SAINT LUCIA JAZZ “THE ECONOMICS OF OPPORTUNITY”

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SAINT LUCIA (May 9, 2012) Saint Lucia Jazz has and continues to be a catalyst in several priority facets of the local economy.  According to Director of Tourism Louis Lewis, the festival provides a ready audience not only for music lovers but also service providers who use this opportunity to put on exhibitions, performances, events and push product sales.  From its inception in 1992, the festival has helped develop and even jumpstart various niche sectors in Saint Lucia. One such synergistic relationship has been with the Small Enterprise Development Unit (SEDU) of the Ministry of Commerce.

“Discussions on local participation in Jazz also refer to the development and enhancement of technical business skills – be it in marketing, product development or packaging.  In that regard, we can cite our SEDU alliance” said Lewis.

Established in 1994, SEDU’s mandate is to foster sustainable development of small and micro business sectors, by providing technical assistance and training to existing and prospective entrepreneurs.  Through the SEDU/Jazz Alliance, Saint Lucian artisans have been able to showcase and sell a range of locally produced textiles, craft, sculpture and other creative output in the Arts and Craft Village at main-stage Jazz, Pigeon Island.

“We see this as fitting in with the mandate of the Ministry of Commerce of which SEDU is an integral component,” said Barbara Innocent-Charles, Officer in charge of SEDU. “The Arts & Craft Village affords the traders visibility, sales generation and critical networking, as it also provides opportunities to connect with boutique buyers in Saint Lucia and the region,” exclaimed Innocent-Charles.

Saint Lucia Jazz is not simply a music festival but an opportunity for small and micro business owners to reach an even broader demographic.  To some extent, the activities which arts and craft traders undertake within the Jazz craft village is akin to what the Saint Lucia Tourist Board  undertakes within international trade fora such as World Travel Market.

“We cannot take everyone with us when we travel to sell the destination, but we would like to think that by bringing in potential customers through the festival, we can give local producers a similar experience of preparing displays, highlighting  product strengths and using the Jazz season not just to generate sales but to build on distribution networks,” said Lewis.

For more information on the full line-up for Saint Lucia Jazz 2012 along with show dates, venues and ticket sales, log onto www.stluciajazz.org.

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About Saint Lucia Jazz

Ranked among the top five around the world, Saint Lucia Jazz remains the premier music festival in the Caribbean region.  Noted for attracting a slew of acclaimed national and international Grammy nominated and winning artistes, the legendary Festival marks its 21th edition in 2012.

For more information about the island of Saint Lucia call 1-800 456-3984, or 1-800 4STLUCIA or visit www.saintlucianow.com

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