SCE2017 OPENS UK FES­TI­VAL MAR­KET TO 15 LO­CAL CRE­ATIVES

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Three months af­ter the stag­ing of the in­au­gu­ral edi­tion of Spe­cialty Caribbean Expo (SCE2017), fif­teen Saint Lu­cian artists rep­re­sent­ing three per­form­ing acts and two vis­ual artists are reap­ing the ben­e­fits of their par­tic­i­pa­tion in spe­cial mu­si­cal au­di­tions be­fore tal­ent scouts from the United King­dom. They form Saint Lu­cia’s con­tin­gent down to par­tic­i­pate in the Saint Lu­cia Show­case of Vis­ual, Per­form­ing and Culi­nary Show­case within the Bur­ton Agnes Jazz & Blues Fes­ti­val. The Fes­ti­val is tak­ing place this week­end, June 30 - July 2, 2017 in the York­shire city of Hull and is ex­pected to pull au­di­ences from the UK and Europe. Con­ser­va­tive at­ten­dance is set at ap­prox­i­mately 600,000, while an op­ti­mistic au­di­ence tar­get is in the re­gion of 1,000 000 peo­ple.

Hull is the win­ner of the UK City of Cul­ture in 2013, an award given ev­ery four years to a city that demon­strates the be­lief in the trans­for­ma­tional power of cul­ture.

The con­tin­gent trav­elled to York­shire on Tues­day June 27, and com­prised The Ru­pert Lay Quar­tet, Dy­namix Band, Clau­dia “The Diva” Ed­wards and Chrycee. The vis­ual artists are Luigi St. Omer and Ron Henry. In their re­marks at a me­dia brief­ing, the artists ex­pressed thanks for the op­por­tu­nity to serve as cul­tural am­bas­sadors for Saint Lu­cia. They iden­ti­fied as their main pri­or­i­ties strong rep­re­sen­ta­tion for the des­ti­na­tion and the for­ma­tion of vi­able mar­ket con­nec­tions in York­shire.

SCE2017 was a Saint Lu­cia Trade Ex­port Pro­mo­tion Agency (TEPA) ini­tia­tive, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the OECS Com­mis­sion and lead spon­sor Amer­i­jet.

TEPA’s Se­nior Client Man­ager - Mar­ket­ing & Pro­mo­tions, An­drena Si­mon, de­scribed this devel­op­ment as “ex­cit­ing” as it marks a mile­stone for TEPA with its trade ex­port pro­mo­tions of cre­ative goods and ser­vices.

She said it also sig­nals progress for both the se­lected artists and the col­lab­o­rat­ing agen­cies TEPA and the Com­pet­i­tive Busi­ness Unit (CBU) of the OECS Com­mis­sion.

“The CBU had a clear and fo­cused agenda on SMEs and Cre­ative In­dus­tries in their col­lab­o­ra­tion with TEPA for SCE2017. To be able to see tan­gi­ble out­comes in such a short time is en­cour­ag­ing for those who got the nod, as well as those from the en­ter­tain­ment sec­tor who are poised for the global mu­sic mar­ket and need the sup­port to break out,” Ms. Si­mon re­marked.

TEPA re­ports that part­ner sup­port is crit­i­cal to aug­ment TEPA’s bud­get in as­sist­ing cre­atives to ex­ploits th­ese op­por­tu­ni­ties. Sup­port­ing TEPA in this land­mark ven­ture are the Saint Lu­cia Na­tional Lottery, Harry Ed­wards Jewel­ers, BOSLIL Bank Ltd and the Min­istry of Eq­uity, So­cial Jus­tice, Em­pow­er­ment, Youth Devel­op­ment, Sports, Cul­ture and Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment.

Ms. Si­mon went on to say that with the Bur­ton Agnes Jazz & Blues Fes­ti­val, TEPA hopes to be able to mo­bi­lize ad­di­tional sup­port to in­crease the num­ber of Saint Lu­cian vis­ual artists show­cas­ing at the fes­ti­val.

Dis­cus­sions are also on­go­ing be­tween TEPA and Saint Lu­cia Dis­tillers, the Tourism Board and the Saint Lu­cia Ho­tel & Tourism As­so­ci­a­tion (SLHTA) with a view to op­ti­miz­ing pro­mo­tions of the is­land’s food & bev­er­age of­fer­ings and the over­all des­ti­na­tion dur­ing the Fes­ti­val.

Fif­teen Saint Lu­cian artists rep­re­sent­ing three per­form­ing acts and two vis­ual artists are set to par­tic­i­pate in the Saint Lu­cia Show­case of Vis­ual, Per­form­ing and Culi­nary Show­case within the Bur­ton Agnes Jazz & Blues Fes­ti­val.

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