CDF scouts new sites for National Cultural Centre

The Cultural Development Foundation (CDF) is looking for new sites for the National Cultural Centre, the Government Information Service (GIS) has reported.

The government had announced plans to remove the centre from its current Barnard Hill location so that the building could be used as a court house.

Local artists have expressed strong objection to the plan.

According to the GIS, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has said that hopefully by next week there would be settlement in regard to a new location if a move does take place.

“The one that I believe has the greatest opportunity is a piece of land [situated] behind Caribbean Metals in Union. It is in close proximity, there is a bus station that pedestrians have access to, it has water, electricity, road access, plenty of space for parking, a huge lake, and great ambience, ” Chastanet  was quoted as saying.

The prime minister said while he hopes that location is chosen, it is up to the artisans to make that decision.

The prime minister also spoke of the Carnival season presently in full swing. He said he is happy to see the way in which the event is progressing.

Carnival and all of the activities that make up the event are now part of Soliel, the Saint Lucia Summer Festival. As such the prime minister said that just like all of the other components that fall under the Soleil umbrella, due attention and finance can now be given to the event.

“Last year the government spent EC$14 million on the Jazz Festival. So what we did was to put that entire $14 million back into the events committee, and now they are dividing it up over six events. The two largest events are Carnival and the Creole Heritage Festival.

“This is the first year, and I am really happy to see that people are starting to see what the concept is. I know that there was a lot of scepticism to begin with, but with the success of the Roots and Soul Festival, we received very strong feedback. Regarding the Carnival season, I believe that they are putting about $3 million dollars into it to beef up the overall production. I was very excited about the location for the opening of carnival being the Vigie field, and once we finalize if we are going to move the Cultural Centre or not, it creates another option for a venue for carnival, ” Chastanet said.

6 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    June 30, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    The site for the new Sandals Hotel is an ideal location for a Cultural Centre!

  2. Anonymous
    June 30, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    Whose land is it? What would be the purchase price? Is the land or its surrounding areas able to withstand high rains, bearing in mind that most of our festivals take place in the rainy season? How about lands opposite the St. James Club?

  3. Caron Tobiere
    June 30, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    Please tell the PM, the Cabinet of Ministers and the CDF Board that the artistes and members of CDF (whose interest by the way the CDF should be looking after) that the artist community STRONGLY OBJECTS TO THIS AND FURTHER WE HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO INTENTION OF ALLOWING THE NCC AND THE OFFICES OF THE CDF TO BE MOVED FROM BARNARD.

    I would like to suggest that alternate space be allocated to the TEMPORARY home for the Courts (smh) – I am sure there is lots of alternate space that can be used including the property where the old courthouse now sits.

    At a time when the country is broke according to our Prime Minister it is amazing that we can find monies to do this relocation from Barnard Hill to a swampy area – I wonder what the feasibility studies have revealed and what the cost of this move is.

  4. LB
    June 30, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    How can the CDF move ahead WITHOUT consulting the arts community? This is ridiculous!! The CDF is supposed to be a membership entity. Why have they not consulted and/or confronted the art fraternity on this situation? This is madness!! CDF is not playing nice with the arts community who keep them afloat – or are at least trying. Something needs to, and has to, be done, NOW!! The present location has a lot to offer, in keeping with the aesthetics of Castries and its environs. Would the people at Sans Souci want to have a judicial entity on their front yard? I don’t think so! Think of the amount of sirens which will be blaring in their neighbourhood, when it comes to assizes, etc. Come on artistic fraternity – rallying is desperately needed. Tell the CDF to “wheel and come again”! PM Chastanet too.

  5. LB
    June 30, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    the CDF and Chastanet are crazy!!

  6. LB
    June 30, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    The arts community (in ALL its entirety) need to rally against this madness and ridiculous-ness!

    The grounds was a gift from Sir John, and the NCC building was a gift from the French government (there is a headstone, and documents, stating that). However, the old NCC building (which was temporary) needs to be done away with, and a proper COMPLEX set up on this existing site – as was the original plan for the Barnard Hill site.

    Would the residents of Sans Souci should also be taken into consideration of this move. But the arts community come first. We need a COMPLEX, to house an arts GALLERY, REHEARSAL spaces, CONFERENCE rooms, a proper working THEATRE SPACE with adequate seating. All this can be accommodated on the Barnard Hill space … and it has been proven!

    Why? Why? Why are those who were voted in by the people, for the people, are so ignorant of the arts, with the viable and sustainable contribution and development it can bring to the island? So myopic.

    Come on arts community, rally against this madness – it should not happen.

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