CIOFF® is an Official Partner of UNESCO, accredited to the UNESCO ICH Committee. Created in 1970, the duty of CIOFF® is safeguarding, promotion and diffusion of traditional culture and folklore.
CIOFF works for the safeguarding, promotion and diffusion of traditional culture. Through its activities, CIOFF promotes the intangible heritage, through forms of expression such as dance, music, games, rituals, customs and other arts; serves the objectives of UNESCO; supports the activities of its members and those of non-governmental organizations working in the areas of folklore and cultural heritage; and serves the cause of peace and non-violence through the implementation of the mentioned objectives.
CIOFF works for the safeguarding, promotion and diffusion of traditional culture. Since 1970 , Through its activities,
At present, CIOFF worldwide membership covers 103 countries of the World, with 63 National Sections, 23 Associate Members, 3 Partner Members and 14 Corresponding Members. It is estimated that over 1 million people, including over 30'000 folklore dance and music groups and folk arts organisations are associated with CIOFF through their CIOFF National Sections Worldwide.
Since 1970 CIOFF has been working towards safeguarding, promotion and diffusion of folklore and traditional cultures:
Every year CIOFF activities throughout the World receive significant press and media coverage on Local, National and International levels.
Through its activities CIOFF affects social life of people and communities
throughout the world, by promoting friendship and peace and bringing people
15 million performers, volunteers and spectators take part in CIOFF activities worldwide every year.
Through its events CIOFF carries significant influence within Local, National and International Economies.
Each CIOFF national Section has its own network of members, incorporating National and International Folklore Festivals, Traditional Arts Organisations and Folklore Performance Groups.
In 2000, CIOFF has started involving young people into its administration by creating a Working Group for Youth. Since then, the participation of young people in the different bodies of CIOFF is constantly increasing. The aim of the Working Group is the development of programmes and activities specially adapted to the needs of the Youth. Since 2003, the Youth Coordination Committee has replaced the Working Group for Youth as a permanent structure.
The main asset of CIOFF organisation is the International Folklore Festivals, held annually all over the world to celebrate traditional Dance, Music, Songs & Crafts.
CIOFF World Folkloriada is the flagship event of CIOFF.
Like Olympic Games, Folkloriada is held every four year, bringing together people and cultures from all over the world, promoting understanding and appreciation of each other's cultures, strengthening friendship and solidarity between people and celebrating national cultural heritage of each particpating Nation.
First CIOFF World Folkloriada took place in Brunssum - Netherlands in 1996. Second Folkloriada was held in Japan in 2000. The Third was held in Hungary from 12 to 22 of August 2004 in 11 Hungarian cities. The participating groups from 72 countries and 67 Hungarian groups presented 228 performances for 392680 spectators sharing the main Folkloriada objectives. 131 press articles, 160 TV and radio broadcasts as well as 4 major TV programmes and 11600 websites featured CIOFF World Folkloriada events.
All the people working in CIOFF International Organisation are volunteers, who come from various backgrounds and walks of life, from politicians to businessmen and cultural experts. All of them are united by their love to traditional cultures and dedicated to promoting peace and friendship in the world.
CIOFF Network also stretches to include countless thousands of volunteers, who dedicate their time to work at CIOFF Festivals & Events, as well as a multitude of related tasks, throughout the world.
Through its Festivals & Events CIOFF is holding numerous Workshops in traditional dance, music, singing and crafts every year, bringing a unique multi- cultural experience to children, youth and adults all over the world.
5000 Workshops are organised through CIOFF at International Folklore Festivals each year, including 2000 Dance Workshops, 1000 Music Workshops and 2000 Crafts Workshops. In total 2000 Workshops are dedicated to teaching children, 1750 to teaching Youth and 1250 to teaching adults, attending the Festivals World wide.
Since its creation, CIOFF, sharing UNESCO's values, aims to promote its objectives in the field of traditional culture. CIOFF maintains formal consultative relationships with UNESCO and develops projects of common interest. In the past CIOFF followed the preparation of the Recommendation on the safeguarding of traditional culture and folklore; more recently it got involved in the implementation of the Convention on the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage. CIOFF also promotes various actions in favour of cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue or culture of peace through the implementation of specific biennial programmes or the organization of meetings, workshops and cultural conferences.
To be more specific, in 1998, CIOFF with the financial support of UNESCO, extended its network in Western and Central Africa, which made it possible to raise African cultural performer,s awareness to the importance of safeguarding of traditional cultures. More recently UNESCO supported CIOFF in the implementation of its programmes on the "Strengthening of CIOFF Africa network" in Southern Africa, for the "Awareness Programme of traditional cultures for children and youth" and for "Intercultural Dialogue: African influences in the Caribbean and Latin American countries".
The Permanent Delegate to UNESCO represents the CIOFF at UNESCO.
An important part of CIOFF® festival activities are the artistic performances. According to the CIOFF® definitions of traditional programs on the stage , a performance is considered as representative of traditional culture if its content comes from or is inspired by an Intangible Cultural Heritage, namely: