Bacolod to host international mask conference

THE City Government of Bacolod is all set to host the International Mask Arts and Culture Organization (Imaco) International Conference 2019 on November 5 to 8, 2019.

Councilor Israel Salanga, chairperson of the City Council committee on tourism, said Wednesday, October 30, 2019, more than 200 participants from 17 countries are expected to attend the event.

"This is an international conference and we are very proud and thankful that it will be held in Bacolod," he said.

He added some of the delegates are expected to arrive here on November 4 and 5.

Salanga noted that they also approved a resolution on Wednesday thanking the Imaco for choosing Bacolod to host the Imaco 2019.

"This is our chance to expose Bacolod City on the global stage," Salanga said.

Imaco was established in Andong, Korea in 2006 to safeguard and promote of mask cultures. In order to respect the values that Unesco is aiming for, Imaco steadily practices the values through building networks at home and abroad, forming relationships with experts, researchers, museums, public institution, performers, and mask-related event organizations. As an accredited non-government organization by Unesco, Imaco is performing its role and mission enthusiastically.

This year's Imaco theme is, "Inside and Outside of Mask Culture: Masks, Practice, and Culture."

The Imaco's theme aims to deepen the research of mask culture from a broad perspective, including the origin, transmission, myths, rituals, communities, performers, and craft preservation of mask and mask culture beyond the focus of practice research.

The Imaco International Conference is supported by Unesco, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, and Cultural Heritage Administration of the Republic of Korea, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, and Andong City.

Imaco holds international conference and symposium biennially to interact with cultural artists and organizations related to masks in each country for inheritance and development of mask culture and arts.

In 2017, Bacolod City received an invitation to host the 7th Imaco International Conference in 2019.

Leonardia, accompanied by Ang, had signed a memorandum of understanding with Imaco president Kweon Young-sae to host the biennial conference at rites at the 6th Imaco International Conference in Vientiane, Lao PDR (People's Democratic Republic), also known as Laos.

The mask conference was designed to preserve the mask culture, and provide an opportunity from representatives all over the world to unite and share various cultural values.

Dawon Ging Lee, Chief International Cooperation Team of Imaco, said this is their seventh event in Bacolod City and they are very delighted to hold it in Bacolod.

She said their first event will be the masks exhibit at the SM Mall today with a total of 400 masks from 22 countries. The masks exhibit will end on December 26.

On November 6, there will be a grand opening with more than 200 participants from 17 countries.

"Bacolod City is known on its MassKara Festival and we were very interested about how you preserved the mask and how everyone participating this event. And this is the best place to hold the Imaco," Lee said.

She said they are very thankful to the city officials for their support in Imaco International Conference.

She added Imaco International Conference is being held every two years and the next venue will be at Andong City, South Korea in 2021.


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