The two singers were due in Santo Domingo last night to kick off Design Caribbean, which is the region’s foremost trade show for showcasing the creativity and craft products of the Caribbean, mainly for the benefit of international buyers.
While the launch takes place at the new Novo Centro complex in Santo Domingo tonight, the big trade-fair will be staged in the capital of the Dominican Republic from September 1-4.
Shaggy, the New York-based Jamaican Grammy Award-winning reggae singer and rapper, has seen international success which has inspired other Caribbean artistes.
Born Orville Richard Burrell, Shaggy is only the second reggae artiste ever to receive Diamond Certification for his music, and did so for his 2001 Hot Shot album, which sold over 10 million copies.
Alison Hinds, one of the region’s leading soca artistes, is also a Caribbean Song Festival winner and has featured in collaborations with several other leading Caribbean artistes.
The presence of the entertainers at the event, organised and managed by the Caribbean Export Development Agency, is expected to help focus attention on the skills and creativity of the people of the CARIFORUM region. The launch in Santo Domingo will set the tone for a number of other promotions around the region in coming months, all building towards the main Design Caribbean trade show in September, which will be the premier showpiece event for artisans and designers in the region.
Design Caribbean is also a successor to the annual Caribbean Gift and Craft show, and will be much bigger this year, providing greater access to important regional and international buyers.
“We are very excited about this project, as it provides a more integrated and better platform for how we in the Caribbean sell ourselves,” said Pamela Coke-Hamilton, executive director of Caribbean Export.
“Design Caribbean is part of the broader effort to help artisans, designers and other talented people of the region to access the international marketplace; people who are involved in design, art, film, music – the full range of niches in the creative industries,” she said.
The multidimensional trade show in early September will not only bring together buyers and sellers of the best the Caribbean has to offer, but will provide education and vital exposure for the region’s craftspersons.
Designers, artisans and others involved in the creative industries are eligible to participate in Design Caribbean, showcasing products such as ceramics, jewellery, fashion accessories, home furnishings, speciality foods, leather goods, etc.