HSBC is proud to present the inaugural Ceylon Literary & Art Festival

The first Ceylon Literary & Art Festival is scheduled to take place from 8th to 12th February 2024 in the historic, heritage cities of Kandy and Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka, an island nation with a storied past, has been steadily emerging from a series of challenges. The festival is a step towards transforming and elevating the country’s literary and creative sectors. It aims to showcase the island’s rich cultural heritage, and picturesque landscapes, and re-establish Sri Lanka as a premier destination for tourists, investors, and new partners.

“Through our partnership, our ambition is to bring the “Best of the World ” in the sphere of literature, art, and culture to our clients at the upcoming Ceylon Literary and Art Festival. As the leading international Bank in Sri Lanka, we look forward to providing our clients with an opportunity to interact with a diverse line-up of renowned International and local authors, artists, and filmmakers. We also hope, through this festival, that we would be able to showcase the “Best of Sri Lanka” to the world, by enabling local authors and artists in Sri Lanka to feature their great work” said Mark Surgenor, Chief Executive Officer of HSBC Sri Lanka and Maldives.

At the heart of the festival is the showcasing of a wide array of talents, featuring an eclectic mix of Sri Lankan and international authors, artists, filmmakers, and other creative professionals. The festival’s chief curator, renowned author Ashok Ferrey, brings his extensive knowledge of Sri Lankan literature and culture, combined with his international recognition, to oversee the festival’s literary presentations.

“The Ceylon Literary Festival will be a great meeting of leading writers from across the globe which we hope will engage young people and cultivate a love for reading and learning by exposing them to diverse literary voices. We are committed to providing a platform for emerging artists and creatives, fostering an environment that sparks and sustains a lasting passion for literature and the arts among younger generations. It’s also a great opportunity to stimulate a deeper understanding of both Sri Lanka and the UK’s rich literary heritage.” Orlando Edwards, Director of British Council Sri Lanka said,

The festival will commence in Kandy from the 8th to the 9th of February, before moving to the vibrant capital, Colombo, from the 10th to the 12th of February. The festival will feature an impressive lineup of 42 authors, including 22 international and 20 local literary figures, offering diverse perspectives and insights. In Kandy, there will be a total of 11 sessions, while Colombo will have 22 sessions.

A special highlight of the festival is the Children’s Festival, scheduled for the 10th and 11th of February in Colombo. This segment will be curated by Artika Bakshi and Neluka Silva, promising engaging and inspiring experiences for younger audiences.

In addition to the literary sessions, the festival will host exclusive, private author events, including an author’s ball on Sunday the 11th of February.

Art enthusiasts can look forward to artisanal walks, art talks, and workshops in both Kandy and Colombo. The festival will also feature screenings of notable short films, including “Straight Line Crazy” and “Cassius X”.

The mission of the festival also extends to engaging and inspiring Sri Lanka’s youth. By creating opportunities for young, emerging artists and creatives, the festival aspires to ignite a passion for the arts. This will be achieved through interactive workshops, panel discussions, and mentorship programs, nurturing the next generation of Sri Lankan creatives.

Designed to be inclusive and accessible, the Ceylon Literary & Arts Festival offers a range of activities to suit various interests and audiences. This celebration of creativity is open to everyone, embodying the spirit of inclusivity and cultural exchange.

The festival would not be possible if not for the support of our partners. HSBC, our title partner, whose commitment to fostering cultural and artistic growth has been instrumental in bringing the Ceylon Literary & Art Festival to life. We also extend our thanks to our other partners, Mastercard, The British Council, and Goethe Institut for their invaluable contributions and dedication to promoting literature and arts. A special mention to Galle Face Hotel and Suisse Hotel, our hospitality partners, for providing exceptional accommodations and venues, ensuring a comfortable and memorable experience for all attendees. Dilmah Tea joins us as the official Ceylon tea of the festival. Also joining us this launch edition are Wijeya Newspapers, as our print media partner and Hardtalk, as our PR partner. Last but not least, Sarasavi Bookshop, our official book distributor and retailer, for their role in enriching the festival with a diverse selection of literary works. Together, these partnerships embody a shared vision of celebrating and nurturing culture and creativity in Sri Lanka.

The Ceylon Literary & Art Festival aims to create a dynamic platform for dialogue, cultural exchange, and artistic collaboration. It is an invitation to immerse in the rich tapestry of Sri Lankan culture, literature, and arts, engaging the local community and international visitors. Join us in this celebration of literature, arts, and culture, as we showcase the beauty and vibrancy of Sri Lanka’s creative industries to the world.

The full event program is available on the official website with comprehensive details on all the activities and experiences that await.

For more updates and information, please visit or follow us on Instagram at @ceylonliteraryfestival.