MINISTRY OF TOURISM COMMITTED TO SUPPORTING LOCAL ENTREPRENEURS
Photo 1: Minister Grant (2nd right) and Charles “Buddy” Darby III (2ndleft), CEO and Founder of Christophe Harbour, prepare to cut the ribbon while Dale Kelley of DALE Original Art & Style (1st right) and John Gershonde (1st left), Vice President of Operations at Christophe Harbour join in officially opening the art gallery.
Basseterre, St. Kitts, January 06, 2017 (SKNIS): The Honourable Lindsay Grant, Minister of Tourism said that his ministry remains committed to supporting entrepreneurs, while speaking at the opening of the first retail shop in the Christophe Harbour Marina village – DALE Original Art & Style on December 30, 2016.
He noted that this is a significant milestone in Christophe Harbour’s journey and said that his ministry welcomes initiatives such as these.
“This is impressive, historic and a source of pride for us at the Ministry of Tourism, as this business is dedicated exclusively to the sale of locally produced items such as fine art, sculpture, pottery, millinery, leather goods, jewelry, glass-works and other delightful mementos; all reflecting the creativity, pride and passion of our local artists and manifesting the collective ideas, skills and talents of our artisans,” said Minister Grant. [It is] “A cause for celebration indeed as yet another avenue for generating employment and entrepreneurship for our citizens, for mobilizing them to earn a decent living doing what they love and for unleashing their creativity and innate abilities. Beyond the individual households that will benefit we must also consider its potential impact on the tourism sector and the powerful message of empowerment and validation it communicates to our citizens and entrepreneurs.”
Photo 2: Sculptural Art done by Tesroy Merchant of iFlamboyant, can be found at DALE Original Art & Style
The minister of tourism said that the location of the art gallery at Christophe Harbour Marina Village, and in close proximity of the Park Hyatt St. Kitts (the Caribbean’s first Park Hyatt), creates greater exposure for locals.
“This outlet will place our creative industry in the regional and international spotlight and command the attention of a discerning and demanding global audience. I have every confidence that this will spur innovation and build capacity among our citizens so they deliver on those expectations,” he said. “We must maximize opportunities such as these to provide excellent customer service and exude the warmth and hospitality for which we are so well known, to add value to every guest experience, to sharpen our competitive edge as a destination so this pivotal industry can continue to redound to the benefit of our local economy and to the lives and livelihoods of our citizens and communities.”
He reminded the artists that their job is not all about making money. He encouraged them to use it as an avenue to enhance their skills “as both artist and entrepreneur, to market our Kittitian brand and promote our destination”.
Photo 3: Pieces of work from different artists
“Create and maximize opportunities for cooperation and collaboration so what you are achieving today is a lasting and sustainable building block, and a stepping stone for future generations. Let this be your legacy,” said Minister Grant. “Our art and our culture are the very essence of who we are as a people, as they give our visitors glimpses into our very souls – and that is where human beings connect and lasting relationships are forged.”
Minister Grant commended Dale Kelley and her team for rising to the occasion and taking up the initiative to market St. Kitts and Nevis as a brand through local art and products.
Photo 4: Jewelry, paintings and pottery displayed at DALE Original Art & Style
The vision of St. Kitts native and artist Dale Kelley, DALE original art and style showcases distinctive pieces handcrafted in St. Kitts and Nevis. DALE features fine art, sculpture, pottery, leather goods, jewelry, glassworks and more from several artists who are members of Dale’s local art collective, iFlamboyant. Philanthropic by nature, she began iFlamboyant several years ago to grow awareness of and support for local artists and artisans in St. Kitts and Nevis. Each year at iFlamboyant’s annual art show, the artist collective raises funds to support one budding artist in the group.