Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Dr. Kenny Anthony, in his 2013 Budget Address, revealed government’s commitment of $2 million towards the promotion of the creative industries.
That sector continues to present significant opportunities for the spread and creation of wealth for the Saint Lucian economy.
Government believes that the creative industries present significant opportunities for the young people of Saint Lucia and is a great potential for not only artistic expression but for economic relief.
Within the next fiscal year government will set aside funds for the development of a Creative Industries Policy and an action plan, which will provide the framework for incentives and concessions for artists, creative designers, and cultural entrepreneurs.
It is hoped that this initiative will begin moves towards the establishment of a National Festivals Commission.
“While we wait for the passage of this Act and other regulatory mechanisms, we will establish a Creative Industries Grants Fund in the amount of $500,000 or 25 percent of the budget head, to provide, in the interim, small grants for creative industries,” Dr. Anthony said.
Grants will be for up to a maximum of $20,000 and will be selected through a defined and transparent process. Selection will be through a competent Grants Committee which will review submissions every quarter.
Dr. Anthony said government will continue to support the National Performing Arts Programme launched last year to the tune of EC$500,000.
He said this programme has the power to provide live entertainment and pageantry to community festivals while enhancing the island’s tourism product in exposing the richness and diversity of talents.
“We shall support the development of talents through providing opportunities for growth and development of specific target groups to channel creative energy. These may be directed towards the hosting of seminars, workshops and master classes in particular sectors such as fashion design, web design, music and the like. A sum of $200,000 has been earmarked for this. Government aims to strengthen the capacity of the creative sector to improve standards, quality and competitiveness,” he said.
Dr Anthony also unveiled governments’ intention to commission murals, paintings and sculptures to portray art in public spaces so that the natural beauty is complemented by the creations of man.
Government will invest an initial amount of $100,000 towards this venture.
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