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The ‘National Development Workshop for the Cultural Industries in Fiji’ opened today at the Pacific Islands Forum headquarters in Suva. The workshop, which takes place from 4 – 7 August, is being held in partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), the Fiji Department of National Heritage, Culture and the Arts and the Fiji Arts Council.
Practitioners, government officials, representatives from arts and culture associations, women’s groups, Fiji Arts Council, tourism operators and other private sector organisations will be among the participants who will gather for the national workshop.
The workshop is funded by the European Union under the € 495,000 ‘Enhancing the Pacific Cultural Industries: Fiji, Samoa and Solomon Islands’ project.
“This workshop offers an opportunity for key stakeholders in the public, private and civil society sectors to voice their ideas and present their programs,” says Mrs Fekita ‘Utoikamanu, Deputy Director General, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC). “Critically, it offers the opportunity for our cultural industry stakeholders to develop a self-defined strategy for the national promotion of the cultural industries in the short, medium, and long term. It also stands as an opportunity to continue to forge and strengthen the public-private partnerships that are necessary for the long term sustainability of the cultural industries.”
“A cluster economy around arts, adventure and aspirations could develop in the Pacific,” says Johnny Mr Engell-Hansen, Deputy Head, European Union Delegation for the Pacific. “Developing education and training institutes will provide students with the required skills, while promoting creativity, twinning between designers, artists and small producers and boosting innovation through adopting e-commerce tools are some ways to promote and grow the region’s cultural industries.”
The workshop follows a Fashion Industry Workshop held in Suva earlier this year, and aims to devise agreed cultural industries strategies to promote, protect and enhance the cultural industries in Fiji. Similar workshops focussing on both fashion and cultural industries will also be held in Samoa and Solomon Islands later this year.
Press conference (followed by lunch)
Date: Wednesday 6 August, 2014
Venue: Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Main Conference Centre
You are invited to send a reporter and camera person/photographer to cover this event.
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by 4pm Tuesday 5 August, 2014
Open to the public:
Artworks from participants of the workshop will be on display and open for the public to view at the following times:
9am-5pm Tuesday and Thursday. Please register at reception on arrival.
The ‘National Development Workshop for the Cultural Industries in Fiji’ will focus on four main areas: 1) overview and assessment of the national state of the cultural industries, 2) representation by cultural producers, entrepreneurs and arts associations/councils of their achievements, constraints and needs, 3) public institutional and policy involvement in the cultural industries and 4) agreement on partnerships and initial strategic directions.
The workshop is partly funded by the European Union through the ACP Cultures + ‘Enhancing the Pacific Cultural Industries: Fiji, Samoa and Solomon Islands’ project. The project is managed by SPC’s Human Development Programme in partnership with PIFS, the Fiji Department of National Heritage, Culture and the Arts, and the Fiji Arts Council. The project recognizes the real and potential contribution of the cultural industries to Pacific economies and works towards strengthening their positioning in the economy. The EU funding is up to £495,000 to the overall project with additional financial support provided by the project partners.
The cultural industries are not new to Fiji and the Pacific: people have been producing cultural goods and services for hundreds of years but they have generally been considered part of the informal sector.
Today there are strong indications that handicrafts, fashion, visual arts and to some extent, performing arts have the highest potential for economic growth and improving livelihoods. These sectors are also directly linked to the tourism industry, textile and footwear industry, retail outlets, regional and international export markets, all of which are part of the formal sector.
The purpose of the workshop is to bring all cultural industries stakeholders in Fiji together, including the public, private and civil society sectors, to map out the future directions of the industries, by assessing current challenges and issues, and proposing solutions and ways forward. The expected workshop outcomes is a draft framework for the next five to ten years for the development and marketing of the Fiji cultural industries, with attached actions and activities; timelines and partnerships. Following the workshop, SPC and PIFS, in close collaboration with the Fiji Department of National Heritage, Culture and the Arts and the Fiji Arts Council, will provide technical assistance to the stakeholders and partners to continue to develop and implement the Fiji national cultural industries framework.
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