As Saint Lucian artistes took to the stage at Labour Day in New York, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Heritage and the Creative Industries, Donovan Williams, reflects on the performance of the Creative Industries Ministry in Saint Lucia.
Though only $2 million was allocated to the Ministry of Creative Industries for the financial year 2013/2014, Williams says it has forced his ministry to be creative in its efforts to develop the sector.
He said: “I think the whole aspect of promotion and exporting our talent and giving the artistes an opportunity to showcase is one such window. But we also have a training component which will facilitate the development capacity of artistes and persons involved in the sector. We have a national performance programme which is a follow up to a programme we initiated last year.”
A small grants programme is available through the Ministry of the Creative Industries where successful applicants can receive up to $20,000.
The permanent secretary says the road to developing the sector has been a challenging one, but believes that the thrust towards a sustainable mandate will reap untold rewards in future. He believes the demand is present and pledged the ministry’s support to supply.
“We don’t have all of the resources we would like. We do recognise the need to initiate programmes not just as a one off but to enable a certain level of sustainability to take place. And we think that with the combination of programmes that we have we would be able to do that. It has been challenging but I think that we have been able to see some successes and hopefully at the end of this financial year, we should be able to report some major successes in terms of accessing opportunities and changing the potential into actual sustainable opportunities for those who are part of the sector.”
The recently established Ministry of the Creative Industries, along with stakeholders, are mapping out a planned calendar of events to help boost the sector.