor Ambode has made plans to transform the state and tap into its culture, heritage, and arts.
Adding more spice to the opening symposium,the head of Sponsorship and Events First Bank Nigeria Ms Bridget Oyefeso in a short speech talked about how the creative industry can tap into the sponsorship package from the Bank, she praised the British Council for acting professional in its approach and reports, and how they have opened the door for more jobs in the creative industry. She further stated that people in the creative industry should work more on packaging their proposals, reports and creating a marketing leverage when sending proposals for sponsorship.
Insight at the opening symposium went a notch up with an informative talk from the director and Founder of Terrakulture Lagos, Ms. Bolanle-Austen Peters who gave amazing insights into how she started the Terrakulture Brand and how 14 years after the Brand is about to reinvent the creative industry in Lagos state. BAP as she’s fondly called also talked about how one can be a successful entrepreneur and a creative artist. She ended her speech saying “Art is Money and Art brings Job”
The Chairman of Social Media Week Lagos, Obi Asika talked about Intervention for developing the performing arts sector in Nigeria, he harped on the importance of partnerships and how the creative industry can harness its power for development,and also how the industry can move ahead with the importance of data collection,management and proper distribution
Other speakers at the symposium include: Mr. David Evans, Productions Manager National Theatre Wales, Representative of the Minister of Information and Culture and the closing remarks was given by Mr. Kenneth Uphopho, Festival Director of the Lagos Theatre Festival.
The 6-day Theatre Festival will feature creative workshops, seminars, and performances from various troupes at the Freedom Park,Lagos and other venues in Lagos.
See more details on the 2017 Lagos Theatre Festival HERE
Image Credit: British Council,Nigeria