The Ministry of Culture is moving swiftly to address a shortage of venues to host major cultural shows across Barbados.
Minister of Community Development and Culture, Steven Blackett, alluded to this development recently and revealed that a project implementation unit had been set up within his Ministry to complete the Sherbourne Conference Centre’s auditorium and to restore the old Empire Theatre, the Daphne Joseph Hackett Theatre and the Queens Park Steel Shed.
“We [government] are going to finish the auditorium at the Sherbourne Conference Centre and that will be our largest venue. We are also looking at the old Empire theatre; the Steel Shed and the Daphne Joseph Hackett Theatre in Queens Park,” he told reporters after a press conference to launch The National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA), Community Independence Celebrations and Indepen-DANCE Festival at Grand Barbados Beach Resort.
Mr. Blackett has predicted an increase in cultural events on Barbados’ social calendar and stressed that a completed Sherbourne Conference Centre and the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex in Wildey were well poised for that take-off.
“We suspect that there is going to be a take-off in cultural events in Barbados, and we in the Ministry will act as a catalyst to make things happen in the cultural industries. So, we have to have these ancillary services ready,” he declared.
He said that identifying and accessing venues for NIFCA events had been a challenge for the National Cultural Foundation (NCF), the official organisers of the events.
Mr. Blackett has urged managers of all potential venues to co-operate with the Ministry and the NCF in this regard.
“I want to encourage managers of all potential venues to co-operate with my Ministry and with the NCF in making their facilities available wherever possible. This is critical to the continued success of NIFCA,” he stressed.
The Minister said the three events had one goal – to stimulate the creative expressions and to unleash the creativity in Barbadians.