PRESS RELEASE:-Burton Agnes Jazz & Blues Festival Scouts at EXPO 2017 select 7 of 10
CASTRIES, Saint Lucia, June 09, 2017; Three months after the staging of the inaugural edition of Specialty Caribbean Expo (SCE2017), fifteen Saint Lucian artists representing three performing acts and two visual artists are reaping the benefits of their participation in special musical auditions before talent scouts from the United Kingdom (UK). They form Saint Lucia’s contingent down to participate in the Saint Lucia Showcase of Visual, Performing and Culinary Showcase within the Burton Agnes Jazz & Blues Festival. The Festival is slated for June 30 – July 7, 2017 in the Yorkshire city of Hull and is expected to pull audiences from the UK and Europe. Conservative attendance is set at approximately 600,000, while an optimistic audience target is in the region of 1,000 000 people.
Hull is the winner of UK City of Culture in 2013, an award given every four years to a city that demonstrates the belief in the transformational power of culture.
The contingent travelled to Yorkshire on Tuesday June 27th, and comprised The Rupert Lay Quartet, Dynamix Band, Claudia “The Diva” Edwards and Chrycee. The Visual artists are Luigi St. Omer and Ron Henry. In their remarks at a media briefing today, the artists expressed thanks for the opportunity to serve as cultural ambassadors for Saint Lucia. They identified strong representation for the destination and the formation of viable market connections as their main priorities in Yorkshire.
SCE2017 was a Saint Lucia Trade Export Promotion Agency (TEPA) initiative, in collaboration with the OECS Commission and lead sponsor AMERIJET. TEPA’s TEPA’s Senior Client Manager – Marketing & Promotions Andrena Simon described this development as “exciting” as it marks a milestone for TEPA as it relates trade export promotions of creative goods and services. She said it also signals progress for both the selected artists and the collaborating agencies TEPA and the Competitive Business Unit (CBU) of the OECS Commission. “The CBU had a clear and focused agenda on SME’s and Creative Industries in their collaboration with TEPA for SCE2017. To be able to see tangible outcomes in such a short time is encouraging for those who got the nod, as well as those from the entertainment sector who are poised for the global music market and need the support to break out,” Ms. Simon concluded.
TEPA reports that partner support is critical to augment TEPA’s budget in assisting creatives to exploits these opportunities. Supporting TEPA in this landmark venture are the Saint Lucia National Lottery, Harry Edwards Jewellers, BOSLIL Bank Ltd and the Ministry of Equity, Social Justice, Empowerment, Youth Development, Sports, Culture and Local Government. Ms. Simon went on to say that with the three-month run of the Burton Agnes Jazz & Blues Festival, TEPA hopes to be able to mobilize additional support to increase the number of Saint Lucian visual artists showcasing at the festival.
Discussions are also ongoing between TEPA and Saint Lucia Distillers, the Tourism Board and the Saint Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association (SLHTA) with a view to optimize promotions of the islands food & beverage offerings and the overall destination during the Festival.