Craft development needed

The development of crafts in the Cayman Islands is something Minister for Tourism Charles Clifford said it is right to commit to.

Mr. Clifford said that craft workshops could be considered as part of the Tourism Apprenticeship Programme.

He was speaking at Thursday’s Finance Committee in response to a question from George Town MLA Lucille Seymour in regard to the teaching of crafts in the Cayman Islands. She said there seems to be a dearth of innovative ideas with regard to craft making. She suggested the Ministry of Tourism needs to set up workshops to teach and expand crafts so there will be a plethora of goods to sell.

CEO of the Tourism Attractions Board Mr. Gilbert Connolly said a training workshop is currently being arranged for vendors at the Craft Market. This training will involve production strategies in an effort to sustain inventory to meet market demand.

Mr. Clifford said the development of crafts would require a specific programme. This is something he would pursue with the TAB.

Ms Seymour also told the Minister she would like him to commit to having Pedro St. James as the cultural centre of the Cayman Islands.

Minister Clifford noted that Pedro is indeed being upgraded as a cultural centre with plans for music-on-site, an attractive gazebo for weddings and perhaps a special restaurant.

Following a request for an update on the Craft Market from Bodden Town MLA Osbourne Bodden, Mr. Connolly said there has been some progress at it in terms of the number of vendors there. However, it is still facing a number of issues with regard to the relationships between some vendors.

The previous day two vendors had been having a discussion about who had the right to a table there. One of them went to the police station and brought a police officer to the site, Mr. Connolly said.

Following this incident Mr. Connolly made the decision to suspend both vendors.

The TAB head said that in the run up to Pedro St. James’ re-opening he had to sacrifice some Craft Market time. However, after the historic site’s re-opening on Monday, he would be able to address those issues more fully.