- Finale to the Guru Gedara Festival
Cinnamon Life together with the Chitrasena Vajira Dance Foundation, in association with John Keells Foundation presented an exclusive performance on 7 September as the finale to the Guru Gedara Festival.
This first immersive traditional arts festival was held together with Cinnamon Life and the John Kells Foundation. The festival opened for a four-day run on 30 August and ended with a special concert on 7 September to commemorate 75 years of the Chitrasena Kalayathanaya.
It brought to together experts in Sri Lankan traditional arts to one location and created awareness and understanding of the age-old authentic art forms that has evolved into a vital aspect of the cultural heritage in Sri Lanka.
The festival was designed as a fully-immersive experience where small groups of audience members were given the opportunity to interact closely with these living legends and be educated and inspired by their lives, their work and their passion.
Over 30 experts and artistes gathered at the Chitrasena Kalayathanaya over the four- day festival to share their expertise through discussion, master classes, workshops, demonstrations and performances. During other times they were would stay in their impromptu “studios/ kutis,” creating their craft and sharing their expertise with small groups of audience members.
John Keells Holdings Leisure Group President Jit Gunaratne highlighted: “Cinnamon Life is committed to promoting the culture and heritage of Sri Lanka. Over the past several years, we have built a prominent platform to conserve and promote thought-provoking and daring forms of art and encouraged discussions and mobilised communities to engage in new conversations and explore new ideas. As we all know, the arts play a critical role in stimulating creativity, building social dialogue and developing vital communities and it is in this context that the John Keells Group is committed to supporting and promoting the arts.”
The Chitrasena Vajira Dance Foundation presented Guru Gedara with Cinnamon Life and the John Keells Foundation. Cinnamon Life is an integrated development by Sri Lanka’s premier listed conglomerate, the John Keells Group. This city within a city will consist of an 800-roomed luxury Cinnamon hotel, an array of entertainment facilities, premium residential apartments, retail and entertainment mall, office spaces, and many other attractions to set stage as the entertainment hotspot in the Indian Subcontinent. The development’s iconic design by Cecil Balmond will span across 4.5 million square feet and is envisioned to be the epicentre of modern South Asia.
Cinnamon Life, following its opening it will be the hub of entertainment for local and international events. It will bring to reality the culture and entertainment aspects to Colombo’s social life at a global level. Thus, the much-reputed initiations such as the Guru Gedara Festival, The Sound of Music, the Colombo Music Festival and Mamma Mia! is a step towards realising the need for a venue of this calibre.
The John Keells Foundation is the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) entity of the John Keells Group which, since its establishment in March 2005, drives the Group’s CSR initiatives from the centre. JKF carries out its strategic and sustainable projects within six focus areas reflecting the diversity within the John Keells Group. Initiatives under each focus area are aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals as well as the United Nations Global Compact
Festival Partners were: Primary Sponsor – Cinnamon Life and John Keells Foundation; Bronze Partners: Dilmah (Ceylon Tea Services PLC); Asia Securities Ltd. and Kangaroo Cabs Ltd. Friends of the Festival: Access International Ltd.; MAS Holdings Ltd. and Mercantile Fortunes Ltd.