December 23, 2010
SVG holds Craft for Life Exhibition

The arts and craft industry in St. Vincent and the Grenadines has been described as a flagship that can contribute greatly to the economy of the country.{{more}}

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Telecommunications, Science, Technology and Industry Shirla Francis expressed this view as she delivered the feature address at the opening ceremony of the Craft for Life Exhibition and Gift Show.

The event, which began on Thursday, December 16, is organized by the Centre for Enterprise Development Inc. Business Gateway Project, in conjunction with the Adult and Continuing Education Department in the Ministry of Education. It took place at the National Trust Building in Kingstown.

Francis, highlighting the contribution of arts and craft to the economy of several countries around the world, stated that the craft industry is important to economic development.

She said that countries such as Asia and Europe earn an average of USD 25.3 and 100 million, respectively, per year on their arts and craft. Francis added that the industry uplifted the socio economic status of the countries and also improved impoverished communities.

Francis stated that Craft for Life speaks to the eradication of poverty, improvements of the standard of living and the generation of wealth in the country.

She added that the government is committed to the culture and creative industry, noting that training is being made available in these areas.

Frances Clarke of the Adult and Continuing Education Department also spoke about the craft industry in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Clarke stated that research shows that there were over 200 skilled hand craft makers present in St. Vincent, operating in various fields, including the creation of decorative items, household items and fashion designing. “We have quite a vibrant craft sector,” Clarke said.

According to Clarke, the adult and continuing education department is responsible for training persons within the craft industry. Clarke stated that the industry will undergo training in designing capability, for the new year.

Stating that the arts and craft industry has the potential to change people’s livelihoods, Clarke added that the weaknesses and threats within the industry must be dealt with if they are to move forward. She identified issues such as individualism, copyright and Intellectual Property concerns.

Remarks were also made by Simone Murray of the CED Business gateway project. She announced that the project will end on December 27, with the Craft for Life Exhibition being the last activity under the project.

Cultural Officer in the Ministry of Culture Anthony Theobalds also made brief remarks, while the audience was entertained by a dramatic performance from Kevin Rodriguez of the Agape Performing Arts Theatre.