The Festival of Pacific Arts and Culture (FESTPAC) - Expression of interest

Key dates

Application are now closed.

Festival dates: 10–21 June 2020, Hawai’i, USA

Application notification date: February 2020

Website: FESTPAC

About the program

The Festival of Pacific Arts and Culture (FESTPAC) is the Pacific’s largest regional cultural gathering of First Nations People and one of the largest cultural gatherings in the world. FESTPAC has been held every four (4) years since its inception in 1972 in Fiji. FESTPAC is a celebration of the Indigenous Peoples of the Pacific and their traditions, language and culture involving artists, cultural practitioners, scholars and officials from the 27 member nations of the Pacific Community. Since 1972, FESTPAC has been held every four years hosted by a different Pacific Island nation.

Hawaiʻi is the host country for this dynamic showcase of Oceanic arts and culture from 10-21 June 2020. 

FESTPAC-Hawaiʻi 2020 will feature live performances, cultural workshops, hands-on demonstrations, film, storytelling and more, exemplifying the diversity of traditional and contemporary arts and culture across Oceania. The event will also underscore the urgent issues Pacific Islanders face – from rising sea levels and the death of coral reefs to widening social inequality – as a way to illuminate our path toward the future. 

The Festival Theme “E kū i ka hoe uli“ (Take hold of the steering paddle), comes from a prophetic chant that warns of turbulent changes on the horizon. Today, the chant encourages Indigenous people to reclaim the right to steer their course, now and into the future

The Australia Council for the Arts are calling for expressions of interest from individuals, groups and Organisations to be part of the Australian Delegation.  Delegates will be required to participate as scheduled as part of the Festival program.

If you or your community have been affected by the fires, please let us know and we will work to accommodate your needs. 


You are eligible to apply if you:

  • are an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander individuals, groups and organisations
  • are available to travel to Hawaii, USA between 8–22 June 2020
  • have a current passport that is valid until January 2021
  • are eligible to obtain a USA visa for travelling to Hawaii, (refer to important information on this form)
  • have no current or previous criminal convictions (US entry requirements)
  • are or will be 18 years or over at the time of festival

Assessment criteria

Applications will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • cultural significance of presentation and/or performance
  • artistic and Cultural Merit
  • skills and strengths of artists involved
  • presentation/ performances that complements and connects to the Festival themes

Assessment process

Applications will be assessed by members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Strategy Panel with notification to all applicants in February 2020.

Support Material (Required)

The following support material is required as part of the application.

1.  Brief bio or curriculum vitae (CV) for artists or group and/ or additional personnel involved

2.  Presentation or performance support material URL’s (weblinks), video, audio, images and written material.

3.  The Festival of Pacific Arts and Culture Template – we have created an Excel spreadsheet template for you to complete and upload with your application. You will be required to provide the following:

  • Individual delegate details
  • Artistic participation details
  • Technical Requirements
  • Details of cultural objects and artistic materials
  • Shipping and Transport requirements

Download the Excel spreadsheet template  

Important Information

Australia is a participant in America’s Visa Waiver Program, meaning Australians don’t need a visa for visits of 90 days or less. We must, however, obtain an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) through the Department of Homeland Security site.

What to expect as part of the application

You will be asked for the following information when applying through the Application Management System (AMS):

  • the name of Artists/Group/Organisation
  • the details of the presentation or performance
  • how your presentation or performance aligns with the theme for the Festival of Pacific Arts 2020
  • how many artists/performers are included in your presentation or performance
  • the type of presentation or performance 
  • the duration of presentation or performance
  • details of cultural objects, adornments and other materials that will be required as part of your performance including, artefacts, head dress, feathers, ochre, plant, animal and marine based materials etc
  • technical requirements and stage plan
  • shipping and freight requirements
  • detailed budget including fees and travel

How to apply

1.  Select 'Apply for a Grant' from the left panel menu

2.  From the list of opportunities select 'Apply’ for the Festival of Pacific Arts 2020

3.  Complete the fields and select answers with dropdown menus

4.  Upload any necessary support material

5.  Select ‘Save’ once complete

6.  If you are not ready to submit your application, you can return to it through 'Your Draft Applications' in the left panel menu at a later date

7.  Otherwise select ‘Submit’

If you are a new user, access our AMS to register your details to access the application.

Reminder: Our system has a 2-business day turn around to accept new registrations. Last minute registrations on a closing date can be lodged, but it will not be possible to process this registration in time for you to lodge an application

A print friendly MS Word file can be accessed here.


To discuss your application, please contact Joanne Brown Manager First Nations Strategic Development, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts.

Ph: 0490 299 495


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