Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley is pushing the entertainment industry as one area of entrepreneurship that could benefit the country’s economy.
“This [Hennessy Artistry show] is living proof of it. The promoters [FAS and Seven Star Entertainment] had a good plan and they executed it well and the public responded,” he told Barbados TODAY on the sidelines of the event, now in its fifth year.
“This is an excellent brand, and every year we are seeing Barbadians responding to it in their numbers. It certainly gives impetus to what I think is the role of the private sector in entertainment. The marketing of our entertainers is very crucial.”
Drawing reference to the Cultural Industries Development Act passed in Parliament last month, Lashley revealed that under the Cultural Industries Development Fund to be established under the act, events such as Artistry could reap some benefits.
“This could easily qualify as a cultural project. There are certain areas [where] there can be assistance, but that does not distract from the fact that much of this has to be led by the private sector, and here at the Kensington Oval now that is what we can see here at work.
“We will obviously support [the process by] putting in place the framework to support. Hopefully in the New Year we will be able to have the authority that will be managing the Cultural Industries Development Fund in place and entities, such as the promoters of this event, can actually apply,” he noted.
On Government’s part, the minister explained that it would be expanding the Crop Over Festival, which celebrates its 40th anniversary. In addition, there are plans for plans for a Bridgetown Arts Festival, which should be launched next year.
“. . . Sometime in 2015, you can expect a very huge Bridgetown Arts Festival. I think though that we have made a start and it is really now for the private sector to seize the opportunities.” (RG)