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Bahamas National Children's Choir Participate in the 35th International Children's Festival in Izmir, Turkey

Credit: Justin Dean

The Bahamas National Children's Choir (BNCC) travelled to Izmir, Turkey, from 13 to 26 April 2013 to participate in the 35th International Children's Festival. Participation of the BNCC in this annual event was sponsored by the EXPO 2020 Izmir Bid Committee and Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT). During their time in Turkey the children will stay with host families and will perform 'Mr. Fisher' during a live television broadcast on 23 April. The thirteen members of the BNCC are accompanied by Directors, Dr. Patricia Bazard and Mr. Justin Dean.

Izmir has been celebrating the International Children's Festival' since 1979 and it is the only Children's Festival in the world, given to world's children by the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.  Since the Festival's inception 22,719 children and 6,412 adults from 110 different countries have participated.  This is the first time that The Bahamas has been represented.

Izmir is bidding to host EXPO in 2020 under the theme 'New Routes to a Better World/Health for All with the intent to improve the social and cultural lives of young people and of all citizens of Izmir.  The Bid Committee believe that the opportunity to host EXPO 2020 would contribute to the promotion of the city in international platforms and provide an avenue to advocate the cultural features of the host country.


The Bahamas is a Member State of the Bureau of International Exhibitions (BIE) which is the intergovernmental organization charged with regulating World and International Exhibitions.  Five countries have submitted bids to host World Expo 2020 - the candidate cities being: Sao Paulo, Brazil; Yekaterinburg, Russia; Ayutthaya, Thailand; Izmir, Turkey; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  The vote to decide the host city of EXPO 2020 will take place in Paris in November 2013.

H.E. Eldred Bethel, Ambassador of The Bahamas to France and Delegate to the BIE, expressed his gratitude to the EXPO 2020 Bid Committee and TRT for the opportunity provided for the BNCC to participate in this year's Festival, and the intercultural experience offered to these Bahamian youth.  The Ambassador expressed his interest in continued dialogue with the Izmir Bid Committee in advance of the November vote.

The BNCC Director, Dr. Patricia Bazard (centre) and the members of The Bahamas National Children's Choir arrive in Izmir, Turkey to participate in the 35th International Children's Festival taking place on 23 April 2013.  Photo credit: Justin Dean