An Arts village to go up soon


Mr Shamlaye (inset) speaking at the launch of the symposium yesterday

It will provide such amenities as an art gallery, a theatre, open air auditorium, resources centre, studios, conference facilities and accommodation for artists in residence programmes.
This was announced by the Minister for Social Development and Culture, Bernard Shamlaye, while opening the 2011 Arts symposium yesterday.

The forum, being held at the Seychelles Trading Company’s conference centre, has been organised by the National Arts Council (NAC) under the theme “Advancing the arts”.

Some 75 painters, singers, musicians, designers, batik producers and others involved in the arts are taking part in the two-day symposium.

Mr Shamlaye said government has allocated land for the arts village project which is enjoying the support of Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation).

He said there will also be administration offices for the NAC which will be responsible for managing the village and ensuring that it is a lively venue for promoting and marketing artists and designers and their creations.

On a different note, Minister Shamlaye said that after the creative industries policy is drafted, it is his ministry’s  intention to work on implementation.

“As we are aware, music has made significant strides over the last few years. This is mainly due to the artists in the music business themselves, but also to the work of the Seychelles Authors and Composers Society (Sacs) who has been very active in the movement to obtain royalties for recording artists and to combat piracy in the music domain, as well as that of the culture department’s Intellectual Property and Copyright section.”

Given these developments, the widespread interest in music as well as its great potential, music is among the first six domains of artistic creations for which an implementation strategy will be developed for its further development, Mr Shamlaye added.

He said the support of Unesco has been sought and his ministry is pleased that a specialist with extensive knowledge and experience in all aspects of the music industry will join later to undertake this important task, with all those engaged in that industry.

Speaking before Mr Shamlaye, the chief executive of the NAC, Benjamine Rose, said that the symposium is a recognition of the growing importance of the arts in our society. 

She said it is an occasion for artists to reflect on their needs and goals.

During the two-day symposium, delegates will be able to listen to several presentations. 
At yesterday’s session, the chairperson of Sacs, David Andre, explained the role  of the organisation and how it assists artists in obtaining remuneration from the payment of royalties.

Singer Patrick Victoria shared his extensive experience as an artist and his many triumphs and difficulties in his journey through the arts over the years.

He also spoke of what he believes are the essential qualities an artist should possess. Emmanuel D’Offay, the director and owner of Art Home, focussed on the grassroots community arts project and the development of young visual arts graduates into the professional environment of small creative business entrepreneurship.

Krishna Luchooman, coordinator of Partage, Contemporary Artists Association of Mauritius, explained his primary objectives, which include organising art events for reknown international artists to come together to celebrate the spirit of contemporary art.

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