Abuja, Nigeria - April 19, 2024 - The United Nations House in Abuja, Nigeria, was abuzz with excitement yesterday as the unveiling of the Crossroads of Culture Festival took center stage. This event served as a precursor to the main festival scheduled to take place from August 9th to 10th in Canada. The unveiling featured a high-level dialogue with policymakers, cultural experts, and representatives from UNESCO and other international organizations on the critical importance of safeguarding Nigeria's rich intangible cultural heritage.

In his opening remarks, the convener of the Crossroads of Culture Festival, Mr. Chuks Anyaduba, warmly welcomed guests and provided insights into the festival's key features, including the Flavours of Nigeria Festival, Afro Fashion Marketplace, and Afro Commerce Connect. Mr. Anyaduba emphasized the festival's mission to export Nigeria's cultural richness while promoting its diverse cultural heritage on the global stage. He also shared a welcome letter from the Mayor of Brampton, His Worship Mayor Patrick Brown, extending greetings to all attendees ahead of the festival.

Delivering the keynote address, Mr. Obi Asika, the Director General of the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), underscored the significance of arts and culture and expressed NCAC's commitment to supporting initiatives that promote Nigeria's cultural wealth. Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), echoed this sentiment during her goodwill message, emphasizing NIDCOM's support for Nigeria Festivals worldwide as a means of showcasing Nigeria's identity to the world.

UNESCO Culture Programme Specialist, Philippe Delanghe, provided insights into UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage and the cultural treasures listed for Nigeria. Micheal Murphy, Councilor on Political Affairs at the High Commission of Canada, reiterated Canada's support for initiatives like the Crossroads of Culture Festival, which strengthen the bilateral ties between Nigeria and Canada.

The event also featured a policy dialogue through a panel discussion moderated by Africa Tourism Board Ambassador, Chioma Anyiwo. The panel, comprising DG NCAC Obi Asika, UNESCO's National Professional Officer for Culture Ifeanyi Ajaegbo, and Philippe Delanghe, delved into the importance of safeguarding Nigeria's Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Notable attendees included the Minister of Tourism, Lola Ade-John, represented by Elizabeth Pam, and the Minister of Youth Development, represented by Dr. Aminu Isyaku. Also in attendance were Cultural Councilor Li Xuda from the Embassy of China, Senator Ned Nwoko represented by Barr Onyeka Nwokolo, and renowned Nollywood actors Uzee Usman and Monalisa Chinda, among others.

The Crossroads of Culture Festival promises to be a celebration of Nigeria's rich cultural tapestry and a platform for fostering global cultural exchange. As preparations continue for the main festival in Canada, anticipation grows for an event that will showcase Nigeria's vibrant culture to the world.

For media inquiries, visit www.crossroadsofculture.org



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