Design Caribbean, which is one of the region’s biggest trade fairs, showcased the creative skills and products of more than 100 designers from around the Caribbean.
The event officially opened on Thursday 1st September, 2011, with Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Caribbean Export Development Agency, Ms. Hazelle, joining the First Lady of the Dominican Republic, Ms. Margarita Cedeno-Hernandes, to view the exhibits.
Ms. Hazelle was accompanied by Executive Director of the Caribbean Export Development Agency Ms. Pamela Coke-Hamilton.
During the opening ceremony of Design Caribbean 2011, Ms Hazelle said that the improved and expanded trade show, reflects the agency’s ambition to raise the bar and reposition the Caribbean brand and creativity.
“Design Caribbean reflects Caribbean Export’s objective of enhancing competitiveness of CARIFORUM firms through product development, market expansion and export diversification,” said Ms. Hazelle.
Design Caribbean, formerly known as the Caribbean Gift and Craft show, is managed by the Caribbean Export Development Agency in Barbados.
“The event was created to embrace designers and artisans from all CARIFORUM countries. It has emerged as the foremost trade show for exposing the hand-crafted products of the region, mainly to international buyers from North America and Europe. The event takes the form of a multi-dimensional trade-show, highlighting the creativity of nationals in the CARIFORUM region, involved in art, film, fashion, music, ceramics, jewellery, home furnishings, specialty foods, leather goods and other areas” said the Kittitian Ambassador.
The event also showcased some of the Caribbean’s best performers, such as, Allison Hinds and Onika Best of Barbados, Roldan Marmol and Xiomara Fortunate of the Dominican Republic, Belo from Haiti, and Jamaican percussionist Carrot Jarrett, formerly of the Third World Band, along with the screening of the award winning Jamaican movie ‘Ghett’A Life’ and other short Caribbean films.
“Apart from offering Caribbean designers greater access to important regional and international buyers, Design Caribbean also had an educational component, which fitted with the greater objective of increasing economic benefits to the region from the creative industries. This project is a major step forward in helping us in the Caribbean to better integrate ourselves and create a better platform to sell our creative products to the world. We are working with our artisans, designers and other talented people of the region to access the international marketplace” said Executive Director of Caribbean Export, Ms Coke-Hamilton.
Some of the topics covered in the educational sessions at Design Caribbean were, Understanding the Potential of the Caribbean brand, Understanding Intellectual Property Rights, and social media strategies for designers.