Barbados gets ready for CARIFESTA

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Administrative Officer in the Ministry of Culture Rhonda Greenidge (centre) holds the attention of the Director of the Barbados Cultural Industries Development Authority Andrea King (left) and Chief Cultural Officer at the NCF Andrea Wells (right). (Photo via Barbados Today)
Administrative Officer in the Ministry of Culture Rhonda Greenidge (centre) holds the attention of the Director of the Barbados Cultural Industries Development Authority Andrea King (left) and Chief Cultural Officer at the NCF Andrea Wells (right). (Photo via Barbados Today)

(Barbados Today) Barbados is pumping millions into hosting the 13th edition of the Caribbean Festival of Arts (CARIFESTA) this summer, just weeks after this year’s Crop Over Festival, with renovations to performing venues on the cards and social media being used as a key tool to drive people here.

Minister of Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports Stephen Lashley said a budget of $8 million – $2 million for renovations to performing venues such as the Combermere School, St Leonard’s Secondary, Alexandra and Christ Church Foundation School and another $6 million for the execution of the 11-day festival – have been already earmarked by ministry officials.

Addressing the media at his Sky Mall, Haggatt Hall, St Michael office today, Lashley said planners expect about 3 000 artistes and artisans to converge on Barbados for the August 17-27 festival that has been given the sobriquet, the cultural Olympics of the region.

Read more at: Barbados Today

Stakeholders set path for establishment of Regional creative industries body

Officials chat during the stakeholder consultation on the establishment of the CCIMU in Jamaica on April 12, 2016. From left are: Edward Greene, Division Chief, Technical Cooperation Division, CDB; Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director, Caribbean Export; Hon. Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Jamaica; and Mr Jesús Orús Báguena, Chargé D’ Affaires a.i., Acting Head of Delegation of the European Union to Jamaica, Belize, The Bahamas, Turks & Caicos Islands and Cayman Islands.
Officials chat during the stakeholder consultation on the establishment of the CCIMU in Jamaica on April 12, 2016. From left are: Edward Greene, Division Chief, Technical Cooperation Division, CDB; Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director, Caribbean Export; Hon. Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Jamaica; and Mr Jesús Orús Báguena, Chargé D’ Affaires a.i., Acting Head of Delegation of the European Union to Jamaica, Belize, The Bahamas, Turks & Caicos Islands and Cayman Islands.

Kingston, JAMAICA, April 13, 2016,  – The Caribbean is renowned worldwide for its creative culture, including music, folklore, crafts, festivals and carnivals. Despite making some progress in developing the cultural and creative sectors, the Region has lagged in translating its creativity into substantial economic gains.

This reality prompted the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government at their 26th Intersessional meeting held in February 2015, to recommend the establishment of a Caribbean Creative Industries Management Unit (CCIMU), a dedicated body to address the needs of the Region’s cultural and creative industries.

Further to CARICOM’s recommendation, on Tuesday, April 12 in Kingston, Jamaica, 28 stakeholders representing the creative industries of the Region gathered for a historic consultation. This meeting set the path for the creation of the CCIMU. When established, the Unit will address the needs of the regional creative industries—including business development, trade opportunities, and the protection of artists’ and stakeholders’ intellectual property rights. (more…)

VYBZING issues spoken word challenge to St. Kitts and Nevis youth

vybzing flyerYoung adults across St. Kitts and Nevis are being encouraged to put pen to paper and share their vision for youth in the creative industry in this year’s VYBZING Spoken Word Challenge hosted by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

Focusing on the topic, ‘Creative Industries and Youth: Unleashing Potential and Growth’, residents of St. Kitts and Nevis ages 16-35, have been tasked with using the spoken word art form to share their vision of the Caribbean in 2040, identifying challenges to be overcome and recommending solutions to promote the potential of the Region’s creative industries.

Entrants for the Challenge will perform their spoken word pieces live on April 21 – 22, 2015. The top 10 in the 16-29 age category and top five in the 30-35 age category advance to the VYBZING Spoken Word Challenge Finals on April 24, 2015. Both events take place at Sweet Lime, Basseterre.

Read more at Caribbean Development Bank

Styling out a niche

The fashion industry has been defined as a multi-million dollar global enterprise devoted to the business of making and selling clothes. Recognising the industry as a vital tool for regional economic development, fashion is increasingly becoming a revenue earner for the Caribbean, much like the other sectors of the creative industries. One island that is silently making waves across the regional fashion landscape is The Bahamas, and local designer Indira Lashan Moss is enjoying the ride.

After completing her studies at the Unites States-based Savannah College of Art and Design in 2008, Indira returned to The Bahamas with the dream of working in the local fashion and design industry. One year later, she started her company ILashan Apparel & Handmade Jewellery.

“When I first came back home I volunteered for Islands of the World Fashion Week so that I could work closely with the designers on the showcase and maybe find a job”, recounted Indira. “But there weren’t any opportunities for employment, so I decided to go into business for myself.” (more…)

Regional initiative to tackle banking threat

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CARICOM's Closing Statement 2015
Head Table – closing press conference (l-r): CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque; Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda the Hon. Gaston Browne; Chairman of CARICOM and Prime Minister of The Bahamas the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie; and Prime Minister of Barbados the Rt. Hon. Freundel Stuart.

CARICOM Heads of Government have agreed to establish a Committee of Finance Ministers to work with the Caribbean Association of Banks on a plan to deal with the region being unjustly labeled a high-risk area for financial services.

CARICOM Chairman, Prime Minister of The Bahamas Rt. Hon. Perry Christie made the announcement during the closing press conference of the 26th Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on Friday.

“Because in many cases our indigenous banks cannot provide a high level of reward, correspondent banks [in North America and Europe] are closing their relationships with them because of the claim that the Caribbean is a high-risk area for financial services,” Prime Minister Christie said.

“Unless this situation is addressed with urgency, the indigenous banks in each of our countries will be adversely affected in their operations” he added. (more…)