By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK With a massive 90 art events on its programme for June, the first Bank Windhoek Winter Festival was yesterday fittingly and appropriately launched at the Warehouse Theatre in the capital. “The Winter Festival is a culmination of the increasing demand by the Namibian public to gain access to local and regional artists. It is with this in mind that Bank Windhoek has decided to provide Namibian audiences with a Winter Festival that encompasses arts from all genres,” said Marlize Horn, the senior manager of Bank Windhoek’s Marketing and Corporate Communications department at the launch. According to her, the Winter Festival will also be extended to rural towns such as Otjiwarongo, Tsumeb and Swakopmund. “The Bank Windhoek Arts Festival provides – and will continue to provide – Namibians with outstanding performances and exhibitions that truly contribute to the growth and development of local artists,” said the coordinator of the festival, Aldo Behrens, who was supposed to accompany the UNAM choir on a trip to Europe but which he cancelled in order to attend the official launch yesterday. Behrens re-emphasized the fact that participating artists in the Bank Windhoek Festival take all door takings at any of the scheduled shows and performances. “Since the beginning, of this year the bank has shown its commitment, not only with the monthly festival events, but also with the number of smart partners that came on board. We truly believe in the development of our local artists and we are therefore also proud to confirm that the majority of artists participating in the festival are Namibians,” said Marlize Horn, who reminded the audience about the festival’s special website. In Behrens’ opinion, the first Winter Festival will go through a trial-and-error phase, as is the case with any other new venture of this nature. “This is and will remain a festival for all Namibian artists of which the majority have already stepped forward by participating. The festival serves as a mechanism that drives the energy of the country’s artists. Bank Windhoek supports that energy drive and encourages artists to be more inventive and pragmatic in what they do. Unlike bureaucrats sitting around tables and desks, artists do things on stage, take a brush and paint, and take up instruments to make music,” said Behrens philosophically. The first Winter Bank Windhoek Festivals starts on June 1.