The ‘who’s who’ of popular music in Saint Lucia turned out for the launch of the new Business of Music online course at the Royal Saint Lucian Hotel on Wednesday, July 26. The event attracted interest and participation from trending names in Soca, Calypso, R&B, Hip-Hop and other contemporary musical genres.
A joint initiative by the Saint Lucia Coalition of Service Industries (SLCSI) and the Trade Export Promotion Agency (TEPA), the Business of Music online course is another step forward in fostering the enabling environment that will lead to new market opportunities for producers and increased exports for Saint Lucia’s creative industries. It is being implemented under the SLCSI’s Services Go Global (SGG) programme which helps small to medium sized businesses develop the capacity to export their services. SLCSI Executive Director Yvonne Agard explained that this assistance includes knowledge strengthening, strategic planning, technical support coaching and mentoring, all designed to make the market landscape easier to understand and navigate.
TEPA’s CEO Jacqueline Emmanuel- Flood framed her opening remarks on the value of export readiness to the producer of music, and “the critical importance” of a focus on the creative sector within the national export agenda. She noted that current realities of today’s global marketplace put a demand on small economies like Saint Lucia to invest equally in goods deriving from intellectual property and foster a market environment that makes room for the inventors of consumable creative goods.
According to Ms. Emmanuel-Flood, given the support and tools, the creative community can play a leading role in recalibrating the engine of growth because it is well positioned to facilitate the shift from the traditional manufacturing based economy to today’s knowledge based economy, “but no matter how the global market changes from day to day, competitiveness remains the key to expansion, profitability and longevity for creative producers. And we know that the drivers of competition are innovation, quality and access,” she concluded.
Those attending the launch had the benefit of a critical analysis of the music market for Caribbean music from Alyson Francis, Services Specialist at Carib Export. A detailed preview of the 12-module course was presented by the course designer Lloyd Standbury, an entertainment attorney who is hailed as a Caribbean pioneer in the field of entertainment law.
During a question and answer session, attending music sector representatives described the course as a welcome opportunity which will have favourable uptake among their peers because of the dynamism that is evident in the sector. Saint Lucian strings virtuoso and multiple recording artist Ronald “Boo” Hinkson commended the two agencies for what he called “strategic and well-informed action, which is evident in their selection of a reputable expert who is steeped in the business aspects of the industry, sound knowledge of the Caribbean context in the business of music and a track record in furthering the interests of Caribbean music producers”.
The Business of Music course is funded by the Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA) under the 10th EDF on behalf of the Caribbean Network of Services Coalition (CNSC) and is endorsed by the Caribbean Export Agency (Carib Export).